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6 Important Tips on Writing a Research Paper Title

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When you are searching for a research study on a particular topic, you probably notice that articles with interesting, descriptive research titles draw you in. By contrast, research paper titles that are not descriptive are usually passed over, even though you may write a good research paper with interesting contents. This shows the importance of coming up with a good title for your research paper when drafting your own manuscript.

Importance of a Research Title

The research title plays a crucial role in the research process, and its importance can be summarized as follows:

Importance of a Research Title

Why do Research Titles Matter?

Before we look at how to title a research paper, let’s look at a research title example that illustrates why a good research paper should have a strong title.

Imagine that you are researching meditation and nursing, and you want to find out if any studies have shown that meditation makes nurses better communicators.  You conduct a keyword search using the keywords “nursing”, “communication”, and “meditation.” You come up with results that have the following titles:

  • Benefits of Meditation for the Nursing Profession: A Quantitative Investigation
  • Why Mindful Nurses Make the Best Communicators
  • Meditation Gurus
  • Nurses on the Move: A Quantitative Report on How Meditation Can Improve Nurse Performance

All four of these research paper titles may describe very similar studies—they could even be titles for the same study! As you can see, they give very different impressions.

  • Title 1 describes the topic and the method of the study but is not particularly catchy.
  • Title 2 partly describes the topic, but does not give any information about the method of the study—it could simply be a theoretical or opinion piece.
  • Title 3 is somewhat catchier but gives almost no information at all about the article.
  • Title 4 begins with a catchy main title and is followed by a subtitle that gives information about the content and method of the study.

As we will see, Title 4 has all the characteristics of a good research title.

Characteristics of a Good Research Title

According to rhetoric scholars Hairston and Keene, making a good title for a paper involves ensuring that the title of the research accomplishes four goals as mentioned below:

  • It should predict the content of the research paper .
  • It should be interesting to the reader .
  • It should reflect the tone of the writing .
  • It should contain important keywords that will make it easier to be located during a keyword search.

Let’s return to the examples in the previous section to see how to make a research title.

As you can see in the table above, only one of the four example titles fulfills all of the criteria of a suitable research paper title.

Related: You’ve chosen your study topic, but having trouble deciding where to publish it? Here’s a comprehensive course to help you identify the right journal .

Tips for Writing an Effective Research Paper Title

When writing a research title, you can use the four criteria listed above as a guide. Here are a few other tips you can use to make sure your title will be part of the recipe for an effective research paper :

  • Make sure your research title describes (a) the topic, (b) the method, (c) the sample, and (d) the results of your study. You can use the following formula:
[ Result ]: A [ method ] study of [ topic ] among [ sample ] Example : Meditation makes nurses perform better: a qualitative study of mindfulness meditation among German nursing students
  • Avoid unnecessary words and jargons. Keep the title statement as concise as possible. You want a title that will be comprehensible even to people who are not experts in your field. Check our article for a detailed list of things to avoid when writing an effective research title .
  • Make sure your title is between 5 and 15 words in length.
  • If you are writing a title for a university assignment or for a particular academic journal, verify that your title conforms to the standards and requirements for that outlet. For example, many journals require that titles fall under a character limit, including spaces. Many universities require that titles take a very specific form, limiting your creativity.
  • Use a descriptive phrase to convey the purpose of your research efficiently.
  • Most importantly, use critical keywords in the title to increase the discoverability of your article.

titles of research papers

Resources for Further Reading

In addition to the tips above, there are many resources online that you can use to help write your research title. Here is a list of links that you may find useful as you work on creating an excellent research title:

  • The University of Southern California has a guide specific to social science research papers: http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/title
  • The Journal of European Psychology Students has a blog article focusing on APA-compliant research paper titles: http://blog.efpsa.org/2012/09/01/how-to-write-a-good-title-for-journal-articles/
  • This article by Kristen Hamlin contains a step-by-step approach to writing titles: http://classroom.synonym.com/choose-title-research-paper-4332.html

Are there any tips or tricks you find useful in crafting research titles? Which tip did you find most useful in this article? Leave a comment to let us know!

  • Hairston, M., & Keene, M. 2003. Successful writing . 5th ed. New York: Norton.
  • University of Southern California. 2017. Organizing your social sciences research paper: choosing a title . [Online] Available at: http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/title

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Thank you so much:) Have a nice day!

Thank you so much, it helped me.. God bless..

Thank you for the excellent article and tips for creating a research work, because I always forget about such an essential element as the keywords when forming topics. In particular, I have found a rapid help with the formation of informative and sound titles that also conforms to the standards and requirements.

I am doing a research work on sales girls or shop girls using qualititative method. Basicly I am from Pakistan and writing on the scenario of mycountry. I am really confused about my research title can you kindly give some suggestions and give me an approperaite tilte

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Hi Zubair, Thank you for your question. However, the information you have provided is insufficient for drafting an appropriate title. Information on what exactly you intend to study would be needed in order to draft a meaningful title. Meanwhile, you can try drafting your own title after going through the following articles our website: https://www.enago.com/academy/top-10-tips-on-choosing-an-attractive-research-title/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/writing-a-good-research-title-things-to-avoid/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/write-irresistible-research-paper-title/ We would be happy to give you feedback and suggest changes if required. Did you get a chance to install our free Mobile App? https://www.enago.com/academy/mobile-app/ . Make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter https://www.enago.com/academy/subscribe-now/ .

thanks for helping me like this!!

Thank you for this. It helped me improve my research title. I just want to verify to you the title I have just made. “Ensuring the safety: A Quantitative Study of Radio Frequency Identification system among the selected students of ( school’s name ).

(I need your reply asap coz we will be doing the chap. 1 tomorrow. Thank u in advance. 🙂 )

I am actually doing a research paper title. I want to know more further in doing research title. Can you give me some tips on doing a research paper?

Hi Joan, Thank you for your question. We are glad to know that you found our resources useful. Your feedback is very valuable to us. You can try drafting your own title after going through the following articles on our website: https://www.enago.com/academy/top-10-tips-on-choosing-an-attractive-research-title/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/writing-a-good-research-title-things-to-avoid/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/write-irresistible-research-paper-title/

We would be happy to give you feedback and suggest changes if required. Did you get a chance to install our free Mobile App? https://www.enago.com/academy/mobile-app/ . Make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter https://www.enago.com/academy/subscribe-now/ .

That really helpful. Thanks alot

Thank you so much. It’s really help me.

Thanks for sharing this tips. Title matters a lot for any article because it contents Keywords of article. It should be eye-catchy. Your article is helpful to select title of any article.

nice blog that you have shared

This blog is very informative for me. Thanks for sharing.

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i’m found in selecting my ma thesis title ,so i’m going to do my final research after the proposal approved. Your post help me find good title.

I need help. I need a research title for my study about early mobilization of the mechanically ventilated patients in the ICU. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

Thank you for posting your query on the website. When writing manuscripts, too many scholars neglect the research title. This phrase, along with the abstract, is what people will mostly see and read online. Title research of publications shows that the research paper title does matter a lot. Both bibliometrics and altmetrics tracking of citations are now, for better or worse, used to gauge a paper’s “success” for its author(s) and the journal publishing it. Interesting research topics coupled with good or clever yet accurate research titles can draw more attention to your work from peers and the public alike. You can check through the following search results for titles on similar topics: https://www.google.com/search?q=early+mobilization+of+the+mechanically+ventilated+patients+in+the+icu&rlz=1C1GCEU_enIN907IN907&oq=&aqs=chrome.0.69i59.4920093j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 .

We hope this would be helpful in drafting an attractive title for your research paper.

Please let us know in case of any other queries.

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Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

In case the topic is new research before you’re writing. And then to stand out, you end up being different.and be inclined to highlight yourself.

There are many free directories, and more paid lists.

To be honest your article is informative. I search many site to know about writing but I didn’t get the information I needed. I saw your site and I read it. I got some new information from here. I think some of your tips can be applied to those too! Thank you so very much for such informative and useful content.

Nice and well written content you have shared with us. thanks a lot!

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titles of research papers

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Home » Research Paper Title – Writing Guide and Example

Research Paper Title – Writing Guide and Example

Table of Contents

Research Paper Title

Research Paper Title

Research Paper Title is the name or heading that summarizes the main theme or topic of a research paper . It serves as the first point of contact between the reader and the paper, providing an initial impression of the content, purpose, and scope of the research . A well-crafted research paper title should be concise, informative, and engaging, accurately reflecting the key elements of the study while also capturing the reader’s attention and interest. The title should be clear and easy to understand, and it should accurately convey the main focus and scope of the research paper.

Examples of Research Paper Title

Here are some Good Examples of Research Paper Title:

  • “Investigating the Relationship Between Sleep Duration and Academic Performance Among College Students”
  • “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Employment: A Systematic Review”
  • “The Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “Exploring the Effects of Social Support on Mental Health in Patients with Chronic Illness”
  • “Assessing the Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
  • “The Impact of Social Media Influencers on Consumer Behavior: A Systematic Review”
  • “Investigating the Link Between Personality Traits and Leadership Effectiveness”
  • “The Effect of Parental Incarceration on Child Development: A Longitudinal Study”
  • “Exploring the Relationship Between Cultural Intelligence and Cross-Cultural Adaptation: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “Assessing the Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Chronic Pain Management”.
  • “The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “The Impact of Climate Change on Global Crop Yields: A Longitudinal Study”
  • “Exploring the Relationship between Parental Involvement and Academic Achievement in Elementary School Students”
  • “The Ethics of Genetic Editing: A Review of Current Research and Implications for Society”
  • “Understanding the Role of Gender in Leadership: A Comparative Study of Male and Female CEOs”
  • “The Effect of Exercise on Cognitive Function in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
  • “The Impacts of COVID-19 on Mental Health: A Cross-Cultural Comparison”
  • “Assessing the Effectiveness of Online Learning Platforms: A Case Study of Coursera”
  • “Exploring the Link between Employee Engagement and Organizational Performance”
  • “The Effects of Income Inequality on Social Mobility: A Comparative Analysis of OECD Countries”
  • “Exploring the Relationship Between Social Media Use and Mental Health in Adolescents”
  • “The Impact of Climate Change on Crop Yield: A Case Study of Maize Production in Sub-Saharan Africa”
  • “Examining the Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “An Analysis of the Relationship Between Employee Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment”
  • “Assessing the Impacts of Wilderness Areas on Local Economies: A Case Study of Yellowstone National Park”
  • “The Role of Parental Involvement in Early Childhood Education: A Review of the Literature”
  • “Investigating the Effects of Technology on Learning in Higher Education”
  • “The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges”
  • “A Study of the Relationship Between Personality Traits and Leadership Styles in Business Organizations”.

How to choose Research Paper Title

Choosing a research paper title is an important step in the research process. A good title can attract readers and convey the essence of your research in a concise and clear manner. Here are some tips on how to choose a research paper title:

  • Be clear and concise: A good title should convey the main idea of your research in a clear and concise manner. Avoid using jargon or technical language that may be confusing to readers.
  • Use keywords: Including keywords in your title can help readers find your paper when searching for related topics. Use specific, descriptive terms that accurately describe your research.
  • Be descriptive: A descriptive title can help readers understand what your research is about. Use adjectives and adverbs to convey the main ideas of your research.
  • Consider the audience : Think about the audience for your paper and choose a title that will appeal to them. If your paper is aimed at a specialized audience, you may want to use technical terms or jargon in your title.
  • Avoid being too general or too specific : A title that is too general may not convey the specific focus of your research, while a title that is too specific may not be of interest to a broader audience. Strive for a title that accurately reflects the focus of your research without being too narrow or too broad.
  • Make it interesting : A title that is interesting or provocative can capture the attention of readers and draw them into your research. Use humor, wordplay, or other creative techniques to make your title stand out.
  • Seek feedback: Ask colleagues or advisors for feedback on your title. They may be able to offer suggestions or identify potential problems that you hadn’t considered.

Purpose of Research Paper Title

The research paper title serves several important purposes, including:

  • Identifying the subject matter : The title of a research paper should clearly and accurately identify the topic or subject matter that the paper addresses. This helps readers quickly understand what the paper is about.
  • Catching the reader’s attention : A well-crafted title can grab the reader’s attention and make them interested in reading the paper. This is particularly important in academic settings where there may be many papers on the same topic.
  • Providing context: The title can provide important context for the research paper by indicating the specific area of study, the research methods used, or the key findings.
  • Communicating the scope of the paper: A good title can give readers an idea of the scope and depth of the research paper. This can help them decide if the paper is relevant to their interests or research.
  • Indicating the research question or hypothesis : The title can often indicate the research question or hypothesis that the paper addresses, which can help readers understand the focus of the research and the main argument or conclusion of the paper.

Advantages of Research Paper Title

The title of a research paper is an important component that can have several advantages, including:

  • Capturing the reader’s attention : A well-crafted research paper title can grab the reader’s attention and encourage them to read further. A captivating title can also increase the visibility of the paper and attract more readers.
  • Providing a clear indication of the paper’s focus: A well-written research paper title should clearly convey the main focus and purpose of the study. This helps potential readers quickly determine whether the paper is relevant to their interests.
  • Improving discoverability: A descriptive title that includes relevant keywords can improve the discoverability of the research paper in search engines and academic databases, making it easier for other researchers to find and cite.
  • Enhancing credibility : A clear and concise title can enhance the credibility of the research and the author. A title that accurately reflects the content of the paper can increase the confidence readers have in the research findings.
  • Facilitating communication: A well-written research paper title can facilitate communication among researchers, enabling them to quickly and easily identify relevant studies and engage in discussions related to the topic.
  • Making the paper easier to remember : An engaging and memorable research paper title can help readers remember the paper and its findings. This can be especially important in fields where researchers are constantly inundated with new information and need to quickly recall important studies.
  • Setting expectations: A good research paper title can set expectations for the reader and help them understand what the paper will cover. This can be especially important for readers who are unfamiliar with the topic or the research area.
  • Guiding research: A well-crafted research paper title can also guide future research by highlighting gaps in the current literature or suggesting new areas for investigation.
  • Demonstrating creativity: A creative research paper title can demonstrate the author’s creativity and originality, which can be appealing to readers and other researchers.

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Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

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How to Make a Research Paper Title with Examples

titles of research papers

What is a research paper title and why does it matter?

A research paper title summarizes the aim and purpose of your research study. Making a title for your research is one of the most important decisions when writing an article to publish in journals. The research title is the first thing that journal editors and reviewers see when they look at your paper and the only piece of information that fellow researchers will see in a database or search engine query. Good titles that are concise and contain all the relevant terms have been shown to increase citation counts and Altmetric scores .

Therefore, when you title research work, make sure it captures all of the relevant aspects of your study, including the specific topic and problem being investigated. It also should present these elements in a way that is accessible and will captivate readers. Follow these steps to learn how to make a good research title for your work.

How to Make a Research Paper Title in 5 Steps

You might wonder how you are supposed to pick a title from all the content that your manuscript contains—how are you supposed to choose? What will make your research paper title come up in search engines and what will make the people in your field read it? 

In a nutshell, your research title should accurately capture what you have done, it should sound interesting to the people who work on the same or a similar topic, and it should contain the important title keywords that other researchers use when looking for literature in databases. To make the title writing process as simple as possible, we have broken it down into 5 simple steps.

Step 1: Answer some key questions about your research paper

What does your paper seek to answer and what does it accomplish? Try to answer these questions as briefly as possible. You can create these questions by going through each section of your paper and finding the MOST relevant information to make a research title.

Step 2: Identify research study keywords

Now that you have answers to your research questions, find the most important parts of these responses and make these your study keywords. Note that you should only choose the most important terms for your keywords–journals usually request anywhere from 3 to 8 keywords maximum.

Step 3: Research title writing: use these keywords

“We employed a case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years to assess how waiting list volume affects the outcomes of liver transplantation in patients; results indicate a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and negative prognosis after the transplant procedure.”

The sentence above is clearly much too long for a research paper title. This is why you will trim and polish your title in the next two steps.

Step 4: Create a working research paper title

To create a working title, remove elements that make it a complete “sentence” but keep everything that is important to what the study is about. Delete all unnecessary and redundant words that are not central to the study or that researchers would most likely not use in a database search.

“ We employed a case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years to assess how the waiting list volume affects the outcome of liver transplantation in patients ; results indicate a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and a negative prognosis after transplant procedure ”

Now shift some words around for proper syntax and rephrase it a bit to shorten the length and make it leaner and more natural. What you are left with is:

“A case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years assessing the impact of waiting list volume on outcome of transplantation and showing a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and a negative prognosis” (Word Count: 38)

This text is getting closer to what we want in a research title, which is just the most important information. But note that the word count for this working title is still 38 words, whereas the average length of published journal article titles is 16 words or fewer. Therefore, we should eliminate some words and phrases that are not essential to this title.

Step 5: Remove any nonessential words and phrases from your title

Because the number of patients studied and the exact outcome are not the most essential parts of this paper, remove these elements first:

 “A case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years assessing the impact of waiting list volume on outcomes of transplantation and showing a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and a negative prognosis” (Word Count: 19)

In addition, the methods used in a study are not usually the most searched-for keywords in databases and represent additional details that you may want to remove to make your title leaner. So what is left is:

“Assessing the impact of waiting list volume on outcome and prognosis in liver transplantation patients” (Word Count: 15)

In this final version of the title, one can immediately recognize the subject and what objectives the study aims to achieve. Note that the most important terms appear at the beginning and end of the title: “Assessing,” which is the main action of the study, is placed at the beginning; and “liver transplantation patients,” the specific subject of the study, is placed at the end.

This will aid significantly in your research paper title being found in search engines and database queries, which means that a lot more researchers will be able to locate your article once it is published. In fact, a 2014 review of more than 150,000 papers submitted to the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) database found the style of a paper’s title impacted the number of citations it would typically receive. In most disciplines, articles with shorter, more concise titles yielded more citations.

Adding a Research Paper Subtitle

If your title might require a subtitle to provide more immediate details about your methodology or sample, you can do this by adding this information after a colon:

“ : a case study of US adult patients ages 20-25”

If we abide strictly by our word count rule this may not be necessary or recommended. But every journal has its own standard formatting and style guidelines for research paper titles, so it is a good idea to be aware of the specific journal author instructions , not just when you write the manuscript but also to decide how to create a good title for it.

Research Paper Title Examples

The title examples in the following table illustrate how a title can be interesting but incomplete, complete by uninteresting, complete and interesting but too informal in tone, or some other combination of these. A good research paper title should meet all the requirements in the four columns below.

Tips on Formulating a Good Research Paper Title

In addition to the steps given above, there are a few other important things you want to keep in mind when it comes to how to write a research paper title, regarding formatting, word count, and content:

  • Write the title after you’ve written your paper and abstract
  • Include all of the essential terms in your paper
  • Keep it short and to the point (~16 words or fewer)
  • Avoid unnecessary jargon and abbreviations
  • Use keywords that capture the content of your paper
  • Never include a period at the end—your title is NOT a sentence

Research Paper Writing Resources

We hope this article has been helpful in teaching you how to craft your research paper title. But you might still want to dig deeper into different journal title formats and categories that might be more suitable for specific article types or need help with writing a cover letter for your manuscript submission.

In addition to getting English proofreading services , including paper editing services , before submission to journals, be sure to visit our academic resources papers. Here you can find dozens of articles on manuscript writing, from drafting an outline to finding a target journal to submit to.

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Title

Maximize search-ability and engage your readers from the very beginning

Your title is the first thing anyone who reads your article is going to see, and for many it will be where they stop reading. Learn how to write a title that helps readers find your article, draws your audience in and sets the stage for your research!

How your title impacts the success of your article

Researchers are busy and there will always be more articles to read than time to read them.  Good titles help readers find your research, and decide whether to keep reading. Search engines use titles to retrieve relevant articles based on users’ keyword searches. Once readers find your article, they’ll use the title as the first filter to decide whether your research is what they’re looking for. A strong and specific title is the first step toward citations, inclusion in meta-analyses, and influencing your field. 

titles of research papers

What to include in a title

Include the most important information that will signal to your target audience that they should keep reading.

Key information about the study design

Important keywords

What you discovered

Writing tips

Getting the title right can be more difficult than it seems, and researchers refine their writing skills throughout their career. Some journals even help editors to re-write their titles during the publication process! 

titles of research papers

  • Keep it concise and informative What’s appropriate for titles varies greatly across disciplines. Take a look at some articles published in your field, and check the journal guidelines for character limits. Aim for fewer than 12 words, and check for journal specific word limits.
  • Write for your audience Consider who your primary audience is: are they specialists in your specific field, are they cross-disciplinary, are they non-specialists?
  • Entice the reader Find a way to pique your readers’ interest, give them enough information to keep them reading.
  • Incorporate important keywords Consider what about your article will be most interesting to your audience: Most readers come to an article from a search engine, so take some time and include the important ones in your title!
  • Write in sentence case In scientific writing, titles are given in sentence case. Capitalize only the first word of the text, proper nouns, and genus names. See our examples below.

titles of research papers

Don’t

  • Write your title as a question In most cases, you shouldn’t need to frame your title as a question. You have the answers, you know what you found. Writing your title as a question might draw your readers in, but it’s more likely to put them off.
  • Sensationalize your research Be honest with yourself about what you truly discovered. A sensationalized or dramatic title might make a few extra people read a bit further into your article, but you don’t want them disappointed when they get to the results.

Examples…

Format: Prevalence of [disease] in [population] in [location]

Example: Prevalence of tuberculosis in homeless women in San Francisco

Format: Risk factors for [condition] among [population] in [location]

Example: Risk factors for preterm births among low-income women in Mexico City

Format (systematic review/meta-analysis): Effectiveness of [treatment] for [disease] in [population] for [outcome] : A systematic review and meta-analysis

Example: Effectiveness of Hepatitis B treatment in HIV-infected adolescents in the prevention of liver disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Format (clinical trial): [Intervention] improved [symptoms] of [disease] in [population] : A randomized controlled clinical trial

Example: Using a sleep app lessened insomnia in post-menopausal women in southwest United States: A randomized controlled clinical trial

Format  (general molecular studies): Characterization/identification/evaluation of [molecule name] in/from [organism/tissue] (b y [specific biological methods] ) 

Example: Identification of putative Type-I sex pheromone biosynthesis-related genes expressed in the female pheromone gland of Streltzoviella insularis

Format  (general molecular studies): [specific methods/analysis] of organism/tissue reveal insights into [function/role] of [molecule name] in [biological process]  

Example: Transcriptome landscape of Rafflesia cantleyi floral buds reveals insights into the roles of transcription factors and phytohormones in flower development

Format  (software/method papers): [tool/method/software] for [what purpose] in [what research area]

Example: CRISPR-based tools for targeted transcriptional and epigenetic regulation in plants

Tip: How to edit your work

Editing is challenging, especially if you are acting as both a writer and an editor. Read our guidelines for advice on how to refine your work, including useful tips for setting your intentions, re-review, and consultation with colleagues.

  • How to Write an Abstract
  • How to Write Your Methods
  • How to Report Statistics
  • How to Write Discussions and Conclusions
  • How to Edit Your Work

The contents of the Peer Review Center are also available as a live, interactive training session, complete with slides, talking points, and activities. …

The contents of the Writing Center are also available as a live, interactive training session, complete with slides, talking points, and activities. …

There’s a lot to consider when deciding where to submit your work. Learn how to choose a journal that will help your study reach its audience, while reflecting your values as a researcher…

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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper

  • Choosing a Title
  • Purpose of Guide
  • Design Flaws to Avoid
  • Independent and Dependent Variables
  • Glossary of Research Terms
  • Reading Research Effectively
  • Narrowing a Topic Idea
  • Broadening a Topic Idea
  • Extending the Timeliness of a Topic Idea
  • Academic Writing Style
  • Making an Outline
  • Paragraph Development
  • Research Process Video Series
  • Executive Summary
  • The C.A.R.S. Model
  • Background Information
  • The Research Problem/Question
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Citation Tracking
  • Content Alert Services
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Primary Sources
  • Secondary Sources
  • Tiertiary Sources
  • Scholarly vs. Popular Publications
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Insiderness
  • Using Non-Textual Elements
  • Limitations of the Study
  • Common Grammar Mistakes
  • Writing Concisely
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Footnotes or Endnotes?
  • Further Readings
  • Generative AI and Writing
  • USC Libraries Tutorials and Other Guides
  • Bibliography

The title summarizes the main idea or ideas of your study. A good title contains the fewest possible words needed to adequately describe the content and/or purpose of your research paper.

Importance of Choosing a Good Title

The title is the part of a paper that is read the most, and it is usually read first . It is, therefore, the most important element that defines the research study. With this in mind, avoid the following when creating a title:

  • If the title is too long, this usually indicates there are too many unnecessary words. Avoid language, such as, "A Study to Investigate the...," or "An Examination of the...." These phrases are obvious and generally superfluous unless they are necessary to covey the scope, intent, or type of a study.
  • On the other hand, a title which is too short often uses words which are too broad and, thus, does not tell the reader what is being studied. For example, a paper with the title, "African Politics" is so non-specific the title could be the title of a book and so ambiguous that it could refer to anything associated with politics in Africa. A good title should provide information about the focus and/or scope of your research study.
  • In academic writing, catchy phrases or non-specific language may be used, but only if it's within the context of the study [e.g., "Fair and Impartial Jury--Catch as Catch Can"]. However, in most cases, you should avoid including words or phrases that do not help the reader understand the purpose of your paper.
  • Academic writing is a serious and deliberate endeavor. Avoid using humorous or clever journalistic styles of phrasing when creating the title to your paper. Journalistic headlines often use emotional adjectives [e.g., incredible, amazing, effortless] to highlight a problem experienced by the reader or use "trigger words" or interrogative words like how, what, when, or why to persuade people to read the article or click on a link. These approaches are viewed as counter-productive in academic writing. A reader does not need clever or humorous titles to catch their attention because the act of reading research is assumed to be deliberate based on a desire to learn and improve understanding of the problem. In addition, a humorous title can merely detract from the seriousness and authority of your research. 
  • Unlike everywhere else in a college-level social sciences research paper [except when using direct quotes in the text], titles do not have to adhere to rigid grammatical or stylistic standards. For example, it could be appropriate to begin a title with a coordinating conjunction [i.e., and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet] if it makes sense to do so and does not detract from the purpose of the study [e.g., "Yet Another Look at Mutual Fund Tournaments"] or beginning the title with an inflected form of a verb such as those ending in -ing [e.g., "Assessing the Political Landscape: Structure, Cognition, and Power in Organizations"].

Appiah, Kingsley Richard et al. “Structural Organisation of Research Article Titles: A Comparative Study of Titles of Business, Gynaecology and Law.” Advances in Language and Literary Studies 10 (2019); Hartley James. “To Attract or to Inform: What are Titles for?” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 35 (2005): 203-213; Jaakkola, Maarit. “Journalistic Writing and Style.” In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication . Jon F. Nussbaum, editor. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018): https://oxfordre.com/communication.

Structure and Writing Style

The following parameters can be used to help you formulate a suitable research paper title:

  • The purpose of the research
  • The scope of the research
  • The narrative tone of the paper [typically defined by the type of the research]
  • The methods used to study the problem

The initial aim of a title is to capture the reader’s attention and to highlight the research problem under investigation.

Create a Working Title Typically, the final title you submit to your professor is created after the research is complete so that the title accurately captures what has been done . The working title should be developed early in the research process because it can help anchor the focus of the study in much the same way the research problem does. Referring back to the working title can help you reorient yourself back to the main purpose of the study if you find yourself drifting off on a tangent while writing. The Final Title Effective titles in research papers have several characteristics that reflect general principles of academic writing.

  • Indicate accurately the subject and scope of the study,
  • Rarely use abbreviations or acronyms unless they are commonly known,
  • Use words that create a positive impression and stimulate reader interest,
  • Use current nomenclature from the field of study,
  • Identify key variables, both dependent and independent,
  • Reveal how the paper will be organized,
  • Suggest a relationship between variables which supports the major hypothesis,
  • Is limited to 5 to 15 substantive words,
  • Does not include redundant phrasing, such as, "A Study of," "An Analysis of" or similar constructions,
  • Takes the form of a question or declarative statement,
  • If you use a quote as part of the title, the source of the quote is cited [usually using an asterisk and footnote],
  • Use correct grammar and capitalization with all first words and last words capitalized, including the first word of a subtitle. All nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs that appear between the first and last words of the title are also capitalized, and
  • Rarely uses an exclamation mark at the end of the title.

The Subtitle Subtitles are frequently used in social sciences research papers because it helps the reader understand the scope of the study in relation to how it was designed to address the research problem. Think about what type of subtitle listed below reflects the overall approach to your study and whether you believe a subtitle is needed to emphasize the investigative parameters of your research.

1.  Explains or provides additional context , e.g., "Linguistic Ethnography and the Study of Welfare Institutions as a Flow of Social Practices: The Case of Residential Child Care Institutions as Paradoxical Institutions." [Palomares, Manuel and David Poveda.  Text & Talk: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse and Communication Studies 30 (January 2010): 193-212]

2.  Adds substance to a literary, provocative, or imaginative title or quote , e.g., "Listen to What I Say, Not How I Vote": Congressional Support for the President in Washington and at Home." [Grose, Christian R. and Keesha M. Middlemass. Social Science Quarterly 91 (March 2010): 143-167]

3.  Qualifies the geographic scope of the research , e.g., "The Geopolitics of the Eastern Border of the European Union: The Case of Romania-Moldova-Ukraine." [Marcu, Silvia. Geopolitics 14 (August 2009): 409-432]

4.  Qualifies the temporal scope of the research , e.g., "A Comparison of the Progressive Era and the Depression Years: Societal Influences on Predictions of the Future of the Library, 1895-1940." [Grossman, Hal B. Libraries & the Cultural Record 46 (2011): 102-128]

5.  Focuses on investigating the ideas, theories, or work of a particular individual , e.g., "A Deliberative Conception of Politics: How Francesco Saverio Merlino Related Anarchy and Democracy." [La Torre, Massimo. Sociologia del Diritto 28 (January 2001): 75 - 98]

6.  Identifies the methodology used , e.g. "Student Activism of the 1960s Revisited: A Multivariate Analysis Research Note." [Aron, William S. Social Forces 52 (March 1974): 408-414]

7.  Defines the overarching technique for analyzing the research problem , e.g., "Explaining Territorial Change in Federal Democracies: A Comparative Historical Institutionalist Approach." [ Tillin, Louise. Political Studies 63 (August 2015): 626-641.

With these examples in mind, think about what type of subtitle reflects the overall approach to your study. This will help the reader understand the scope of the study in relation to how it was designed to address the research problem.

Anstey, A. “Writing Style: What's in a Title?” British Journal of Dermatology 170 (May 2014): 1003-1004; Balch, Tucker. How to Compose a Title for Your Research Paper. Augmented Trader blog. School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Tech University; Bavdekar, Sandeep B. “Formulating the Right Title for a Research Article.” Journal of Association of Physicians of India 64 (February 2016); Choosing the Proper Research Paper Titles. AplusReports.com, 2007-2012; Eva, Kevin W. “Titles, Abstracts, and Authors.” In How to Write a Paper . George M. Hall, editor. 5th edition. (Oxford: John Wiley and Sons, 2013), pp. 33-41; Hartley James. “To Attract or to Inform: What are Titles for?” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 35 (2005): 203-213; General Format. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Kerkut G.A. “Choosing a Title for a Paper.” Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Physiology 74 (1983): 1; “Tempting Titles.” In Stylish Academic Writing . Helen Sword, editor. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012), pp. 63-75; Nundy, Samiran, et al. “How to Choose a Title?” In How to Practice Academic Medicine and Publish from Developing Countries? A Practical Guide . Edited by Samiran Nundy, Atul Kakar, and Zulfiqar A. Bhutta. (Springer Singapore, 2022), pp. 185-192.

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  • Last Updated: Jan 10, 2024 1:16 PM
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Sacred Heart University Library

Organizing Academic Research Papers: Choosing a Title

  • Purpose of Guide
  • Design Flaws to Avoid
  • Glossary of Research Terms
  • Narrowing a Topic Idea
  • Broadening a Topic Idea
  • Extending the Timeliness of a Topic Idea
  • Academic Writing Style
  • Choosing a Title
  • Making an Outline
  • Paragraph Development
  • Executive Summary
  • Background Information
  • The Research Problem/Question
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Citation Tracking
  • Content Alert Services
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Primary Sources
  • Secondary Sources
  • Tertiary Sources
  • What Is Scholarly vs. Popular?
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Using Non-Textual Elements
  • Limitations of the Study
  • Common Grammar Mistakes
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Footnotes or Endnotes?
  • Further Readings
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Dealing with Nervousness
  • Using Visual Aids
  • Grading Someone Else's Paper
  • How to Manage Group Projects
  • Multiple Book Review Essay
  • Reviewing Collected Essays
  • About Informed Consent
  • Writing Field Notes
  • Writing a Policy Memo
  • Writing a Research Proposal
  • Acknowledgements

The title summarizes the main idea or ideas of your study. A good title contains the fewest possible words that adequately describe the contents and/or purpose of your research paper.

The title is without doubt the part of a paper that is read the most, and it is usually read first . If the title is too long it usually contains too many unnecessary words, e.g., "A Study to Investigate the...." On the other hand, a title which is too short often uses words which are too general. For example, "African Politics" could be the title of a book, but it does not provide any information on the focus of a research paper.

Structure and Writing Style

The following parameters can be used to help you formulate a suitable research paper title:

  • The purpose of the research
  • The narrative tone of the paper [typically defined by the type of the research]
  • The methods used

The initial aim of a title is to capture the reader’s attention and to draw his or her attention to the research problem being investigated.

Create a Working Title Typically, the final title you submit to your professor is created after the research is complete so that the title accurately captures what was done . The working title should be developed early in the research process because it can help anchor the focus of the study in much the same way the research problem does. Referring back to the working title can help you reorient yourself back to the main purpose of the study if you feel yourself drifting off on a tangent while writing. The Final Title Effective titles in academic research papers have several characteristics.

  • Indicate accurately the subject and scope of the study.
  • Avoid using abbreviations.
  • Use words that create a positive impression and stimulate reader interest.
  • Use current nomenclature from the field of study.
  • Identify key variables, both dependent and independent.
  • May reveal how the paper will be organized.
  • Suggest a relationship between variables which supports the major hypothesis.
  • Is limited to 10 to 15 substantive words.
  • Do not include "study of," "analysis of" or similar constructions.
  • Titles are usually in the form of a phrase, but can also be in the form of a question.
  • Use correct grammar and capitalization with all first words and last words capitalized, including the first word of a subtitle. All nouns,  pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs that appear between the first and last words of the title are also capitalized.
  • In academic papers, rarely is a title followed by an exclamation mark. However, a title or subtitle can be in the form of a question.

The Subtitle Subtitles are quite common in social science research papers. Examples of why you may include a subtitle:

  • Explains or provides additional context , e.g., "Linguistic Ethnography and the Study of Welfare Institutions as a Flow of Social Practices: The Case of Residential Child Care Institutions as Paradoxical Institutions."
  • Adds substance to a literary, provocative, or imaginative title , e.g., "Listen to What I Say, Not How I Vote: Congressional Support for the President in Washington and at Home."
  • Qualifies the geographic scope of the research , e.g., "The Geopolitics of the Eastern Border of the European Union: The Case of Romania-Moldova-Ukraine."
  • Qualifies the temporal scope of the research , e.g., "A Comparison of the Progressive Era and the Depression Years: Societal Influences on Predictions of the Future of the Library, 1895-1940."
  • Focuses on investigating the ideas, theories, or work of a particular individual , e.g., "A Deliberative Conception of Politics: How Francesco Saverio Merlino Related Anarchy and Democracy."

Balch, Tucker. How to Compose a Title for Your Research Paper . Augmented Trader blog. School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Tech University;  Choosing the Proper Research Paper Titles . AplusReports.com, 2007-2012; General Format. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University.

  • << Previous: Academic Writing Style
  • Next: Making an Outline >>
  • Last Updated: Jul 18, 2023 11:58 AM
  • URL: https://library.sacredheart.edu/c.php?g=29803
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How to write a good research paper title

“Unread science is lost science .”

titles of research papers

Credit: Mykyta Dolmatov/Getty

“Unread science is lost science.”

28 July 2020

titles of research papers

Mykyta Dolmatov/Getty

With the influx of publications brought on by the pandemic, it’s become more challenging than ever for researchers to attract attention to their work.

Understanding which elements of a title will attract readers – or turn them away – has been proven to increase a paper’s citations and Altmetric score .

“In the era of information overload, most students and researchers do not have time to browse the entire text of a paper,” says Patrick Pu , a librarian at the National University of Singapore.

“The title of a paper, together with its abstract, become very important to capture and sustain the attention of readers.”

1. A good title avoids technical language

Since the primary audience of a paper is likely to be researchers working in the same field, using technical language in the title seems to make sense.

But this alienates the wider lay audience, which can bring valuable attention to your work . It can also alienate inexperienced researchers, or those who have recently entered the field.

“A good title does not use unnecessary jargon,” says Elisa De Ranieri , editor-in-chief at the Nature Communications journal (published by Springer Nature, which also publishes Nature Index.) “It communicates the main results in the study in a way that is clear and accessible, ideally to non-specialists or researchers new to the field.”

How-to: When crafting a title, says De Ranieri, write down the main result of the manuscript in a short paragraph. Shorten the text to make it more concise, while still remaining descriptive. Repeat this process until you have a title of fewer than 15 words.

2. A good title is easily searchable

Most readers today are accessing e-journals, which are indexed in scholarly databases such as Scopus and Google Scholar.

“Although these databases usually index the full text of papers, retrieval weightage for ‘Title’ is usually higher than other fields, such as ‘Results’,” Pu explains.

At the National University of Singapore, Pu and his colleagues run information literacy programmes for editors and authors. They give advice for publishing best practice, such as how to identify the most commonly used keywords in literature searches in a given field.

“A professor once told us how he discovered that industry experts were using a different term or keyword to describe his research area,” says Pu.

“He had written a seminal paper that did not include this ‘industry keyword’. He believes his paper, which was highly cited by academics, would have a higher citation count if he had included this keyword in the title. As librarians, we try to highlight this example to our students so that they will consider all possible keywords to use in their searches and paper titles.”

How-to: Authors should speak to an academic librarian at their institution to gain an understanding of keyword and search trends in their field of research. This should inform how the paper title is written.

3. A good title is substantiated by data

Authors should be cautious to not make any claims in the title that can’t be backed up by evidence.

“For instance, if you make a discovery with potential therapeutic relevance, the title should specify whether it was tested or studied in animals or humans/human samples,” says Irene Jarchum , senior editor at the journal Nature Biotechnology (also published by Springer Nature, which publishes the Nature Index.)

Jarchum adds that titles can be contentious because different authors have different views on the use of specific words, such as acronyms, or more fundamentally, what the main message of the title should be.

Some authors may over-interpret the significance of their preliminary findings, and want to reflect this in the title.

How-to: If you know your paper will be contentious within the scientific community, have the data ready to defend your decisions .

4. A good title sparks curiosity

A one-liner that sparks a reader’s interest can be very effective.

“A title has to pique the interest of the person searching for literature in a split-second – enough that they click on the title to read the abstract. Unread science is lost science,” says Christine Mayer , editor-in-chief of the journal Advanced Therapeutics .

Paper titles such as, "White and wonderful? Microplastics prevail in snow from the Alps to the Arctic" ( 2019 Science ), and “Kids these days: Why the youth of today seem lacking” ( 2019 Science Advances ) are good examples of this principle. Both papers have high Altmetric Attention scores, indicating that they have been widely read and discussed online.

How-to: Take note of the characteristics of paper titles that spark your own interest. Keep a record of these and apply the same principles to your own paper titles.

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  • Research paper

How to Write a Research Paper | A Beginner's Guide

A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research.

Research papers are similar to academic essays , but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research. Writing a research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic, engage with a variety of sources, and make an original contribution to the debate.

This step-by-step guide takes you through the entire writing process, from understanding your assignment to proofreading your final draft.

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Table of contents

Understand the assignment, choose a research paper topic, conduct preliminary research, develop a thesis statement, create a research paper outline, write a first draft of the research paper, write the introduction, write a compelling body of text, write the conclusion, the second draft, the revision process, research paper checklist, free lecture slides.

Completing a research paper successfully means accomplishing the specific tasks set out for you. Before you start, make sure you thoroughly understanding the assignment task sheet:

  • Read it carefully, looking for anything confusing you might need to clarify with your professor.
  • Identify the assignment goal, deadline, length specifications, formatting, and submission method.
  • Make a bulleted list of the key points, then go back and cross completed items off as you’re writing.

Carefully consider your timeframe and word limit: be realistic, and plan enough time to research, write, and edit.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

There are many ways to generate an idea for a research paper, from brainstorming with pen and paper to talking it through with a fellow student or professor.

You can try free writing, which involves taking a broad topic and writing continuously for two or three minutes to identify absolutely anything relevant that could be interesting.

You can also gain inspiration from other research. The discussion or recommendations sections of research papers often include ideas for other specific topics that require further examination.

Once you have a broad subject area, narrow it down to choose a topic that interests you, m eets the criteria of your assignment, and i s possible to research. Aim for ideas that are both original and specific:

  • A paper following the chronology of World War II would not be original or specific enough.
  • A paper on the experience of Danish citizens living close to the German border during World War II would be specific and could be original enough.

Note any discussions that seem important to the topic, and try to find an issue that you can focus your paper around. Use a variety of sources , including journals, books, and reliable websites, to ensure you do not miss anything glaring.

Do not only verify the ideas you have in mind, but look for sources that contradict your point of view.

  • Is there anything people seem to overlook in the sources you research?
  • Are there any heated debates you can address?
  • Do you have a unique take on your topic?
  • Have there been some recent developments that build on the extant research?

In this stage, you might find it helpful to formulate some research questions to help guide you. To write research questions, try to finish the following sentence: “I want to know how/what/why…”

A thesis statement is a statement of your central argument — it establishes the purpose and position of your paper. If you started with a research question, the thesis statement should answer it. It should also show what evidence and reasoning you’ll use to support that answer.

The thesis statement should be concise, contentious, and coherent. That means it should briefly summarize your argument in a sentence or two, make a claim that requires further evidence or analysis, and make a coherent point that relates to every part of the paper.

You will probably revise and refine the thesis statement as you do more research, but it can serve as a guide throughout the writing process. Every paragraph should aim to support and develop this central claim.

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titles of research papers

A research paper outline is essentially a list of the key topics, arguments, and evidence you want to include, divided into sections with headings so that you know roughly what the paper will look like before you start writing.

A structure outline can help make the writing process much more efficient, so it’s worth dedicating some time to create one.

Your first draft won’t be perfect — you can polish later on. Your priorities at this stage are as follows:

  • Maintaining forward momentum — write now, perfect later.
  • Paying attention to clear organization and logical ordering of paragraphs and sentences, which will help when you come to the second draft.
  • Expressing your ideas as clearly as possible, so you know what you were trying to say when you come back to the text.

You do not need to start by writing the introduction. Begin where it feels most natural for you — some prefer to finish the most difficult sections first, while others choose to start with the easiest part. If you created an outline, use it as a map while you work.

Do not delete large sections of text. If you begin to dislike something you have written or find it doesn’t quite fit, move it to a different document, but don’t lose it completely — you never know if it might come in useful later.

Paragraph structure

Paragraphs are the basic building blocks of research papers. Each one should focus on a single claim or idea that helps to establish the overall argument or purpose of the paper.

Example paragraph

George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” has had an enduring impact on thought about the relationship between politics and language. This impact is particularly obvious in light of the various critical review articles that have recently referenced the essay. For example, consider Mark Falcoff’s 2009 article in The National Review Online, “The Perversion of Language; or, Orwell Revisited,” in which he analyzes several common words (“activist,” “civil-rights leader,” “diversity,” and more). Falcoff’s close analysis of the ambiguity built into political language intentionally mirrors Orwell’s own point-by-point analysis of the political language of his day. Even 63 years after its publication, Orwell’s essay is emulated by contemporary thinkers.

Citing sources

It’s also important to keep track of citations at this stage to avoid accidental plagiarism . Each time you use a source, make sure to take note of where the information came from.

You can use our free citation generators to automatically create citations and save your reference list as you go.

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The research paper introduction should address three questions: What, why, and how? After finishing the introduction, the reader should know what the paper is about, why it is worth reading, and how you’ll build your arguments.

What? Be specific about the topic of the paper, introduce the background, and define key terms or concepts.

Why? This is the most important, but also the most difficult, part of the introduction. Try to provide brief answers to the following questions: What new material or insight are you offering? What important issues does your essay help define or answer?

How? To let the reader know what to expect from the rest of the paper, the introduction should include a “map” of what will be discussed, briefly presenting the key elements of the paper in chronological order.

The major struggle faced by most writers is how to organize the information presented in the paper, which is one reason an outline is so useful. However, remember that the outline is only a guide and, when writing, you can be flexible with the order in which the information and arguments are presented.

One way to stay on track is to use your thesis statement and topic sentences . Check:

  • topic sentences against the thesis statement;
  • topic sentences against each other, for similarities and logical ordering;
  • and each sentence against the topic sentence of that paragraph.

Be aware of paragraphs that seem to cover the same things. If two paragraphs discuss something similar, they must approach that topic in different ways. Aim to create smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and sections.

The research paper conclusion is designed to help your reader out of the paper’s argument, giving them a sense of finality.

Trace the course of the paper, emphasizing how it all comes together to prove your thesis statement. Give the paper a sense of finality by making sure the reader understands how you’ve settled the issues raised in the introduction.

You might also discuss the more general consequences of the argument, outline what the paper offers to future students of the topic, and suggest any questions the paper’s argument raises but cannot or does not try to answer.

You should not :

  • Offer new arguments or essential information
  • Take up any more space than necessary
  • Begin with stock phrases that signal you are ending the paper (e.g. “In conclusion”)

There are four main considerations when it comes to the second draft.

  • Check how your vision of the paper lines up with the first draft and, more importantly, that your paper still answers the assignment.
  • Identify any assumptions that might require (more substantial) justification, keeping your reader’s perspective foremost in mind. Remove these points if you cannot substantiate them further.
  • Be open to rearranging your ideas. Check whether any sections feel out of place and whether your ideas could be better organized.
  • If you find that old ideas do not fit as well as you anticipated, you should cut them out or condense them. You might also find that new and well-suited ideas occurred to you during the writing of the first draft — now is the time to make them part of the paper.

The goal during the revision and proofreading process is to ensure you have completed all the necessary tasks and that the paper is as well-articulated as possible. You can speed up the proofreading process by using the AI proofreader .

Global concerns

  • Confirm that your paper completes every task specified in your assignment sheet.
  • Check for logical organization and flow of paragraphs.
  • Check paragraphs against the introduction and thesis statement.

Fine-grained details

Check the content of each paragraph, making sure that:

  • each sentence helps support the topic sentence.
  • no unnecessary or irrelevant information is present.
  • all technical terms your audience might not know are identified.

Next, think about sentence structure , grammatical errors, and formatting . Check that you have correctly used transition words and phrases to show the connections between your ideas. Look for typos, cut unnecessary words, and check for consistency in aspects such as heading formatting and spellings .

Finally, you need to make sure your paper is correctly formatted according to the rules of the citation style you are using. For example, you might need to include an MLA heading  or create an APA title page .

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Checklist: Research paper

I have followed all instructions in the assignment sheet.

My introduction presents my topic in an engaging way and provides necessary background information.

My introduction presents a clear, focused research problem and/or thesis statement .

My paper is logically organized using paragraphs and (if relevant) section headings .

Each paragraph is clearly focused on one central idea, expressed in a clear topic sentence .

Each paragraph is relevant to my research problem or thesis statement.

I have used appropriate transitions  to clarify the connections between sections, paragraphs, and sentences.

My conclusion provides a concise answer to the research question or emphasizes how the thesis has been supported.

My conclusion shows how my research has contributed to knowledge or understanding of my topic.

My conclusion does not present any new points or information essential to my argument.

I have provided an in-text citation every time I refer to ideas or information from a source.

I have included a reference list at the end of my paper, consistently formatted according to a specific citation style .

I have thoroughly revised my paper and addressed any feedback from my professor or supervisor.

I have followed all formatting guidelines (page numbers, headers, spacing, etc.).

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How to write good research paper titles

titles of research papers

Your title is the first and most important step in engaging your reader. It should be concise, interesting and summarise the essential content of the document. Any title that is lengthy, overly complex, ambiguous or misleading can turn away prospective readers. This writing guide gives an overview of the different types of titles and explains the essential steps in designing your title.

Title structure

Titles can be sentence fragments, complete sentences or compound sentences with the second sentence typically following a colon.

To help the paper appear in search results, it is common practice to place keywords in the title. Keywords used in the title should be placed in the beginning in case only a fragment of the title appears in the search results. 

Terms used to describe types of titles

Common terms used to describe different types of research paper titles are Descriptive, declarative, interrogative, suggestive, humorous and combination titles.

Descriptive titles or indicative titles

Descriptive titles state the subject, topic, design, purpose or methods of the project. For example:

  • ‘Effects of natural forest and tree plantations on leaf-litter frog assemblages in Southern Brazil.’ ( Cicheleiro et al. 2021 ).
  • ‘An efficient incremental learning mechanism for tracking concept drift in spam filtering.’ ( Jyh-Jian et al. 2017 ).

Declarative or Informative titles

These titles give the main findings or result of the study. For example:

  • ‘Novel flight style and light wings boost flight performance of tiny beetles.’ ( Farisenkov et al 2022 ).
  • ‘Cause of hypereosinophilia shows itself after 6 years: Loa loa.’ ( Hicks et al. 2022 ).

There is some concern that presenting the results or conclusions in the title of a paper will appear presumptive: that titles containing a definitive statement or final conclusion of a study, might prove problematic if that finding is later disproved.

titles of research papers

Some journals prefer informative titles. For example, the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology has “… an editorial policy of “more informative titles” (MITs) that crisply and concisely tell our readers what our authors found in their research. A MIT states the study type and summarizes its key findings, using the past tense for individual studies and the present tense for systematic reviews .” The idea is that titles for small individual studies should be written in past tense to allow future studies to overrule or disagree with their findings, while titles should be written in present tense for studies that are unlikely to be over-ruled by later studies: i.e. literature reviews. Some research has also demonstrated that “articles with short titles describing the results are cited more often.” ( Paiva et al. 2012 ).

Interrogative titles

Interrogative titles or titles phrased as a question. The use of questions in titles can create interest by making the reader immediately wonder what the answer might be. It is also a concise way of presenting the research topic.

For example:  

  • ‘Does adding video and subtitles to an audio lesson facilitate its comprehension?’ ( Zheng et al. 2022 ).
  • ‘Microbial defenses against mobile genetic elements and viruses: Who defends whom from what?’ ( Eduardo et al. 2022 ).

Suggestive titles

These are titles that are slightly ambiguous or overly brief to hint or suggest what the findings might be, presumably to create suspense to entice the reader to find out what the answer is. For example:

  • ‘Drawing to improve metacomprehension accuracy’. ( Thiede et al. 2022 ).
  • ‘The puzzle of high temperature superconductivity in layered iron pnictides and chalcogenides.’ ( Johnston 2010 ).

titles of research papers

Humorous or colloquial title

These are titles that hope to attract interest through humour or common-use sayings, colloquialism or metaphors. These types of titles can be used to good effect. However, be mindful that colloquialisms might not make sense to readers from different language or cultural backgrounds.

For example:

  • ‘miR miR on the wall, who's the most malignant medulloblastoma miR of them all?’ ( Wang et al 2018 ).
  • ‘One ring to multiplex them all’ ( Torres-Company 2017 ).
  • ‘Sauropod farts warmed the planet.’ ( Marshall 2012 ).

Combination titles

Combination titles are those that include a combination of different types listed above.

The following example uses a colloquialism in the key title with the findings mentioned in the sub-title:

  • ‘Standing out in a crowd: Intraspecific variability in dorsal patterning allows for photo-identification of a threatened anuran.’ ( Gould et al. 2021 ).

The following example has the following structure: ‘Topic: results of study’

  • Plastic Pollution in the World's Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea ( Eriksen et al. 2014 ).

Which type is better?

There are conflicting views which type of title is better. There are arguments for and against different types, with research findings presenting the pros and cons of different types of title. Before you decide which is best, first look at how titles are commonly structured in recently published journals within your discipline.

titles of research papers

Essential steps in designing your title

The following steps will help you design your document title.

1. Read the Instructions to Authors

Once you have selected a journal, review the types of titles recently published and read the Instructions to Authors to learn what the journal requires for paper titles. Instructions regarding titles are often brief. For example:

- Elsevier’s Guide for Authors “Title - Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.”

- Plos One Submission Guidelines state that titles should be “…Specific, descriptive, concise, and comprehensible to readers outside the field.” and “…written in sentence case (only the first word of the text, proper nouns, and genus names are capitalized). Avoid specialist abbreviations if possible. For clinical trials, systematic reviews, or meta-analyses, the subtitle should include the study design.”

2. Consider your audience

Although the expected audience is broadly set by the scope of the journal, you still need to identify who will be interested in your paper. Who is your target audience? Are they scientists who mostly work in your field or will they include researchers from other disciplines? Consider what aspects of your project would attract your target audience and whether or not you can include these in your title.

3. Decide what aspects of your study to include in your title

As outlined above (Types of titles) decide whether you want to describe the process (descriptive) the result (informative) the research question or problem (integrative) or a combination of these factors.

Description of methods and study design

Titles of research papers, reports and conference proceedings often contain standard research methods. For example:  

  • ‘Plant-based diets and incident cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in African Americans: A cohort study.’ ( Weston et al. 2022 ).
  • ‘Using scale modelling to assess the prehistoric acoustics of Stonehenge.’ ( Cox et al. 2020 ).
  • ‘The use of chronosequences in studies of ecological succession and soil development.’ ( Walker et al 2010 ).

Description of study subjects and location

Titles often just describe the key study subject, and also often including habitat or location. For example: 

  • ‘Making (remote) sense of lianas.’ ( van der Heijden 2022 ).
  • ‘The vulnerability of native rangeland plant species to global climate change in the West Asia and North African regions’ ( Ouled Belgacem & Louhaichi 2013 ).

titles of research papers

How specific or general should your title be?

Your title should be unique to your project. Hopefully, no one else is writing a paper exactly the same as you, and your title should reflect this. If your title is too broad or general, then you may give the impression that the study is larger than it is or that it is a literature review.  This is when it is important to make a distinction between ‘topic’ (general) and ‘title’ (specific). Unless you are writing a literature review or presenting a large-scale study, don’t give your research topic as your title.

Including information on the scope of the study will also help the reader understand the magnitude of your study and from this, the importance and implications of the findings. In the following example, “in highway bridges” gives the scope of the study:

  • ‘Finite element based fatigue assessment of corrugated steel web beams in highway bridges.’ ( Wang & Wang 2015 ).

Avoid making your title too long with too much specific detail. For example, perhaps this title is too long:

  • ‘Use of open-text responses to recode categorical survey data on postpartum contraception use among women in the United States: A mixed-methods inquiry of Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System data.’ ( Richards et al, 2022 ).

4. Consider your reader’s behaviour

Assume your reader only has a short time to decide if your title is relevant and that they will only review the abstract if the title interests them. Titles that include standard procedures, common cause-effect scenarios or well-known research topics, might be overlooked in preference for titles describing unique approaches or interesting findings.

5. Check that your title is clear and easy to read 

Your main message must be clear. Your titles don’t have to be grammatically-complete sentences, but make sure they make sense, especially if you have tried to shorten them by cutting out words. Don’t sacrifice clarity for brevity by making your title obscure.

Beware of using adjectival-noun strings in your titles. This is when authors try and be more concise by placing too many adjectives in front a single noun making it difficult to decipher whether each adjective is actually modifying the root noun or another word in the adjectival-noun string. Take an example from a student report: ‘ Australian insecticide control failure .’ (Anon.) This might be interpreted as:

  • The failure of insecticide to control something in Australia.
  • The failure of Australian insecticide to control something somewhere else.
  • The failure to control [the use of] Australian insecticide.

Another unclear example: ‘Post head emergence spring radiative frost damage of winter cereals.’ (Anon.) It could be made even longer: ‘Winter cereal post head emergence spring radiative frost damage.’ 

titles of research papers

6. Check your title length  

The shorter the title, the easier it will be to read but only to a certain point. Too short and you risk sacrificing your meaning. Also, If you leave out too much detail, the title may appear too general and mislead the reader. If the reader has to guess what the meaning, you increase the chance of losing them. Check that your title is not too ambiguous, cryptic or inadvertently misleading. An ambiguous media release example:

  • ‘Lupins show healthy potential for increased human consumption.’ ( Australian Food News 2008 ).

7. Check that your title is concise

Titles can be made more concise by removing unnecessary repetition and detail. Common research phrases can be removed without affecting the meaning or structure of the title. Examples of these research phrases include ‘The influence of...’, ‘The role of..’, ‘Effects of..’, ‘Observations of..,’ ‘Studies on...’

For example: ‘Annual variation in the distribution of summer snowdrifts in the Kosciuszko alpine area, Australia, and its effect on the composition and structure of alpine vegetation.’  ( Edmonds et al. 2006 ) [25 words] could be reduced to: “Distribution of summer snowdrifts influences composition and structure of Kosciuszko alpine vegetation, Australia” [13 words].  

titles of research papers

8. Ways to make your title more interesting

Ask a question

By writing a title in the form of a question you are immediately inviting the reader to think. For example:

  • ‘Whose shoulders is health research standing on? Determining the key actors and contents of the prevailing biomedical research agenda.’ ( Testoni et al. 2021 ).

Be humorous or focus on the unusual or unexpected

Mildly humorous titles immediately engage the reader while unusual or unexpected tiles create curiosity.

  • ‘On human odour, malaria mosquitoes, and Limburger cheese.’ ( Knols 1996 ).

Final considerations

My key advice is, ensure your title is concise, easy to read (for your target audience), not too long and adequately reflects your study’s design or purpose (not too general or too specific).

  • Is it hard to read?
  • If it is a question, does it make your reader wonder what the answer is?
  • If it is a summary of your methods, are these methods unique or reveal a fresh approach or are they just standard and well-known and therefore unlikely to stand-out?
  • If it is the answer or conclusion to your problem, are you risking letting the reader think they now don’t need to read the paper? Or might your conclusion-title be a way to hook your reader into finding out more about your study?
  • Does it create interest or curiosity?

© Dr Marina Hurley 2022 www.writingclearscience.com.au

Any suggestions or comments please email  [email protected] 

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titles of research papers

Long, short, and efficient titles for research articles

titles of research papers

A Concise Guide to Communication in Science and Engineering

  • By David H. Foster
  • September 4 th 2018

The title of a research article has an almost impossible remit. As the freely available representative of the work, it needs to accurately capture what was achieved, differentiate it from other works, and, of course, attract the attention of the reader, who might be searching a journal’s contents list or the return from a database query. The title needs also, in passing, to signal the author’s competence and authority. Getting it right is vital. Success or otherwise is likely to decide whether the article is retrieved, read, and potentially cited by other researchers—crucial for recognition in science.

Is a long title or a short one better? A long title has obvious advantages in communicating content, but if it is too long, it may be difficult to digest, inducing the reader—with little time and commitment—to move on to the next article in his or her search. Conversely, a short title may be easy to digest, but too short to inform, leaving the reader again to move on. These considerations suggest there is an optimum number of words: enough to reflect content, yet not enough to bore.

The traditional recommendation from manuals on scientific writing and from academic publishers is that 10–12 words is about right, certainly no more, although the evidential basis is uncertain. Do authors follow this guidance? I took a sample of 4,000 article titles from the Web of Science database, published by Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters). The articles were from eight research areas: physics, chemistry, mathematics, cell biology, computer science, engineering, psychology, and general and internal medicine. The average or mean title length was 12.3 words, surprisingly close to the 10–12-word recommendation.

This estimate is necessarily subject to sampling error. Furthermore, it depends on the publication year from which the articles are taken. The mean title length of 12.3 words just quoted was for 2012. It was somewhat smaller at 10.9 words in 2002 and smaller still at 10.1 words in 1982. Mean title length also depends on the choice of subject area, the definition of journal article, and the coverage of the database (whose evolution may have contributed to the growth in mean title length). Nevertheless, reassuringly similar values emerged from an analysis of a larger sample of titles taken from the Scopus database, published by Elsevier.

On average, then, title lengths comply with expectations, possibly reflecting the wisdom of crowds, or of editors. Individually, however, title lengths vary enormously, with around 10% having either fewer than five words or more than 20. So, do articles with extreme titles—those whose lengths fall very far from the mean—succeed in attracting the attention of readers?

Here are two very short titles. The first is from a review article published in 2012 in the Annual Review of Psychology :

“Intelligence”

This article has had more than 180 citations, placing it in the top 1% in its subject area and publication year (citations and centiles for subject areas taken from Scopus for the period 2012–18). As a review article in the social sciences, though, it might be expected to be highly cited. The second title is from an original experimental research article published in 2012 in Physical Review Letters , which in spite of its name is not a review journal:

“Orthorhombic BiFeO3”

The topic addressed is less generally accessible, yet this article has had more than 40 citations and is in the top 7% for its area and year.

Importantly, adding more words to these titles to make them more specific does not seem to deliver a proportional gain in information. Consider expanding “Intelligence” to “An Overview of Contributions to Intelligence Research” or changing “Orthorhombic BiFeO3” to “Creation of a new orthorhombic phase of the multiferroic BiFeO3.” The additions, drawn from the article abstracts, just make explicit what is already largely implied.

So, do articles with extreme titles—those whose lengths fall very far from the mean—succeed in attracting the attention of readers?

By contrast with these very short titles, here are two very long ones. The first has 33 words—with hyphens treated as separators—and was published in 2012 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology :

“Cost-effectiveness of transcatheter aortic valve replacement compared with surgical aortic valve replacement in high-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis: Results of the PARTNER (Placement of Aortic Transcatheter Valves) trial (Cohort A)”

With more than 120 citations, this article is in the top 1% for its area and year. This performance is not peculiar to general and internal medicine. Articles with very long titles from engineering disciplines can also do well. The second title is from an article published in 2012 in Optics Letters and has about 25 words, depending on definitions:

“Fiber-wireless transmission system of 108 Gb/s data over 80 km fiber and 2×2 multiple-input multiple-output wireless links at 100 GHz W-band frequency”

This article has had more than 110 citations and is in the top 1% for its area and year.

Despite the exceptional lengths of these titles, removing words or phrases, for example, from the first, “Results of the PARTNER . . . (Cohort A)” or, from the second, “at 100 GHz W-band frequency,” seems to result in a disproportionate loss in information and could actually mislead the reader.

Evidently, short titles need not fail to inform and long titles need not promote disengagement. Each can be as effective as the other and lead to high levels of recognition. The implication is that length, on its own, is a poor proxy for something more relevant and fundamental, namely how much the title tells the reader about the work given the number of words it expends.

What is being described here is a kind of efficiency. To paraphrase the statistician and artist Edward Tufte, albeit speaking in a different context, an efficient title is one that maximizes the ratio of the information communicated to its length. Accordingly, the number of words should be immaterial, or almost so. After all, it is what they communicate that really counts.

Featured image credit: Straying Thoughts by Edmund Blair Leighton. Public Domain via Flickr .

David H. Foster is Professor of Vision Systems at the University of Manchester and formerly Director of Research in the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering. He has served as journal editor or editor in chief for over 30 years and has taught communication in science and engineering at undergraduate, postgraduate, and postdoctoral levels in the UK and elsewhere. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Physiological Society, and the Optical Society of America. David is the author of A Concise Guide to Communication in Science and Engineering (OUP, 2017).

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Recent Comments

This describes the key points to decide an attractive journal title very clearly. The discussion is based on the thorough survey of recent publication and the presentation is very convincing with quantified statistical figures. I highly recommend this to anybody including the well-established academics.

Creating a good title is an art in itself – but it can be learned. The key techniques are summarized here very nicely: “Make it clear and remove the fluff” (my words). For more advice, go to David Foster’s excellent book, “A concise guide …” (see bottom of page). Good reading! One thing I would like to add: In my feeling, a short title implies that the paper is more fundamental, more general in its scope, and more accessible (my favourite title is “On Seeing Sidelong” by Gerry Lettvin, which is on peripheral vision). When, instead, the paper is rather narrow, I will be disappointed and think of it lowly. Conversely, I go to the longer titles when I search for something more specific. Of course that comes down – algorithmically so to say – to “an efficient title is one that maximizes the ratio of the information communicated to its length”. But it suggests that the optimum number of words is not independent of content and, rather, correlates with the content’s generality.

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Creating effective titles for your scientific publications

Associated data.

You work for months, maybe years, to plan and conduct your study. You write it up carefully, reporting every piece of data accurately. You get the approval of your co-authors and double-check everyone’s conflicts of interest for the disclosure form. You are ready to submit it when you remember that your work needs a title. “No problem,” you say. “I’ll just throw something together.”

Hold on—that’s not a good idea. The title of a scholarly article really does matter, for several reasons ( Video 1 , available online at www.VideoGIE.org ). It is the first thing a reader will see, so it helps him or her decide whether to read the rest of the article ( Fig. 1 ). 1 If you are publishing in a subscription model, it helps the reader decide whether to buy the whole article. Later, when the reader is writing his own article and wants to cite yours, he can find it more easily if you have given it an effective title. If the article is cited more, it will help your H-Index and G-Index, building your reputation and credibility. Furthermore, if your article is highly cited, it helps the publishing journal’s Impact Factor. Journal editors know which authors’ articles are highly cited and will react with interest when they see another article submitted by that author in the future.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is gr1.jpg

Example of a poor title. It has a problem with grammar (“Are” instead of “Is”), it attempts to be funny, it is in the form of a question, uses abbreviations, does not have clear keywords, and does not make the point of the article clear.

Several elements make up an effective title ( Table 1 ). Studies have shown that shorter titles receive more citations; most recommend 10 to 15 words or between 31 and 40 characters. 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 Punctuation is important: commas and colons have been shown to increase citations, but articles with question marks or exclamation points are cited less frequently. 7 Keywords that help researchers find your article when they use search algorithms are critical, so make sure that your title accurately reflects the key concepts of your article. 4 , 8 , 9

Table 1

Elements of a good title for a scholarly publication

Avoid abbreviations or jargon in your title. 3 , 4 , 9 People from other fields whose research intersects with yours might cite you if they can find your article, but if you use abbreviations or jargon specific to your field, their searches won’t uncover your article.

Some authors think attracting attention with humor or puns is a good idea, but that practice is actually counterproductive. 3 , 4 , 5 , 9 Your title should reflect the tone of the article and of the journal, and because we are dealing with scholarly publications, that means the title should be formal as well. If you are writing an editorial or opinion piece, you might get away with a less-formal title, but for the most part, making your readers laugh should not be a priority.

Poor grammar and incorrect spelling are jarring and irritating to many readers as well as to editors and reviewers, so check and double check that the title is grammatical and everything is spelled and punctuated correctly. If you are using an editing or translation service to assist you with the composition of your article, be sure to include the title in the content submitted for review to catch errors you may have overlooked.

Above all, remember that your title is a reader’s first impression of your article, so make sure that impression is effective. Do all you can to create a title that is professional and does justice to the article you have worked so hard to create.

All authors disclosed no financial relationships relevant to this publication.

Supplementary data

Creating effective titles for scientific articles takes planning and knowledge. In this video, we discuss the elements of a good title.

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Writing Effective Research Paper Titles: Advice and Examples

Editing-Queen

Are you ready to submit your research paper for publication but haven't settled on a title yet? Do you have a title but aren't sure if it will be the right one for the journal editor or research database search engines? This article will help you fine tune or create an effective research paper title for your work.

Now that you have finished your research and analysis, and you're ready to take the final step before sending your work to journal editors and reviewers. The first thing journal editors and search engine results will see and show is your research paper title. Creating an effective research paper title is highly important to getting your paper in front of the right people. It is also going to be the only part of your paper that is available to everyone for free, and it will be what search engines use to index and show your work in search results. You therefore must design a clear and persuasive title that accurately represents your work.

When writing an effective research paper title, you want to ensure that the title includes all the relevant aspects of your work. Showcase those aspects in a way that entices the audience to read more. Be sure to use the nomenclature common in your field of study, because that will help your work show up in more search results and it will grab the attention of journal editors looking for articles that clearly represent the industry. If you are studying landslides, for example, you will want to include keywords relating to soil composition or grain size; if you are working on a study about organ transplants, then include the specific feature or procedure that affected successful transplants. Identify what parts of your research are going to interest your intended audience.

There are two key pieces of information that people will need to see in your paper title: the subject and the objective. Because you are already familiar with your study and its purpose, creating an effective research paper title is simply a matter of whittling down the words that describe the important aspects of your paper. The advice below will help you take steps to identify key areas of your research, organize the information, and trim it down to the right size for a title.

Develop a topic statement

To get started, consider a topic statement of your paper that includes the subject and scope of the study. The first step in building a topic statement is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your research paper about? "My paper is about gene therapy and how it can improve cognitive function in dementia patients."
  • What was the subject of your study? "I used data from 40 dementia patients from 10 states in the US."
  • What method did you use to perform your research? "I performed a randomized trial."
  • What were the results? "My study showed that gene therapy improved cognitive function in those who received the treatment."

Once you have answered those questions (such as in the example answers above), make a list of the keywords you used. For this example, those keywords would include the following:

  • gene therapy
  • cognitive function
  • 40 dementia patients
  • improved cognitive function
  • 10 states in the US
  • randomized trial

Then, create your topic statement using those keywords. It might read something like this:

"This study is a randomized trial that investigates whether gene therapy improved cognitive function in 40 dementia patients from 10 states in the US. The results show improved cognitive function in those who received the treatment."

This statement has 36 words — too long for a title. However, it does contain the main required elements: the subject and the objective. It also includes a summary of the results, which can be used to increase the persuasive nature of the title. If you are writing this down on paper, it may be helpful to underline or circle the keywords you used in the statement, as this will help you visually see how the keywords work together in your statement.

Trim the statement

The next step is to remove all unnecessary words to create a working title. Unnecessary words include elements that make the sentences complete sentences. Also remove words that are not central to your study or that would not be used in a research database search.

" This study is a randomized trial that investigates whether gene therapy improved cognitive function in 40 dementia patients from 10 states in the US. The results show improved cognitive function in those who received the treatment ."

Next, take those words and move them around to form a new phrase. This may take a few tries to get it right, but it is worth the time.

"A randomized trial investigating whether gene therapy improved cognitive function in 40 dementia patients from 10 states in the US showed improved cognitive function."

This sample now has 24 words. We still need to get it down to the ideal 15 or fewer total words, with just the exact information journal editors will want. One way to do this is to use the keywords at the beginning and end of your title. Remove any irrelevant facts that other researchers will not be searching for. For example, the method you used is not usually the most searched-for keyword.

" A randomized trial investigating whether gene therapy improved cognitive function in 40 dementia patients from 10 states in the US showed improved cognitive function. "

The final result may be something like this:

"Investigating the impact of gene therapy on cognitive function in dementia patients"

The resulting title has 13 words, had the main action at the beginning, and the main subject of the study at the end. This is a good example of how to create an effective research paper title that will increase journal editors' and reviewers' interest, and it may even help your paper receive more citations down the road.

Main tips to remember

If you are working on your first research paper title, the process can seem intimidating. Even with the process outlined above, creating the best research paper title possible for your work can be difficult and time consuming. Be sure to set aside a good amount of time to developing your title so that you don't feel rushed. Some writers go through 20 or more iterations before they arrive at a title that achieves effectiveness, persuasiveness, and clarity of purpose all in one.

In addition to the above process, keep the following main tips in mind when writing an effective research paper title:

  • Write your paper and abstract first, then work on your title. This will make the process much easier than trying to nail a title down without a full, finished paper to start from.
  • Keep your title short! Do not include more than 15 words.
  • Do not use a period at the end of your title.
  • Be sure that the keywords you use truly represent the content of your paper.
  • Do not use abbreviations in your title.
  • Include all essential key terms from your paper. This ensures your paper will be indexed properly in research databases and search engines. If you are unsure of the best keywords to use, talk to an academic librarian at your institution. They can help you identify keyword and search trends in your research field.

Examples of research paper titles

The lists below illustrate what effective and ineffective research paper titles look like. Use these examples to help guide your research paper title.

Effective titles

  • Nurses on the Move: A Quantitative Report on How Meditation Can Improve Nurse Performance
  • Correction of the ion transport defect in cystic fibrosis transgenic mice by gene therapy
  • Landslide mapping techniques and their use in the assessment of the landslide hazard
  • HLA compatibility and organ transplant survival: Collaborative Transplant Study

Ineffective titles

  • Meditation Gurus
  • The landslide story
  • Landslide hazard and risk assessment
  • Pharmacodynamics of oral ganciclovir and valganciclovir in solid organ transplant recipients

No matter what kind of field you are doing research in, you have the opportunity to create an amazing and effective research paper title that will engage your readers and get your paper in front of the journal editors and reviewers you want. By taking the time to go through the title development process, you will finish your work with a title that matches the work outlined in your research paper.

Header photo by Stokkete .

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How To Write A Research Paper

Research Paper Title

John K.

How to Write a Good Research Paper Title

10 min read

Published on: Jan 5, 2024

Last updated on: Jan 4, 2024

how to write a research paper title

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In scholarly writing, the title plays a subtle yet pivotal role. Ever wondered how a simple string of words can make or break a research paper's impact?

Your research paper's title serves as the initial point of contact for your reader, forming their first impression of your work. Therefore, careful consideration of your title is crucial.

There are fundamental principles to bear in mind: your title should be informative, attention-grabbing, and contextually fitting. 

This guide provides a detailed view of these essential qualities, by looking at the steps to write a research paper title. We'll break down what makes a great title. 

So let’s get started!

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What is Research Paper Title, and Why is it Important?

A research paper title is a concise and informative heading that encapsulates the main theme or focus of a research study. It serves as the first point of contact between the reader and the research paper, providing a peek into the purpose of the study. 

It is important because the research paper title tells readers what the study is about almost instantly. 

A good title not only grabs attention but also helps in finding the research online. It shows the professionalism of the study and makes it easier for everyone to understand and engage with the research. 

So, a well-crafted title is like a guide that leads readers to the core of the research.

Characteristics of a Good Research Title

According to rhetoric scholars Hairston and Keene , creating an effective paper title involves achieving the goals outlined below:

  • Content Preview: A good title gives a glimpse of the research content.
  • Engagement Factor: An effective title sparks reader interest.
  • Tone Alignment: It reflects the scholarly tone of the paper.
  • Keyword Integration: Includes essential keywords for better searchability.
  • Prioritize Clarity: Use clear, concise language for broad understanding.
  • Embrace Conciseness: Keep titles brief, omitting unnecessary details.
  • Ensure Specificity: Include unique details to distinguish the research.

With these 7 characteristics of a research title in mind, let's now explore the steps to craft an ideal research paper title.

How to Write a Research Paper Title in 5 Steps

In the following sections, we'll walk through a five-step process designed to help you create a title that is truly impressive. 

Step 1: Define the Core Elements of Your Research

Before crafting your research paper title, it's essential to answer key questions about your study. These questions help you identify the main focus and key components of your research paper. Consider:

  • Research Topic: What is the primary subject of your study?
  • Research Problem or Question: What issue are you addressing, or what question are you seeking to answer?
  • Methodology: What methods or approaches did you use in your research?
  • Results/Findings: What are the main outcomes of your study?

Step 2: Identify Essential Keywords

Identify significant keywords related to your research paper. These terms will play a crucial role in creating a title that effectively communicates your study's focus.

Step 3: Constructing a Research Title Using Keywords 

Combine the identified keywords into a concise and descriptive research paper title. Weave together the essential elements of your study while maintaining clarity and relevance.

The sentence above, describing the research on smoking cessation programs, is undoubtedly too lengthy for a research paper title . Therefore, the forthcoming steps will involve refining and succinctly polishing the title for clarity and conciseness.

Step 4: Develop a Working Research Title

To create a working title, remove elements that make it a complete sentence but keep everything important to the study. Delete unnecessary and redundant words not central to the research or likely excluded from a database search.

Original Working Title:

Refined Title:

Note: The goal is to shorten the title to 16 words or fewer, making it concise and effective for a research paper.

Step 5: Trim Unnecessary Words and Phrases

Remove any nonessential words and phrases from your title. The number of subjects studied and exact outcomes may not be crucial, and detailed methods can be omitted for conciseness. Focus on key terms for database search optimization.

Final Refined Title: 

Adding a Research Paper Subtitle

If your title needs additional details about your methodology or sample, consider adding a subtitle after a colon.

Research Paper Title Examples

Let's start by examining research title examples suitable for students. We will explore the basic formats for research paper title pages, including MLA and APA styles.

Research Paper Title Page MLA

Title Page For A Research Paper APA Style

Title Page For A Research Paper APA Style - CollegeEssay.org

Scientific Paper Title

Here are 5 examples of research titles for scientific papers:

Tips on Formulating a Good Research Paper Title

When creating a title for your research paper, consider the following general tips to capture the reader's attention and effectively convey the purpose of your study:

  • Summarize your research in the fewest possible words to maintain clarity and reader engagement.
  • Incorporate essential keywords that researchers working in your field are likely to use.
  • Use compelling and attention-grabbing language to make your title stand out.
  • Ensure your title accurately captures the purpose of your research, conveying the central question or objective.
  • Clearly define the scope of the study in the title, indicating the specific focus of your research.
  • Consider phrasing your title in the form of a question if it enhances the intrigue and aligns with the nature of your research.
  • Prioritize readability and clarity to make your title easily understandable for a broad audience.
  • Optimize your title for search engines by including relevant keywords that researchers might use when seeking similar studies.
  • Minimize the use of field-specific jargon that may alienate readers unfamiliar with your subject.
  • Ensure the title summarizes the core findings or contributions of your research.

Research Paper Title Checklist

Here's a checklist table to guide you on how to write a research paper title:

In conclusion , writing an effective research paper title is a vital skill that demands accuracy, clarity, and engagement. Prioritize conciseness and specificity while ensuring relevance to the research content. Remember to integrate essential keywords for enhanced searchability. 

If you find yourself struggling, fear not. CollegeEssay.org is here to assist. With a wealth of experience aiding scholars worldwide, our professional writing service ensures meticulously crafted titles that resonate with your research. 

Connect with our research paper writing service for expert assistance – let us elevate your paper's impact and resonance.

Can abbreviations or acronyms be used in the research paper title?

While sparingly acceptable, it's advisable to initially use full terms in the title for clarity. Introduce abbreviations later in the paper to avoid potential confusion for readers unfamiliar with the terms.

Is it advisable to formulate the research paper title as a question?

Crafting the title as a declarative statement is preferable. It provides a clear indication of the study's main focus and findings, enhancing reader engagement and comprehension.

Should the research paper title be in sentence case or title case?

Follow the specific style guidelines recommended by your institution or the publisher. Some styles prefer sentence case (where only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized), while others recommend title case (where major words are capitalized). Consistency is key to maintaining a polished appearance.

Is it permissible to change the research paper title after submission?

Post-submission changes to the title may be challenging, so it's crucial to carefully finalize and review the title before submitting the paper to avoid complications in the publication process.

Is it beneficial to include specific keywords in the research paper title?

Yes, incorporating keywords relevant to your study increases the discoverability of your research. It helps search engines, databases, and readers quickly identify the core themes of your paper.

John K. (Research)

John K. is a professional writer and author with many publications to his name. He has a Ph.D. in the field of management sciences, making him an expert on the subject matter. John is highly sought after for his insights and knowledge, and he regularly delivers keynote speeches and conducts workshops on various topics related to writing and publishing. He is also a regular contributor to various online publications.

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80+ Great Research Titles Examples in Various Academic Fields

Research titles examples

Coming up with a research title for an academic paper is one of the most challenging parts of the writing process. Even though there is an unlimited quantity of research titles to write about, knowing which one is best for you can be hard. We have done the research for you and compiled eighty examples of research titles to write on. Additionally, we have divided the research titles examples into sections to make them easier to choose.

Research Study Examples of Current Events

Examples of research topics on ethics, title of research study examples on health, research paper title examples on social concerns, examples of research title on art and culture, example of research interest in religion, samples of research study topics on technology, research examples of environmental studies, good research title examples on history, specific topic examples regarding education, research title examples for students on family, food, and nutrition, research problems examples computer science, samples of research title about business marketing and communications, sample of research study topics in women’s studies, research problem example on politics, what are some examples of research paper topics on law, final words about research titles.

When it comes to choosing a good sample research title, research is one of the best tips you can get. By reading widely, including your school notes and scholarly articles, you will have a problem/line of interest examples in research. Then, you can derive any question from areas that appear to have a knowledge gap and proceed with researching the answer. As promised, below are eighty research title examples categorized into different areas, including social media research topics .

  • Discuss the peculiar policies of a named country – for example, discuss the impacts of the one-child policy of China.
  • Research on the influence of a named political leader, say a president, on the country they governed and other countries around. For instance, you can talk about how Trump’s presidency has changed international relations.
  • Conduct an analysis of a particular aspect of two named countries – for example, the history of the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea.
  • Compare the immigration laws in two or more named countries – for example, discuss how the immigration laws in the U.S. compares with other countries.
  • Discuss how the Black Lives Matter movement has affected the view and discussions about racism in the United States.
  • Enumerate the different ways the government of the United States can reduce deaths arising from the unregulated use of guns.
  • Analyze the place of ethics in medicine or of medical practitioners. For instance, you can discuss the prevalence of physician-assisted suicides in a named country. You may also talk about the ethicality of such a practice and whether it should be legal.
  • Explain how recent research breakthroughs have affected that particular field – for instance, how stem cell research has impacted the medical field.
  • Explain if and why people should be able to donate organs in exchange for money.
  • Discuss ethical behaviors in the workplace and (or) the educational sector. For example, talk about whether or not affirmative action is still important or necessary in education or the workplace.
  • Weigh the benefits and risks of vaccinating children and decide which one outweighs the other. Here, you might want to consider the different types of vaccinations and the nature and frequency of associated complications.
  • Investigate at least one of the health issues that currently pose a threat to humanity and which are under investigation. These issues can include Alzheimer’s, cancer, depression, autism, and HIV/AIDS. Research how these issues affect individuals and society and recommend solutions to alleviate cost and suffering.
  • Study some individuals suffering from and under treatment for depression. Then, investigate the common predictors of the disease and how this information can help prevent the issue.

Tip : To make this example of a research title more comprehensive, you can focus on a certain age range – say, teenagers.

  • Discuss whether or not free healthcare and medication should be available to people and the likely implications.
  • Identify and elucidate different methods or programs that have been most effective in preventing or reducing teen pregnancy.
  • Analyze different reasons and circumstances for genetic manipulation and the different perspectives of people on this matter. Then, discuss whether or not parents should be allowed to engineer designer babies.
  • Identify the types of immigration benefits, including financial, medical, and education, your country provides for refugees and immigrants. Then, discuss how these benefits have helped them in settling down and whether more or less should be provided.
  • Discuss the acceptance rate of the gay community in your country or a specific community. For example, consider whether or not gay marriage is permitted if they can adopt children, and if they are welcome in religious gatherings.
  • Explore and discuss if terrorism truly creates a fear culture that can become a society’s unintended terrorist.
  • Consider and discuss the different techniques one can use to identify pedophiles on social media.

Tip : Social issues research topics are interesting, but ensure you write formally and professionally.

  • Investigate the importance or lack of importance of art in primary or secondary education. You can also recommend whether or not it should be included in the curriculum and why.

Tip : You can write on this possible research title based on your experiences, whether positive or negative.

  • Discuss the role of illustration in children’s books and how it facilitates easy understanding in children. You may focus on one particular book or select a few examples and compare and contrast.
  • Should the use of art in books for adults be considered, and what are the likely benefits?
  • Compare and contrast the differences in art from two named cultural Renaissance – for instance, the Northern Renaissance and the Italian Renaissance.
  • Investigate how sexism is portrayed in different types of media, including video games, music, and film. You can also talk about whether or not the amount of sexism portrayed has reduced or increased over the years.
  • Explore different perspectives and views on dreams; are they meaningful or simply a game of the sleeping mind? You can also discuss the functions and causes of dreams, like sleeping with anxiety, eating before bed, and prophecies.
  • Investigate the main reasons why religious cults are powerful and appealing to the masses, referring to individual cases.
  • Investigate the impact of religion on the crime rate in a particular region.

Tip : Narrow down this research title by choosing to focus on a particular age group, say children or teenagers, or family. Alternatively, you can focus on a particular crime in the research to make the paper more extensive.

  • Explore reasons why Martin Luther decided to split with the Catholic church.
  • Discuss the circumstances in Siddhartha’s life that led to him becoming the Buddha.

Tip : It is important to remove sentiments from your research and base your points instead on clear evidence from a sound study. This ensures your title of research does not lead to unsubstantiated value judgments, which reduces the quality of the paper.

  • Discuss how the steel sword, gunpowder, biological warfare, longbow, or atomic bomb has changed the nature of warfare.

Tip : For this example of the research problem, choose only one of these technological developments or compare two or more to have a rich research paper.

  • Explore the changes computers, tablets, and smartphones have brought to human behaviors and culture, using published information and personal experience.

Tip : Approach each research study example in a research paper context or buy research paper online , giving a formal but objective view of the subject.

  • Are railroads and trains primary forces in the industrialization, exploitation, and settlement of your homeland or continent?
  • Discuss how the use of fossil fuels has changed or shaped the world.

Tip : Narrow down this title of the research study to focus on a local or particular area or one effect of fossil fuels, like oil spill pollution.

  • Discuss what progress countries have made with artificial intelligence. You can focus on one named country or compare the progress of one country with another.
  • Investigate the factual status of global warming – that is, is it a reality or a hoax? If it is a reality, explore the primary causes and how humanity can make a difference.
  • Conduct in-depth research on endangered wildlife species in your community and discuss why they have become endangered. You can also enumerate what steps the community can take to prevent these species from going extinct and increase their chances of survival.
  • Investigate the environmental soundness of the power sources in your country or community. Then, recommend alternative energy sources that might be best suited for the area and why.
  • Consider an area close to wildlife reserves and national parks, and see whether oil and mineral exploration has occurred there. Discuss whether this action should be allowed or not, with fact-backed reasons.
  • Investigate how the use and abolishment of DDT have affected the population of birds in your country.

Tip : Each example research title requires that you consult authoritative scientific reports to improve the quality of your paper. Furthermore, specificity and preciseness are required in each example of research title and problem, which only an authority source can provide.

  • Discuss the importance of a major historical event and why it was so important in the day. These events can include the assassination of John F. Kennedy or some revolutionary document like the Magna Carta.
  • Consider voyagers such as the Vikings, Chinese, as well as native populations and investigate whether Columbus discovered America first.
  • Choose a named historical group, family, or individual through their biographies, examining them for reader responses.
  • Research people of different cultural orientations and their responses to the acts of others who live around them.
  • Investigate natural disasters in a named country and how the government has responded to them. For example, explore how the response of the New Orleans government to natural disasters has changed since Hurricane Katrina.

Tip : Focus this research title sample on one particular country or natural disaster or compare the responses of two countries with each other.

  • Explore the educational policy, “no child left behind,” investigating its benefits and drawbacks.
  • Investigate the concept of plagiarism in the twenty-first century, its consequences, and its prevalence in modern universities. Take a step further to investigate how and why many students don’t understand the gravity of their errors.
  • Do in-depth research on bullying in schools, explaining the seriousness of the problem in your area in particular. Also, recommend actions schools, teachers, and parents can take to improve the situation if anything.
  • Explore the place of religion in public schools; if it has a place, explain why, and if it does not, explain why not.
  • Does a student’s financial background have any effect on his or her academic performance? In this sample research title, you can compare students from different financial backgrounds, from wealthy to average, and their scores on standardized tests.
  • Is spanking one’s child considered child abuse; if so, why? In this research problem example for students, consider whether or not parents should be able to spank their children.
  • Investigate the relationship between family health and nutrition, focusing on particular nutrition. This example of the title of the research study, for instance, can focus on the relationship between breastfeeding and baby health.
  • Elucidate on, if any, the benefits of having a home-cooked meal and sitting down as a family to eat together.
  • Explore the effect of fast-food restaurants on family health and nutrition, and whether or not they should be regulated.
  • Research local food producers and farms in your community, pinpointing how much of your diet is acquired from them.

Tip : These are great research titles from which you can coin research topics for STEM students .

  • Compare and contrast the two major operating systems: Mac and Windows, and discuss which one is better.

Tip : This title of the research study example can lead to strong uninformed opinions on the matter. However, it is important to investigate and discuss facts about the two operating systems, basing your conclusions on these.

  • Explain the effect of spell checkers, autocorrect functions, and grammar checkers on the writing skills of computer users. Have these tools improved users’ writing skills or weakened them?

Tip : For this example of title research, it is better to consider more than one of these tools to write a comprehensive paper.

  • Discuss the role(s) artificial intelligence is playing now or will likely play in the future as regards human evolution.
  • Identify and investigate the next groundbreaking development in computer science (like the metaverse), explaining why you believe it will be important.
  • Discuss a particular trendsetting technological tool, like blockchain technology, and how it has benefited different sectors.

Tip : For this research title example, you may want to focus on the effect of one tool on one particular sector. This way, you can investigate this example of research and thesis statement about social media more thoroughly and give as many details as possible.

  • Consider your personal experiences as well as close friends’ and families experiences. Then, determine how marketing has invaded your lives and whether these impersonal communications are more positive than negative or vice versa.
  • Investigate the regulations (or lack thereof) that apply to marketing items to children in your region. Do you think these regulations are unfounded, right, or inadequate?
  • Investigate the merits and demerits of outsourcing customer services; you can compare the views of businesses with those of their customers.
  • How has the communication we do through blog sites, messaging, social media, email, and other online platforms improved interpersonal communications if it has?
  • Can understanding culture change the way you do business? Discuss how.

Tip : Ensure you share your reasoning on this title of the research study example and provide evidence-backed information to support your points.

  • Learn everything you can about eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia, as well as their causes, and symptoms. Then, investigate and discuss the impact of its significance and recommend actions that might improve the situation.
  • Research a major development in women’s history, like the admission of women to higher institutions and the legalization of abortion. Discuss the short-term and (or) long-term implications of the named event or development.
  • Discuss gender inequality in the workplace – for instance, the fact that women tend to earn less than men for doing the same job. Provide specific real-life examples as you explain the reasons for this and recommend solutions to the problem.
  • How have beauty contests helped women: have they empowered them in society or objectified them?

Tip : You may shift the focus of this topic research example to female strippers or women who act in pornographic movies.

  • Investigate exceptional businesswomen in the 21st century; you can focus on one or compare two or more.

Tip : When writing on the title of a research example related to women, avoid using persuasion tactics; instead, be tactful and professional in presenting your points.

  • Discuss the unique nature and implications of Donald Trump’s presidency on the United States and the world.
  • Investigate the conditions and forces related to the advent and rise of Nazi Germany. Shift the focus of this title research example on major wars like WWI or the American Civil War.
  • Is the enormous amount of money spent during election campaigns a legitimate expense?
  • Investigate a named major political scandal that recently occurred in your region or country. Discuss how it started, how its news spread, and its impacts on individuals in that area.
  • Discuss the impacts British rule had on India.
  • Investigate the rate of incarceration in your region and compare it with that of other countries or other regions.
  • Is incarcerating criminals an effective solution in promoting the rehabilitation of criminals and controlling crime rates?
  • Consider various perspectives on the issue of gun control and coin several argumentative essay topics on the matter.
  • Why do drivers continue to text while driving despite legal implications and dire consequences?
  • Discuss the legality of people taking their own lives due to suffering from a debilitating terminal disease.

Each example of the research title provided in this article will make for a rich, information-dense research paper. However, you have a part to play in researching thoroughly on the example of the research study. To simplify the entire process for you, hiring our writing services is key as you wouldn’t have to worry about choosing topics. Our team of skilled writers knows the right subject that suits your research and how to readily get materials on them.

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 113 great research paper topics.

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One of the hardest parts of writing a research paper can be just finding a good topic to write about. Fortunately we've done the hard work for you and have compiled a list of 113 interesting research paper topics. They've been organized into ten categories and cover a wide range of subjects so you can easily find the best topic for you.

In addition to the list of good research topics, we've included advice on what makes a good research paper topic and how you can use your topic to start writing a great paper.

What Makes a Good Research Paper Topic?

Not all research paper topics are created equal, and you want to make sure you choose a great topic before you start writing. Below are the three most important factors to consider to make sure you choose the best research paper topics.

#1: It's Something You're Interested In

A paper is always easier to write if you're interested in the topic, and you'll be more motivated to do in-depth research and write a paper that really covers the entire subject. Even if a certain research paper topic is getting a lot of buzz right now or other people seem interested in writing about it, don't feel tempted to make it your topic unless you genuinely have some sort of interest in it as well.

#2: There's Enough Information to Write a Paper

Even if you come up with the absolute best research paper topic and you're so excited to write about it, you won't be able to produce a good paper if there isn't enough research about the topic. This can happen for very specific or specialized topics, as well as topics that are too new to have enough research done on them at the moment. Easy research paper topics will always be topics with enough information to write a full-length paper.

Trying to write a research paper on a topic that doesn't have much research on it is incredibly hard, so before you decide on a topic, do a bit of preliminary searching and make sure you'll have all the information you need to write your paper.

#3: It Fits Your Teacher's Guidelines

Don't get so carried away looking at lists of research paper topics that you forget any requirements or restrictions your teacher may have put on research topic ideas. If you're writing a research paper on a health-related topic, deciding to write about the impact of rap on the music scene probably won't be allowed, but there may be some sort of leeway. For example, if you're really interested in current events but your teacher wants you to write a research paper on a history topic, you may be able to choose a topic that fits both categories, like exploring the relationship between the US and North Korea. No matter what, always get your research paper topic approved by your teacher first before you begin writing.

113 Good Research Paper Topics

Below are 113 good research topics to help you get you started on your paper. We've organized them into ten categories to make it easier to find the type of research paper topics you're looking for.

Arts/Culture

  • Discuss the main differences in art from the Italian Renaissance and the Northern Renaissance .
  • Analyze the impact a famous artist had on the world.
  • How is sexism portrayed in different types of media (music, film, video games, etc.)? Has the amount/type of sexism changed over the years?
  • How has the music of slaves brought over from Africa shaped modern American music?
  • How has rap music evolved in the past decade?
  • How has the portrayal of minorities in the media changed?

music-277279_640

Current Events

  • What have been the impacts of China's one child policy?
  • How have the goals of feminists changed over the decades?
  • How has the Trump presidency changed international relations?
  • Analyze the history of the relationship between the United States and North Korea.
  • What factors contributed to the current decline in the rate of unemployment?
  • What have been the impacts of states which have increased their minimum wage?
  • How do US immigration laws compare to immigration laws of other countries?
  • How have the US's immigration laws changed in the past few years/decades?
  • How has the Black Lives Matter movement affected discussions and view about racism in the US?
  • What impact has the Affordable Care Act had on healthcare in the US?
  • What factors contributed to the UK deciding to leave the EU (Brexit)?
  • What factors contributed to China becoming an economic power?
  • Discuss the history of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies  (some of which tokenize the S&P 500 Index on the blockchain) .
  • Do students in schools that eliminate grades do better in college and their careers?
  • Do students from wealthier backgrounds score higher on standardized tests?
  • Do students who receive free meals at school get higher grades compared to when they weren't receiving a free meal?
  • Do students who attend charter schools score higher on standardized tests than students in public schools?
  • Do students learn better in same-sex classrooms?
  • How does giving each student access to an iPad or laptop affect their studies?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of the Montessori Method ?
  • Do children who attend preschool do better in school later on?
  • What was the impact of the No Child Left Behind act?
  • How does the US education system compare to education systems in other countries?
  • What impact does mandatory physical education classes have on students' health?
  • Which methods are most effective at reducing bullying in schools?
  • Do homeschoolers who attend college do as well as students who attended traditional schools?
  • Does offering tenure increase or decrease quality of teaching?
  • How does college debt affect future life choices of students?
  • Should graduate students be able to form unions?

body_highschoolsc

  • What are different ways to lower gun-related deaths in the US?
  • How and why have divorce rates changed over time?
  • Is affirmative action still necessary in education and/or the workplace?
  • Should physician-assisted suicide be legal?
  • How has stem cell research impacted the medical field?
  • How can human trafficking be reduced in the United States/world?
  • Should people be able to donate organs in exchange for money?
  • Which types of juvenile punishment have proven most effective at preventing future crimes?
  • Has the increase in US airport security made passengers safer?
  • Analyze the immigration policies of certain countries and how they are similar and different from one another.
  • Several states have legalized recreational marijuana. What positive and negative impacts have they experienced as a result?
  • Do tariffs increase the number of domestic jobs?
  • Which prison reforms have proven most effective?
  • Should governments be able to censor certain information on the internet?
  • Which methods/programs have been most effective at reducing teen pregnancy?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of the Keto diet?
  • How effective are different exercise regimes for losing weight and maintaining weight loss?
  • How do the healthcare plans of various countries differ from each other?
  • What are the most effective ways to treat depression ?
  • What are the pros and cons of genetically modified foods?
  • Which methods are most effective for improving memory?
  • What can be done to lower healthcare costs in the US?
  • What factors contributed to the current opioid crisis?
  • Analyze the history and impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic .
  • Are low-carbohydrate or low-fat diets more effective for weight loss?
  • How much exercise should the average adult be getting each week?
  • Which methods are most effective to get parents to vaccinate their children?
  • What are the pros and cons of clean needle programs?
  • How does stress affect the body?
  • Discuss the history of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
  • What were the causes and effects of the Salem Witch Trials?
  • Who was responsible for the Iran-Contra situation?
  • How has New Orleans and the government's response to natural disasters changed since Hurricane Katrina?
  • What events led to the fall of the Roman Empire?
  • What were the impacts of British rule in India ?
  • Was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary?
  • What were the successes and failures of the women's suffrage movement in the United States?
  • What were the causes of the Civil War?
  • How did Abraham Lincoln's assassination impact the country and reconstruction after the Civil War?
  • Which factors contributed to the colonies winning the American Revolution?
  • What caused Hitler's rise to power?
  • Discuss how a specific invention impacted history.
  • What led to Cleopatra's fall as ruler of Egypt?
  • How has Japan changed and evolved over the centuries?
  • What were the causes of the Rwandan genocide ?

main_lincoln

  • Why did Martin Luther decide to split with the Catholic Church?
  • Analyze the history and impact of a well-known cult (Jonestown, Manson family, etc.)
  • How did the sexual abuse scandal impact how people view the Catholic Church?
  • How has the Catholic church's power changed over the past decades/centuries?
  • What are the causes behind the rise in atheism/ agnosticism in the United States?
  • What were the influences in Siddhartha's life resulted in him becoming the Buddha?
  • How has media portrayal of Islam/Muslims changed since September 11th?

Science/Environment

  • How has the earth's climate changed in the past few decades?
  • How has the use and elimination of DDT affected bird populations in the US?
  • Analyze how the number and severity of natural disasters have increased in the past few decades.
  • Analyze deforestation rates in a certain area or globally over a period of time.
  • How have past oil spills changed regulations and cleanup methods?
  • How has the Flint water crisis changed water regulation safety?
  • What are the pros and cons of fracking?
  • What impact has the Paris Climate Agreement had so far?
  • What have NASA's biggest successes and failures been?
  • How can we improve access to clean water around the world?
  • Does ecotourism actually have a positive impact on the environment?
  • Should the US rely on nuclear energy more?
  • What can be done to save amphibian species currently at risk of extinction?
  • What impact has climate change had on coral reefs?
  • How are black holes created?
  • Are teens who spend more time on social media more likely to suffer anxiety and/or depression?
  • How will the loss of net neutrality affect internet users?
  • Analyze the history and progress of self-driving vehicles.
  • How has the use of drones changed surveillance and warfare methods?
  • Has social media made people more or less connected?
  • What progress has currently been made with artificial intelligence ?
  • Do smartphones increase or decrease workplace productivity?
  • What are the most effective ways to use technology in the classroom?
  • How is Google search affecting our intelligence?
  • When is the best age for a child to begin owning a smartphone?
  • Has frequent texting reduced teen literacy rates?

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How to Write a Great Research Paper

Even great research paper topics won't give you a great research paper if you don't hone your topic before and during the writing process. Follow these three tips to turn good research paper topics into great papers.

#1: Figure Out Your Thesis Early

Before you start writing a single word of your paper, you first need to know what your thesis will be. Your thesis is a statement that explains what you intend to prove/show in your paper. Every sentence in your research paper will relate back to your thesis, so you don't want to start writing without it!

As some examples, if you're writing a research paper on if students learn better in same-sex classrooms, your thesis might be "Research has shown that elementary-age students in same-sex classrooms score higher on standardized tests and report feeling more comfortable in the classroom."

If you're writing a paper on the causes of the Civil War, your thesis might be "While the dispute between the North and South over slavery is the most well-known cause of the Civil War, other key causes include differences in the economies of the North and South, states' rights, and territorial expansion."

#2: Back Every Statement Up With Research

Remember, this is a research paper you're writing, so you'll need to use lots of research to make your points. Every statement you give must be backed up with research, properly cited the way your teacher requested. You're allowed to include opinions of your own, but they must also be supported by the research you give.

#3: Do Your Research Before You Begin Writing

You don't want to start writing your research paper and then learn that there isn't enough research to back up the points you're making, or, even worse, that the research contradicts the points you're trying to make!

Get most of your research on your good research topics done before you begin writing. Then use the research you've collected to create a rough outline of what your paper will cover and the key points you're going to make. This will help keep your paper clear and organized, and it'll ensure you have enough research to produce a strong paper.

What's Next?

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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Free Research Title Generator

Looking for a creative and catchy title for a research proposal, thesis, dissertation, essay, or other project? Try our research title maker! It is free, easy to use, and 100% online.

Welcome to our free online research title generator. You can get your title in 3 simple steps:

  • Type your search term and choose one or more subjects from the list,
  • Click on the “Search topic” button and choose among the ideas that the title generator has proposed,
  • Refresh the list by clicking the button one more time if you need more options.

Please try again with some different keywords or subjects.

  • ️✅ Research Title Generator: 4 Benefits
  • ️👣 Making a Research Title in 3 Steps
  • ️🔗 References

Creating a topic for the research is one of the most significant events in a researcher’s life. Whether it is a thesis, dissertation, research proposal , or term paper, all of these assignments are time-consuming and require a lot of effort.

It is essential to choose a topic that you like and are genuinely interested in because you will spend a lot of time working on it. Our research title generator can help you with this crucial task. By delegating this work to our research title maker, you can find the best title for your research.

✅ Research Title Generator: 4 Benefits

There are many different research title makers online, so what makes our thesis title generator stand out?

👣 How to Make a Research Title: 3 Simple Steps

Research can be the most stressful period in a student’s life. However, creating a title is not as hard as it may seem. You can choose a topic for your paper in three simple steps.

The picture describes the 3 steps of research title making process.

Step 1: Brainstorm

The first step to take before getting into your research is to brainstorm . To choose a good topic, you can do the following:

  • Think of all your interests related to your field of study. What is the reason you've chosen this field? Think of the topics of your area that you like reading about in your free time.
  • Go through your past papers and choose the ones you enjoyed writing. You can use some lingering issues from your previous work as a starting point for your research.
  • Go through current events in your field to get an idea of what is going on. Whether you are writing a literary analysis , gender studies research, or any other kind of paper, you can always find tons of articles related to your field online. You can go through them to see what issue is getting more attention.
  • Try to find any gaps in current researches in your field. Use only credible sources while searching. Try to add something new to your field with your research. However, do not choose a completely new issue.
  • Discuss what topic is suitable for you with your professors. Professor knows a lot of information about current and previous researches, so try to discuss it with them.
  • Discuss lingering issues with your classmates. Try to ask what questions do they have about your field.
  • Think of your desired future work . Your research might serve as a starting point for your future career, so think of your desired job.
  • Write down 5-10 topics that you might be interested in. Ph.D. or Master’s research should be specific, so write down all the appropriate topics that you came up with.

Step 2: Narrow It Down

As you are done brainstorming, you have a list of possible research topics. Now, it is time to narrow your list down.

Go through your list again and eliminate the topics that have already been well-researched before. Remember that you need to add something new to your field of study, so choose a topic that can contribute to it. However, try not to select a topic not researched at all, as it might be difficult.

Once you get a general idea of what your research will be about, choose a research supervisor. Think of a professor who is an expert in your desired area of research. Talk to them and tell them the reason why you want to work with them and why you chose this area of study.

As you eliminated some irrelevant topics and shortened your list to 1-3 topics, you can discuss them with your supervisor. Since your supervisor has a better insight into your field of study, they can recommend a topic that can be most suitable for you. Make sure to elaborate on each topic and the reason you chose it.

Step 3: Formulate a Research Question

The next step is to create a research question. This is probably the most important part of the process. Later you'll turn your research question into a thesis statement .

Learn as many materials as you can to figure out the type of questions you can ask for your research. Make use of any articles, journals, libraries, etc. Write notes as you learn, and highlight the essential parts.

First, make any questions you can think of. Choose the ones that you have an interest in and try to rewrite them. As you rewrite them, you can get a different perspective on each of the questions. An example of the potential question:

How did the economic situation in the 19th century affect literature?

Think of a question that you can answer and research best. To do it, think of the most convenient research process and available materials that you have access to. Do you need to do lab testing, quantitative analysis, or any kind of experiment? What skills do you have that can be useful?

Discuss the question that you came up with your supervisor. Get their feedback as they might have their own opinion on that topic and give you creative advice.

❓ Research Title Maker FAQ

❓ how to make a research title.

To make a research title:

  • Brainstorm your field of study first.
  • Think of the topics that you are interested in.
  • Research current events in your study area and discuss your possible topics with your professors and classmates.
  • Avoid random topics that are not well-researched.

❓ What is a working title for a research paper?

To make a good research paper title, analyze your area of study and all the related current events. Discuss your possible topics with your classmates and professors to get their opinion on them. You can also use our research title maker for free.

❓ What is the title page of a research paper?

The title page of the research paper is the first paper of your work. It includes your name, research type, and other essential information about your research.

❓ How to title a research proposal?

The research proposal title should be clear enough to showcase your research. Think of a statement that best describes your work and try to create a title that reflects it.

🔗 References

  • Research Topics | Frontiers
  • Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper
  • Strategies for Selecting a Research Topic - ResearchGate
  • The First Steps: Choosing a Topic and a Thesis Supervisor
  • How to Pick a Masters Thesis Topic | by Peter Campbell

Help | Advanced Search

Computer Science > Machine Learning

Title: mixtral of experts.

Abstract: We introduce Mixtral 8x7B, a Sparse Mixture of Experts (SMoE) language model. Mixtral has the same architecture as Mistral 7B, with the difference that each layer is composed of 8 feedforward blocks (i.e. experts). For every token, at each layer, a router network selects two experts to process the current state and combine their outputs. Even though each token only sees two experts, the selected experts can be different at each timestep. As a result, each token has access to 47B parameters, but only uses 13B active parameters during inference. Mixtral was trained with a context size of 32k tokens and it outperforms or matches Llama 2 70B and GPT-3.5 across all evaluated benchmarks. In particular, Mixtral vastly outperforms Llama 2 70B on mathematics, code generation, and multilingual benchmarks. We also provide a model fine-tuned to follow instructions, Mixtral 8x7B - Instruct, that surpasses GPT-3.5 Turbo, Claude-2.1, Gemini Pro, and Llama 2 70B - chat model on human benchmarks. Both the base and instruct models are released under the Apache 2.0 license.

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Haste or Waste? The Role of Presale in Residential Housing

This paper provides the first theory and evidence on the role of presale policies in the residential housing market. We start with constructing a novel dataset of unfinished projects, presale policies, and land auction outcomes across 270 major cities in China. We then identify 2,330 unfinished residential projects from 2010 to 2017 on a citizen complaint website run by the central government. We find that both presale criterion and postsale supervision of construction costs relate to a lower probability of unfinished projects. But only presale criterion relates negatively to the pace of new housing development, measured by developers' multitasking and land auction outcomes. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the average bundle of presale policies is inferior to the Pareto frontier in our sampled cities. Tightening the regulation on postsale supervision by 2 standard deviations may lead to a 58% reduction in the occurrence of unfinished projects, while keeping the pace of new housing development unchanged. Eliminating unfinished projects would entail a drastic increase in both presale criterion and postsale supervision, with slower housing development.

We thank Liuqing Wang, Junge Yao, and Zhinuo Chen for research assistance. Comments and discussions from Sebastian Galiani, Jiaying Hu, Xiang Li, Chao Ma, Yang Su, Junhan Xiong, Wenjie Zhan, and attendees of seminars at Peking University are greatly appreciated. None of us has significant financial interests in any real estate developers in China. All rights reserved. All errors are ours. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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10 facts about americans and alcohol as ‘dry january’ begins.

As Americans hang fresh calendars and debut New Year’s resolutions, some will swear off alcohol, whether as part of a “Dry January” challenge or a longer-term goal . Here are 10 key facts about Americans’ behaviors and attitudes when it comes to drinking alcohol and how these have changed over time, drawn from surveys and sales data.

Pew Research Center conducted this analysis to understand Americans’ experiences with alcohol and how they have changed over time. Survey data comes from Gallup and the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future Survey . Data on Americans’ drinking habits comes from the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) , and alcohol sales data is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s monthly retail sales survey .

A line chart showing that a majority of U.S. adults say they drink alcohol

Overall, 62% of U.S. adults say they ever drink alcohol, while 38% abstain completely, according to a July 2023 Gallup survey . Gallup has asked Americans for more than eight decades whether they have “had occasion to use alcoholic beverages such as liquor, wine or beer.” During that span, majorities have consistently said they consume alcohol. This share peaked in the late 1970s, when 71% of adults said they drank alcohol.

Adults ages 35 to 54, those with a college degree, those with household incomes of $100,000 or more, and those who attend church less than once a week are all more likely than other Americans to drink alcohol.

A bar chart showing that middle-aged U.S. adults, those with higher incomes and college graduates are more likely to drink

Most adults who consume alcohol have done so recently, according to the July Gallup survey. Among adults who drink, 69% say they last had a drink within the past week. This includes 32% whose most recent drink was in the last 24 hours, and 37% who most recently had one within the last two to seven days. Another 32% say they last consumed alcohol more than a week ago. 

About one-in-five adults who drink alcohol (19%) say they sometimes drink more than they think they should, the Gallup survey shows. Some demographic groups are more likely than others to say this:

  • Men: Men are more likely than women to say they sometimes overindulge (21% vs. 16%).
  • Younger adults: About two-in-ten adults younger than 35 (22%) and ages 35 to 54 (20%) say this, compared with 14% of those 55 and older.
  • Upper-income adults: 24% of adults with annual household incomes of at least $100,000 say they occasionally drink too much, compared with 10% of those with household incomes of less than $40,000.

Among adults who don’t drink, the most common reason given is that they just don’t want to, the Gallup survey found. About a quarter of nondrinkers (24%) say in an open-ended question that they have no desire to drink or do not want to.

Other common answers include that they do not like drinking (16%); it is unhealthy (14%); they are afraid of the consequences (13%); and they had a bad past experience with alcohol (13%).

On average, Americans have been consuming more alcohol in recent years, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) , which has data going back to 1970. In 2021, the most recent year with data, the average American age 21 or older consumed 2.83 gallons of pure alcohol – the equivalent of about 603 “standard drinks.” (A standard drink, per the NIAAA , contains 0.6 ounces of alcohol.)

A line chart showing that for the average American, alcohol intake has gone up in recent years

Per-capita alcohol consumption peaked in the early 1980s at 3.28 gallons, or almost 700 drinks. It bottomed out in the late 1990s at 2.45 gallons per person, or about 523 drinks.

A chart showing that Americans are drinking less beer - and more wine - than they used to

Americans drink less beer and more wine than they used to, according to the NIAAA. Since 1970, the peak year for beer consumption was 1981, when the typical American age 21 or older drank 36.7 gallons. By 2021, beer consumption had fallen to 26.5 gallons per person. Over those four decades, the amount of wine the average American drank annually rose from 3.2 gallons to 3.8 gallons. Meanwhile, consumption of distilled spirits dropped slightly, from 3.0 to 2.8 gallons. Looked at another way, 17.4% of all alcohol consumed by Americans in 2021 came from wine, up from 12.0% in 1971. The share coming from beer fell from 44.6% to 42.3% during the same period, while the share coming from spirits fell from 43.5% to 40.3%.

Per-capita alcohol consumption appears to be highest in the West and lowest in the South, based on the NIAAA data. On the state level, it appears to be highest in New Hampshire and Delaware, and lowest in Utah. However, state-level consumption estimates can be affected by such factors as sales to people from neighboring states (especially when there are significant differences in alcohol tax rates) and alcohol consumption by tourists (think Nevada, Florida, and Washington, D.C.).

A U.S. map showing the per-capita pure alcohol consumption by state among adults ages 21 and older

Young adults today are less likely to drink than young adults two decades ago – but older adults are more likely to do so, according to Gallup . The share of adults ages 18 to 34 who say they  ever drink dropped from 72% in 2001-03 to 62% in 2021-23. (Gallup looked at the data in three-year time periods to allow for reliable age-group analysis.)

A line chart showing that fewer young adults in the U.S. drink today than two decades ago

Young adults who drink, meanwhile, are less likely than those two decades ago to have had a drink recently : 61% say they had a drink in the week before the survey, compared with 67% in the early 2000s. And the share who say they sometimes drink more than they think they should has declined from 28% in the early 2000s to 22% now.

Americans 55 and older, on the other hand, are more likely than their counterparts two decades ago to say they do all of these things. Among those ages 35 to 54, the shares who do these things have remained relatively stable over time.

Underage drinking among U.S. teens has declined over the last 20 years, according to the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future survey . In 2023, 46% of 12th graders said they had consumed alcohol in the 12 months prior to the survey, as did 31% of 10th graders and 15% of eighth graders. These shares are down from 2001, when 73% of 12th graders, 64% of 10th graders and 42% of eighth graders said they had drunk alcohol in the previous year.

Across all three grade levels, the shares who said they had drunk alcohol in the 30 days prior to the survey and who reported binge drinking – having five or more drinks in a row during the last two weeks – also declined between 2001 and 2023.

Annual sales at beer, wine and liquor stores have been on the rise, typically peaking each year in December. Even after adjusting for inflation, sales at beer, wine and liquor stores rose gradually throughout the 2000s and 2010s, until spiking in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic . Since midsummer 2020, sales volume has gradually fallen, though it remains above pre-pandemic levels. (Not all alcoholic beverages are bought at beer, wine and liquor stores, but these figures provide insight into broader trends.)

A line chart showing that year after year, December is the peak month for U.S. retail alcohol sales

In a typical year, sales are highest in December. In 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s monthly retail sales survey , December sales at such retailers were 37% above the average for the other 11 months of the year. Conversely, January and February are typically the slowest months for those sellers.

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What to Know About the Science of Reading

An effort to overhaul how children learn to read, known as the science of reading movement, is sweeping the country. Here’s where it stands.

A third-grader sits on a bean bag chair with a book at Good Springs Elementary School in Nevada.

By Dana Goldstein

During an era of intense politicization of education, there has been rare bipartisan consensus on one issue: the need to overhaul how children learn to read.

Over the past five years, more than 40 states have passed laws that aim to revamp literacy instruction. And on Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York announced a proposal to require schools to use “scientifically proven” reading curriculums by 2025, and to invest $10 million in retraining teachers.

The effort sweeping the country is known as the science of reading movement. Here’s what to know about it, and where it stands.

What is the science of reading?

There is no single definition of the science of reading. But the key idea is that teaching strategies should align with a wide body of cognitive research on how young children learn to read. That research , amassed over decades, shows that in addition to a broad vocabulary, children need to understand phonics, or the relationship between letters and the sounds of spoken language.

While some children seem to pick up reading naturally, research shows that many need explicit, carefully sequenced instruction in the letter combinations and spelling patterns that form the English language. Without explicit teaching, some students — including children who are read to every day in homes filled with books — will not become proficient and confident readers.

Proponents of the science of reading, including leading brain researchers and parents of children with dyslexia, have pushed hard to change instruction over the past decade.

How does it differ from other teaching strategies?

The science of reading represents a significant shift for the nation’s school system. For the past two decades, a school of thought known as balanced literacy dominated how colleges prepared future teachers for the classroom and how those teachers taught.

The scholarly roots of balanced literacy are in the education and English departments of universities. Brain researchers, examining reading with M.R.I. machines, worked in other departments. As is common in academia, the two groups rarely shared ideas or collaborated.

Balanced literacy emphasizes the importance of surrounding children with books and allowing them to spend quiet time reading literature that interests them. It includes some phonics, but the instruction is less structured. Letter-sound relationships may be introduced as they come up in stories or through classroom games, instead of in a sequence designed to build foundational skills.

Balanced literacy curriculums have often relied on teaching strategies that have been discredited , such as coaching children to guess difficult words by using pictures and the first letter, instead of sounding out the entire word from beginning to end. Educators and researchers have said that technique leaves children ill-prepared to tackle more difficult texts, without illustrations, as they get older.

Critics have also argued that balanced literacy shortchanges vocabulary and knowledge building, by allowing teachers and students too much freedom to select reading material, instead of guiding them to challenging texts that build knowledge in various subjects such as social studies, science and the arts.

Three major American leaders of the balanced literacy movement — Lucy Calkins, Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell — have rolled out changes to their reading curriculums under political and financial pressure from the science of reading movement.

But they have also warned about what they see as risks of too much phonics instruction and have pointed out that past phonics-centric reform efforts, such as the Reading First program under President George W. Bush, yielded limited results.

Is the science of reading movement working?

In some big ways, yes. States are passing laws requiring instructional change, and curriculums are being revised to include more foundational phonics and richer reading material. Many schools are also retraining teachers.

Universities are shifting, too, by distancing themselves from balanced literacy theorists and promising to change the way they prepare future educators.

New York has been a focal point. Under Mayor Eric Adams of New York City, who is dyslexic, the nation’s largest school district has required schools to abandon balanced literacy and select from one of several reading curriculums better aligned to cognitive research.

But there are many challenges to the overhaul, some of which could affect whether the efforts achieve a key goal: raising students’ reading test scores.

Teachers need to not only be retrained — an investment of time and money — but also be brought along with the efforts so they feel invested in the work. Another big cost is that classroom libraries need to be replaced in many elementary schools, as there are few books within them designed to build children’s phonics skills. Outdated curriculums need to replaced.

Across the country, initial research on these efforts has been hopeful, but limited in scope.

Dana Goldstein covers education and families for The Times.  More about Dana Goldstein

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Claudine Gay's resignation highlights the trouble with regulating academic writing

Vanessa Romo

Vanessa Romo

Ayana Archie

titles of research papers

Claudine Gay speaks during commencement ceremonies at Harvard University in May. Gay resigned as Harvard's president Tuesday amid plagiarism accusations. Steven Senne/AP hide caption

Claudine Gay speaks during commencement ceremonies at Harvard University in May. Gay resigned as Harvard's president Tuesday amid plagiarism accusations.

Harvard University President Claudine Gay resigned her post on Tuesday following controversial congressional testimony over campus antisemitism and amid mounting allegations of plagiarism that have plagued the once-rising star of academia in recent weeks.

Gay's resignation underscores the intense scrutiny confronting university presidents who are the public faces of the institutions they lead.

Gay is not the first head of an academic institution unseated by allegations of plagiarism. Marc Tessier-Lavigne resigned last year as Stanford University's president after an investigation opened by the board of trustees found that several academic reports he authored contained manipulated data. However, a report commissioned by the board concluded that Tessier-Lavigne did not have a big role in publishing the facts in question on the reports he co-authored, or had actual knowledge of any manipulation of research data for the reports in which he was the principal author.

In 2021, Robert Caslen resigned as president of the University of South Carolina after plagiarizing part of a speech. Caslen, a retired Army lieutenant general, apologized afterward. "I was searching for words about resilience in adversity and when they were transcribed into the speech, I failed to ensure its attribution. I take full responsibility for this oversight."

Here's the latest fallout at Harvard, MIT and Penn after the antisemitism hearing

Here's the latest fallout at Harvard, MIT and Penn after the antisemitism hearing

Harvard affirms President Claudine Gay will not step down over antisemitism testimony

Harvard affirms President Claudine Gay will not step down over antisemitism testimony

Gay, who took office in July, made the leap from Harvard professor to president in about 16 years, a trajectory that The Harvard Crimson student newspaper described as " meteoric ." But her downfall raises questions about how people in such high-profile positions can find themselves facing such charges in an age when advanced technology so easily enables detection of alleged cases of plagiarism.

Experts additionally say improved technology could bring forth more alleged transgressions yet to be unearthed from past works.

So how does a sought-after academic star end up here?

Dave Tomar, a self-described "professional cheat" who spent about a decade ghostwriting academic papers for undergraduates and postdoctoral students, said it's easy to understand how Gay's writing went undetected for so long.

"I think 20 years ago, the alarm bells weren't really raised as much," Tomar, author of The Complete Guide to Contract Cheating in Higher Education , told NPR. "It's a no-brainer to me that she was just sort of right ahead of the curve of detection at the time."

That was largely due to the absence of plagiarism-detection technology, he said, noting that the 1990s and even early 2000s were the nascent days of the internet. Research was still conducted in physical libraries using card catalogs. It wasn't unusual for papers to be written out by hand and then typed into a computer or word processor. And the few software tools that eventually became available back then were nowhere near as sophisticated as what exists today.

Without the plagiarism-detection software programs that are now in use, professors were encouraged to use their intuition if something felt off with an assignment. They were urged to hold one-on-one meetings to help them assess a student's grasp of the material.

Tomar began his career as a professional cheater during this pre-internet time. "It was really, really easy to get away with Googling and cutting-and-pasting before educators were really hip to it," he recalled.

A college student created an app that can tell whether AI wrote an essay

A college student created an app that can tell whether AI wrote an essay

Still, Sarah Elaine Eaton, author of Plagiarism in Higher Education : Tackling Tough Topics in Academic Integrity , says allegations of plagiarism are still largely handled manually.

"The software is not foolproof — it still requires human intervention," she said.

Additionally, Ph.D. dissertations go through several steps of verification, including being reviewed by a supervisor, an examination committee and peers.

"Supervisors should bear some responsibility for mentoring and shepherding the student to ensure that the quality of the work that they produce is high," Eaton said.

"And the fact that none of this was found until now, the timing is pretty curious," she added.

This bipartisan Senate duo wants to end legacy college admissions

This bipartisan Senate duo wants to end legacy college admissions

The irony, Tomar said, is that Gay's alleged failings are likely only now coming to light because of the endless amounts of data that gets fed into artificial intelligence programs, such as ChatGPT.

He predicts a slew of academic leaders will likely be outed in similar fashion. And while he feels little sympathy for those who are caught having violated an institution's policies, he says that's the wrong thing on which to focus.

"We may be able to retroactively discover what somebody did in the 1990s. But ought we not to be slightly more concerned about what the person who was going to graduate next year is doing?" he asked.

Harvard has not called it plagiarism in Gay's case

It has been a tumultuous episode for Harvard, whose highest governing board, known as the Harvard Corporation, has since noted that Gay has acknowledged " missteps ." In a Dec. 12 statement in which officials addressed the plagiarism charges, the university said an initial review of Gay's published writings "revealed a few instances of inadequate citation."

The corporation added: "While the analysis found no violation of Harvard's standards for research misconduct, President Gay is proactively requesting four corrections in two articles to insert citations and quotation marks that were omitted from the original publications." The articles date back to 2001 and 2017 .

Gay will remain at Harvard as a professor.

In December, right-wing website The Washington Free Beacon reported that it found problems in four of Gay's published papers, including her 1997 dissertation.

American Council on Education president discusses limits on free speech on campuses

Gay, who was the first person of color and the second woman to hold the post at Harvard, has had a spectacular rise throughout her career and in her field of political science. Even in the early days of her career, she was repeatedly courted by the nation's most prestigious institutions.

In her resignation letter, Gay defended her academic record.

"Amidst all of this, it has been distressing to have doubt cast on my commitments to confronting hate and to upholding scholarly rigor — two bedrock values that are fundamental to who I am," she wrote, "and frightening to be subjected to personal attacks and threats fueled by racial animus."

Gay moved to Harvard after being lured away from a tenured position at Stanford University. In her 16-year journey from Harvard professor to president, Gay, who is Black and the daughter of Haitian immigrants, has been praised by colleagues, bosses and students for her originality of thought, rigor and devotion to data.

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  1. How to Write a Research Paper Title with Examples

    Title 1 describes the topic and the method of the study but is not particularly catchy. Title 2 partly describes the topic, but does not give any information about the method of the study—it could simply be a theoretical or opinion piece. Title 3 is somewhat catchier but gives almost no information at all about the article.

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    Here are some Good Examples of Research Paper Title: "Investigating the Relationship Between Sleep Duration and Academic Performance Among College Students" "The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Employment: A Systematic Review" "The Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis"

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    A research paper title summarizes the aim and purpose of your research study. Making a title for your research is one of the most important decisions when writing an article to publish in journals.

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    In scientific writing, titles are given in sentence case. Capitalize only the first word of the text, proper nouns, and genus names. See our examples below. Don't Write your title as a question In most cases, you shouldn't need to frame your title as a question. You have the answers, you know what you found.

  5. Choosing a Title

    The title is the part of a paper that is read the most, and it is usually read first. It is, therefore, the most important element that defines the research study. With this in mind, avoid the following when creating a title: If the title is too long, this usually indicates there are too many unnecessary words.

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    Definition. The title summarizes the main idea or ideas of your study. A good title contains the fewest possible words that adequately describe the contents and/or purpose of your research paper. The title is without doubt the part of a paper that is read the most, and it is usually read first. If the title is too long it usually contains too ...

  7. Writing the title and abstract for a research paper: Being concise

    Table 1 gives a checklist/useful tips for drafting a good title for a research paper.[1,2,3,4,5,6,12] Table 2 presents some of the titles used by the author of this article in his earlier research papers, and the appropriateness of the titles has been commented upon. As an individual exercise, the reader may try to improvise upon the titles ...

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    News 28 July 2020 How to write a good research paper title "Unread science is lost science." Credit: Mykyta Dolmatov/Getty With the influx of publications brought on by the pandemic, it's...

  9. Forging good titles in academic writing

    Revised on July 23, 2023. The title is the first thing your reader will see, and most readers will make their first judgements of your work based on it. For this reason, it's important to think about your titles carefully. In academic writing, the most basic things to remember are that your title should be informative, striking, and appropriate.

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    As the research of Carlo Galli and Stefano Guizzardi points out, many academics have claimed that shorter titles can increase citations by making papers stand out amongst others. Their study found that titles with over 30 words had far fewer citations. Moreover, they outline that verbose or wordy titles had fewer citations.

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    1] Keep it simple, brief and attractive: The primary function of a title is to provide a precise summary of the paper's content. So keep the title brief and clear. Use active verbs instead of complex noun-based phrases, and avoid unnecessary details. Moreover, a good title for a research paper is typically around 10 to 12 words long.

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    Create a research paper outline. Write a first draft of the research paper. Write the introduction. Write a compelling body of text. Write the conclusion. The second draft. The revision process. Research paper checklist. Free lecture slides.

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    5 Simple steps to write a good research paper title. The first thing journal editors and reviewers will see upon receiving your research paper is the title, and will immediately form a view on what they should expect in your research paper. Moreover, the tile of your research paper is the only aspect that will be freely available to readers ...

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    The following steps will help you design your document title. 1. Read the Instructions to Authors. Once you have selected a journal, review the types of titles recently published and read the Instructions to Authors to learn what the journal requires for paper titles. Instructions regarding titles are often brief.

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    Here are two very short titles. The first is from a review article published in 2012 in the Annual Review of Psychology: "Intelligence". This article has had more than 180 citations, placing it in the top 1% in its subject area and publication year (citations and centiles for subject areas taken from Scopus for the period 2012-18). As a ...

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    2. Functions of the Title. The title of a biomedical scientific paper has two main functions (18, 19): (1) to present the main topic or the message of the paper (the answer to the question) and (2) to attract potential readers and evoke their interest to read the paper.In fact, the title tells the readers what the paper is all about (6, 19).The title also provides some keywords for further ...

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    Avoid abbreviations or jargon in your title.3, 4, 9 People from other fields whose research intersects with yours might cite you if they can find your article, but if you use abbreviations or jargon specific to your field, their searches won't uncover your article. Some authors think attracting attention with humor or puns is a good idea, but that practice is actually counterproductive.3, 4 ...

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    Writing Effective Research Paper Titles: Advice and Examples Editing-Queen June 5, 2022 PDT Are you ready to submit your research paper for publication but haven't settled on a title yet? Do you have a title but aren't sure if it will be the right one for the journal editor or research database search engines?

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    As promised, below are eighty research title examples categorized into different areas, including social media research topics. Research Study Examples of Current Events Discuss the peculiar policies of a named country - for example, discuss the impacts of the one-child policy of China.

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    113 Good Research Paper Topics Below are 113 good research topics to help you get you started on your paper. We've organized them into ten categories to make it easier to find the type of research paper topics you're looking for. Arts/Culture Discuss the main differences in art from the Italian Renaissance and the Northern Renaissance.

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  27. What to Know About the Science of Reading

    The science of reading represents a significant shift for the nation's school system. For the past two decades, a school of thought known as balanced literacy dominated how colleges prepared ...

  28. Claudine Gay's resignation highlights the trouble with regulating ...

    Research was still conducted in physical libraries using card catalogs. It wasn't unusual for papers to be written out by hand and then typed into a computer or word processor.