Thesis title: how to create a good title

Thesis title: how to create a good title

Every thesis needs a title. The thesis title is normally placed on a title page, the very first page of the thesis which also includes your name, institution, supervisor(s) name(s) date and other details. You would have thought of a ‘working title’ when preparing your proposal. But you can change the precise wording of your title right up to submission, though I would advise you to check any changes with your supervisor.

When your thesis is added to academic databases the title will be one of the main ways others will search for it. It is important to avoid any words with double meanings or any sarcasm. Just keep it crystal clear. And obviously avoid any words or phrases that may be offensive to any groups are a definite no no.

The type of creativity you use will depend on the subject area. If you are submitting a thesis on nuclear physics your room for creativity and perhaps irony is virtually nil while an arts or humanities thesis will offer the opportunity for such an approach.

Try to make your title descriptive, elegant, concise while conveying the subject and nature of the thesis. The title may reveal the setting, the methods, the themes and main variables.

The two component approach

It is useful to consider the thesis title as having two components, one descriptive and the other creative. The descriptive element tells the reader what you are about to discuss in great detail. The second is where you add your own creativity and personality to the title. One popular way own presenting these two components is to separate them with a colon (:). Before the colon is your descriptive part and after is your creative part.

Some institutions require a short form of the thesis title (2-4 words) to be used as a running header throughout the thesis. Always check the specific requirements of your own institution.

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