Sunday, August 25, 2019

How to Make a Thesis Title in 5 Minutes

Are you a student in research and struggling to make a decent title for your research proposal? Have you submitted different titles but are still rejected by your research professor? For a beginner, constructing a research title is not an easy task. The title is the most important part of the study. It is what in the title will make the users start reading. If the title is not engaging or if it does not convey important information, the chances are, readers will skip reading your research paper.  A good research title is typically 10-15 words long. A lengthy title may seem unfocused and may confuse the reader's perception of the study.

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In this article, several examples will be presented to you for you to have an idea of how to create a working title. We call this a working title because the final research title will depend on the result of your study. For example, the title for the research proposal is Predictors of Academic Performance of the First Year Students at St. Mary's University. However, during the statistical treatment, it was found out that the variables (punctuality, mentoring, entrance examination result) as predictors do not have a significant relationship with the academic performance. Therefore, the regression analysis cannot be performed. The research title has to be changed. It is important that the title has to reflect the result of the study. The final title can be Level of Academic Performance of the First Year Students at St. Mary's University. Even though it was found out that the variables presented have no significant relationship with academic performance, the researchers were able to determine the level of the respondents' academic performance, and this can be used as a final title in the study.

Requirements for Constructing a Title

According to El-Omar (2014), in his journal article, How to Publish a Scientific Manuscript in a High-Impact Journal, the title is the first window for the readers to look at your work. The title should describe the contents and results of the study. The title should catch the attention of the readers so they may want to read the article further. Most importantly, a good title should be concise and should convey the main topics of the research, and highlight the importance of the research findings (i.e., keywords).

For publication purposes, the title depends on the publisher. According to the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology in their Writing Tips Series which was published in Elsevier in 2013,  some journals allow single titles, others allow subtitles and a colon. Others allow informative title which presents the result of the study such as Drug x is Effective in reducing Hypertension. Moreover, some journals prefer a descriptive title stating the subject and design of the study (e.g., Drug x for treatment of hypercholesterolemia: a placebo-controlled randomized trial).

In writing the title you may use the keywords and active verbs to formulate several potential titles (e.g., Variable x predicts academic freedom). Write the most important keywords at the beginning of the title, as readers’ attention is focused at the beginning. Lastly, avoid abbreviations in the title.

This section usually applies once you are done with the study and you already have the results and findings from your study. But what if you are still in the process of making a title for a research proposal? Below are some guidelines on how to construct a title based on the variables, research design, and statistical analysis of your chosen study. Therefore, it is important that you have to identify the variables of the study (e.g., independent and dependent variables), research design, statistical analysis, and etc. because these elements are important in generating a working title. It is also important that you will work with your research professor or adviser because they can better guide you as they are more familiar with your field of study.

1. Research Design, variables, respondents, and location of the study 

Example 1
Research Design: Descriptive - Correlation (Test of Relationship)
Variables: Sports (IV), Academic performance (DV)
Respondents: Students
Location: St. Mary’s University

Generated Title: Relationship between Sports and Academic Performance Among Students at St. Mary’s University

Example 2
Research Design: Descriptive - Comparative (Test of Difference)
Variables: Private vs. Government Hospital (IV) , Compliance to Radiation Protection (DV)
Respondents: Radiologic Technologist
Location: Region XI

Generated Title: Compliance to Radiation Protection of Radiologic Technologists between Private and Government Hospital in Region XI: A Comparative Study

2. Research Design, Variables
Example 1
Research Design: Descriptive - Comparative (Test of Difference)
Variables: Red (Pinoy) vs. Yellow (Grano) Onion (Allium cepa L) Ethanolic Onion Extract (IV), Alternative In Vitro Anticoagulant (DV)

Generated Title: Comparison of Red (Pinoy) vs. Yellow (Grano) Onion (Allium cepa L) Ethanolic Onion Extract (IV) as Alternative In Vitro Anticoagulant (DV)

Example 2
Research Design: Descriptive – Survey
Variables: Survey of Antibacterial Properties of Silver Nanoparticles Synthesized from Tanglad (Cymbopogon Citratus) Leaf Extract (IV) Against Staphylococcus aureus (DV)

Generated Title: Antibacterial properties of Silver Nanoparticles Synthesized from Tanglad (Cymbopogon Citratus) Leaf Extract Against Staphylococcus aureus.

3. Variables, respondents, and location of the study

Example 1
Variables: Job satisfaction (IV), job performance (DV)
Respondents: Nurses
Location: St. John’s Hospital

Generated Title: Job Satisfaction and Job Performance Among Nurses in St. John’s Hospital

Example 2
Variables: Academic performance (IV), Predictor of Optometry Revalida Examination Performance
Location: St. Paul’s University

Generated Title: Academic performance as Predictor of Optometry Revalida Examination Performance in St. Paul’s University

4. Theory, dependent variable, statistical analysis

Example 1
The theory used in the study: Theory of Planned Behavior
Dependent Variable: Students’ Intention to Cheat
Statistical Analysis: Structural Equation Modelling

Generated Title: Theory of Planned Behavior on Students’ Intention to Cheat: A Structural Equation Modelling Approach

Example 2
The theory used in the study: Self Efficacy
Dependent Variable: Academic Performance
Statistical Analysis: Path Analysis

Generated Title: Self Efficacy and Students’ Academic Performance: A Path Analysis

5. Identified concern, Respondents, Program/ Strategy initiated

Example 1
Identified concern(s): Competence in Radiographic Positioning
Respondents: Radiologic Technology students
The program initiated: Course enhancement

Generated Title: Competence of Radiologic Technology Students in Radiographic Positioning: A Basis for Course Enhancement

Example 2
Identified concern(s): Risk Perception to HIV
Respondents: Call center agents
The program initiated: Awareness campaign

Generated Title: Call Center Agents’ Risk Perception to HIV: An Awareness Campaign

6. Identified concern, Respondents, Location

Example 1
Identified concern(s): To determine the impact of mentoring on academic performance
Respondents: Biology Students
Location: John Hopkins College

Generated Title: Impact of Mentoring to the Academic Performance of Biology Students at John Hopkins College

Example 2
Identified concern(s): To determine the research efficiency
Respondents: Universities
Location: National Capital Region
Generated Title: Research Efficiency Among Universities in the National Capital Region

Example 3
Identified Concern(s): To determine the level of stress and depression
Respondents: Fourth-year Students
Location: Aquino College

Generated Title: Level of Stress and Depression of the Fourth Year Students at Aquino College

1. Writing Tips Series (2013). Effective writing and publishing scientific papers, Part II: Title and Abstract.  Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 66 (2013) 585.
2. El-Omar (2014). How to Publish a Scientific Manuscript in a High-Impact Journal, Advances in Digestive Medicine (2014) 1, 105e109


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