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Research Paper Title: Its Role and Correct Structure


As it is known, the research paper title should be concise, specific, correspond to the specialty and essence of the research problem and task, as well as indicate the subject and purpose of research. But how to arrange it correctly? The material provided below will definitely help you with this.

Definition of the Research Paper Title 

Before moving on to the research paper title’s design features, it seems appropriate to provide its definition.

The title is one of the main elements of the research paper. Despite its outward simplicity, the research paper title reflects various facets of reality: the author’s priorities, political and ideological attitudes, cultural values, and so on. It predicts the reaction of the reader and sets the direction for getting the expected reaction. Therefore, some researchers distinguish the research paper title as an independent text. 

After analyzing the different definitions of the research paper title given by various linguists, we concluded that the title is a separate text that is part of the text system, representing a relationship with the main text, aimed at its highlighting, attracting attention and increasing the interest of the reader.

Research Paper Title Functions

Today, no research paper can be called complete without a title, but its role has grown significantly since the first headlines appeared. Now, this is not only navigation, and not even information about the text, but a way to attract the reader’s attention and encourage him to read this or that material.

There are three stages of text perception (pre-text, acquaintance with the text, and comprehension after reading), and at each stage, the research paper title performs its tasks: 

  1. The research paper title separates one material from another. At the very first stage, the graphic-excretory function enters. This is the only function that is implemented by non-language tools. Separation takes place using graphic means, selecting the font and size, use of color, and layout elements. Firstly, the reader involuntarily pays attention to the form of the research paper title and then examines it more attentively. Involuntary attention gives way to voluntary attention, controlled by consciousness. The reader turns to the language design of the research paper title. The nominative function is responsible for the introductory stage of reading the title. It helps to highlight text, divide content into components. The title activates thinking, arouses interest, and carries information about the text, and attracts the reader to read it, provided that it contains the information necessary at the moment, thereby prompting a person to read the material. The research paper title refers not only to signaling systems but also to the psyche, human culture, thereby focusing on information. The arbitrary attention to the headline gives rise to various emotions in the reader: indignation, surprise, curiosity, etc. At this stage, the heading forms a mental background, forcing a person to read the text purposefully.
  2. While reading the material, the reader constantly keeps the research paper title insight. This helps him to reveal the meaning of the material and understand the personal position of an author. The informative function enters the process. The headline affects the emotional level of a person, thereby performing an evaluative and expressive function. Its importance lies in the fact that the material should convince the reader of the concepts that the author is trying to convey. A research paper title facilitates the perception of the material, acting as a language communication. The integrative function, relying on various types of cohesion, ensures the achievement of integrity, a fusion of the text, which allows it to be considered an independent unity. Subheadings fulfill a compositional role, make it easier to read a paper, breaking the text into parts and chapters, but at the same time forming a connection between them.
  3. The reader will remember the material that attracted attention by the content and expressive compositional-speech construction. The research paper title’s main function when fixing the content in the reader’s memory is nominative. But researchers distinguish them much more.

Correct Structure of the Research Paper Title

Review the following guidelines for the proper formatting of your research paper title:

  • based on the fact that the visual image affects the mind of the reader, you need to understand that the text of a research paper title, typed in a different font and size, serves for the visual perception by a reader;
  • most headings are single-line, but often there are two-line and much less often – three-line and multi-line. The more lines in a title, the harder it is to arrange it correctly. A multi-line heading in large print takes up a very large area and, as a result, creates a dark spot that needs to be balanced. For this reason, it is recommended to create a header that spans one line. The use of multi-line headings is prevented by the presence of additional headings of different levels;
  • one of the most common research paper title mistakes is incorrect line divisions. To make a ‘pyramid,’ the authors try to put first a long title line and below it – a short one, or vice versa, but at the same time, they tear it into pieces that do not represent a complete whole. If, when typing the heading with the selected font, the line is not included in the format, you need to change the size, style, or even the typeface of the font, since it is imperative to preserve the correct semantic division into lines;
  • when breaking the research paper title into lines, you should carefully monitor the location of conjunctions, particles ‘not’ and ‘but,’ prepositions, not allowing them to be separated from the words to which they refer;
  • having broken the research paper title into lines, you need to place it relative to the referring text correctly. All placement techniques can be reduced to two main ones. The first is setting the title symmetrically along the central axis of the material. The second is the heading asymmetrically in relation to the text, with justification to the left or right from the central axis.

Thus, we can conclude that the title is one of the main research work elements since it is considered a visual image, a separate text, and carries a nominative, informative, separative, integrative, and evaluative-expressive function. When creating your research paper title, try to follow our guidelines. After compiling it, check for compliance with the above functions. We believe that you will be able to cope with this task. If not, then we will be happy to provide support.

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