4 Innovative Tips for a Good Research Paper Title

Traditionally, a research paper title performed the same function as the cover page of a book. It grabbed a reader’s attention, elucidated the content of the research paper in a condensed form, and differentiated your paper from several others that existed in the same field of research. Today however, with the advent of internet libraries, electronic search engines and databases, it is the title of your paper that determines how many people will read it and finally cite it.   

Your research paper title must therefore be brief, concise and aptly written that not only captures the attention of a reader but ensures your paper is found when people search terms related to your paper. You need to make your paper

  • Attractive
  • Descriptive
  • Discoverable

All you need now are these 4 tips to create an effective title for your research paper:<>

  1. Use a colon
    It has been found that the discoverability and citations of a research paper title increase manifold if it is written in the following format:  
    ‘Idea: Description’  
    For instance, if I wish to draft a research paper on the ‘Effect of cultural diversities at                      workplace on organizational performance’ then I could rewrite it as  
    ‘Cultural Diversity at work: The effect of cultural mix on organizational performance and processes’  
    The reason is simple; such a title provides much more systematic clarity about what the paper deals with and makes a reader comprehend the title in two parts. While using semi colons and other punctuations like question marks and exclamations are best avoided, a colon is of great use when it comes to research paper titles.
  1. Use appropriate descriptive words
    Be very clear on what are the most commonly used descriptive words for the concepts your research paper discusses.  
    For instance, A research paper on ‘Training and development in an organization’ must include keywords such as ‘teacher’, ‘program’, ‘human resource’ etc. so that even when the keywords are searched along with the main title, your research paper is discovered by the reader.
  1. Make it right sized
    A short and brief title for any research paper is always a good thing, since smaller titles are easier to read on mobile devices, sharing with people on social media like twitter and of course they are much more easily understood. However a research paper title must not be so short that it is unable to capture all the necessary keywords that could make your paper much more read. The adequate length of a research paper title is around 12-15 words.
  1. Use innovative techniques
    If you feel you have covered the necessary scientific keywords and technical terms related to your field in your title, then don’t fear playing around with them and making them creative. This may not have an effect on visibility of your paper, but it definitely makes it more attractive to the reader.
    You could use techniques such as:

Using a quote: You could find a famous quote or a saying that suits the essence of your paper and insert it into your title. An example is


“Boys don’t cry: Boys and sexism in education”   
This research paper title uses a famous saying or a quote to enunciate the content that will be
found in the research paper.  
* Using poetic devices: Poetic devices are language tools used mostly by poets to create a musical and rhythmic edge to their poetry. These could be:

i.      Alliteration : Use of similar sounding alphabets together
  For instance: “Legality, Laws and Livelihood”


ii.      Onomatopoeia: Use of words  to create a sense of sound   
For instance: “Sizzling South Sudan: why oil is not the whole story”


iii.      Oxymoron: Describing lifeless objects like they are alive.  
For instance: “The Cane Is Crying: Notes on Katrina”


                   iv.      Imagery: Use of words to create an image in the  minds of readers  
For Instance: “Green Globe: Sustainability accreditation for tourism’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *