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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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As stated at the beginning, the purpose of this guide book is to orient students away from commonly made errors or patterns of error in academic paper titling. It has long occurred to me that a book which provides a step-by-step direction on academic paper titling could be helpful to students with serious writing challenges in coming to grips with the way in which a good title pronounces what a text is up to, pointing clearly to what the write-up is about and what it is not. If this study meets my goals in putting it together it should find its use among students needing to get a firm handle on the conventions of academic paper titling, alerting them to the options that the title affords to, and the demands it makes on, the writer, and assisting them to develop skills in the synthesizing practice entailed in the academic paper-titling process. One cannot emphasize this enough: only by internalizing the core principles of the academic culture, of which effective titling is an essential component, can students at a loss for words not only come up with relevant ideas but also personalize paper captions that firmly establish clear correlations with their content. It would indeed be an odd writer who could compose an academic paper whose contents are not tailored to fit what is announced in the text’s title.

In this study the role of the academic paper title is not only defined for the needs of...

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