Writing a Dissertation Title: Combining Information and Creativity

One of the most important steps in the writing process is coming up with a dissertation title that does justice to your work. The title of a thesis or dissertation must do several things in a relatively small number of words. First and most importantly, your title must tell readers what you are about to discuss at length. Secondly, you title must also include a creative or unique element, something that lets readers know that your personality is present in your work. Classic titles for dissertations or theses typically contain a common punctuation mark used by many academics: the colon. Titles with two phrases separated by a colon allow you to express two sides of your study and to draw readers into your work through information and creativity. The most important thing to consider when writing a dissertation title is your personality. Because the body of your work reveals your writing style, you should remain true to your style in the title. Don’t try to write a title that you feel is attractive but that ultimately misleads readers in some way. Most of your colleagues who will be reading your work have professional interests that are similar to your own, so don’t worry about what will draw people outside of your academic group because most people who come across your thesis or dissertation will likely be researching a similar topic.

Divulging Descriptive Information

Your title should clearly and directly report to your readers what the following paper will contain. You do not want to ruin your dissertation or thesis with a sarcastic or misleading title! When choosing words for your title, you should avoid any words with double meanings. Consider what a person searching your title might find. Scholars should never accidentally stumble across your paper when they were looking for something else. Your title should be simple enough to make it easily accessible for someone who is looking for information regarding your topic.

Keeping Readers in Mind

Always remember who will be reading your dissertation or thesis. If yours is a work that will only be read by academics, you will need to consider your audience before choosing catchy or humorous title. For example, a humorous or ironic title might not appeal to the scientific colleagues of a nuclear engineer. However, professors of the arts and humanities might appreciate or even encourage humorous or ironic titles. Lastly, you should never include any terms in your dissertation title that could be offensive to any group of people for any reason.

 

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