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Helping Students to Write Successful Paper Titles

Ode Ogede

All who treasure great literature recognize the pivotal role played by a title. But, until now, at both the undergraduate and the graduate level, no book-length study has devoted detailed expert attention to the subject of academic paper titling. Helping Students to Write Successful Paper Titles is the first attempt at an extended exploration of this subject, breaking new ground by confirming the significance of a title as an apparatus for scholarly endeavor. Academic writing’s dependence on the title imparts pre-eminence to the part of the paper that bridges the gap between its contents and the reader, making the title more than just another component of the work and investing the paper with an identity. Through systematic examination of a variety of paper titles, the study offers a cohesive picture of the function of the title in academic writing and guides students in the art of effective title making.
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4. Inventing Titles: Steps to Crafting Suitable Academic Paper Titles

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The reader doesn’t have to peer endlessly through clutter beyond the title if it contains all the intangibles required to get a fair sense of an accomplished academic paper’s undertaking. The title has to stamp its authority so firmly as to yield a significant clue about the paper’s theme. Not least for the way a good title imparts real direction to it, the title is such a critical aspect of the academic paper that to treat it cavalierly is to impoverish the paper beyond measure. When one realizes that the title both permits a paper’s development and enables the reader to gain immediate comprehension of the subject, the task which the paper has assigned itself, it’s easy to understand why an academic paper with title ideas that aren’t carefully thought through can become severely handicapped. There is no question that a clumsy title can get in the way of an academic paper’s full development; it can be truly distracting both to the text’s construction and to its interpretation. Sadly, as we have seen, suitable titles don’t come cheap: they don’t arise spontaneously and naturally; the writer must angle for them through sweat and pain. One has to work hard to produce and hone an academic paper title to a satisfying shape because these objects don’t come ready-made, available to be picked up by the roadside casually and freely. The idea of an academic paper’s title should therefore be one that is taken along in the author’s thoughts from...

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