Home Page Dog News Biped Report Links

How to Title Your Paper

Example 1

You have studied exciton processes in AlGaAs/GaAs semiconductor quantum wells using near-IR spectroscopy.

Having written the paper, you can't just use a title simply based on what you have done. There are many other factors involved. The further down this list you can get the better. The aim is to be pretentious and flowery without conveying any useful information.

  1. 'Exciton processes in AlGaAs/GaAs semiconductor quantum wells using near-IR spectroscopy'
    This is hopeless. It completely gives the game away. Any fool can read this title and know what the paper is about.

  2. Remove any wavelength specific information e.g.
    'Spectroscopy of exciton processes in AlGaAs/GaAs semiconductor quantum wells'
    is better, but still very poor, there is way too much information.

  3. Remove any material-specific information, e.g.
    'Spectroscopy of exciton processes'

  4. Remove any process-specific info, e.g.
    'Observation of processes in materials'
    This is quite good. However, you can say nothing in far more words than this. Also, this title vaguely resembles an English language sentence.

  5. Where's that colon?
    'Observation of processes in materials: several graphs with data in them'

  6. Add a question mark
    'Study of things using a technique: is this paper really worth reading?'
    You have to admit, question marks are excellent. If you start by questioning the results, how can a reader know what the conclusions are without having to plow through your turgid text.

  7. It's not really flowery enough yet
    'On the examination of fundamental processes adopting an investigative probe technique: One small step towards scientific understanding of possibly novel phenomena?'

  8. That was good, but remember your nickname - "The Hyphenator"
    'On the examination of fundamental-processes adopting an investigative probe-technique-method: One small-step towards scientific-understanding of possibly-novel-phenomena?'

  9. But this paper is part of a series, and so should be numbered. The aim is to encourage the reader to find the previous paper in the series (a paper which was rejected, so finding it will be difficult). 'Properties of things - Part MCXLII: On the examination of fundamental-processes in materials adopting an investigative probe-technique-method: One small-step towards scientific-understanding of possibly-novel-phenomena?'

Excellent.


Example 2

You have discovered nuclear fusion in heavy water using sonoluminescence.

1) Why stop at one colon? I've just seen a paper with two.
"Letter: Nuclear fusion revisited : Sonoluminescent data: A Nobel for me, I would say: Remarkable results"

2) Hide the importance of the work with acronyms. Make up your own.
"NF in HW using SNL: IED from a TC with MFA: NWAC" - NWAC stands for "Now with added colons"


Return to Links.