This is a book about the function of the title in the critical approach to the literary work. The book aims to define, establish, and stress all aspects and every type of use made of titles within the genre of the formal essay, research paper, literary analysis/commentary or interpretation, thesis and dissertation—all herein collected under the umbrella designation “academic paper”—thus opening a window onto a subject on which no prior academic textbook exists.
The contents of a text are minted in the coin of title, and the academic paper is no different; indeed, the only way a paper can pass muster in the academic sphere is by having an appropriate title. As a signaling apparatus, the title is the part of an academic paper that sets forth its agenda both for the writer and for the reader, giving hints of the drift of each work’s argument and its concerns. With a vibrant title an author begins the process of marking off the boundaries of a text, profiling what’s on offer. A catchy title is therefore the one thing that a writer will need, sooner, rather than later, when he or she is hit by the lightning bolt of inspiration, when idea after idea comes surging forth—not merely to hold the current in check; not just to allow the thoughts to run uninterrupted, but to channel their flow—enabling them to gather momentum. Thus, as with any other apparatus of this nature, a title...
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