How To Brainstorm An Effective Research Paper Title

What’s in a name? Shakespeare asked the question to which we still have no definitive answer. When you are writing a research paper the name is an important part. Your research paper title is an important component to your research because it dictates exactly what your paper will be about. It lets the reader in on what they should expect to find in the next few pages. Some formats have different limitations for a research title. Even if they don’t, you don’t want to let your research paper title exceed 12 words. This means you have to be concise.

In order to write an effective research paper title, the title and subsequent paper should:

  • Fit the requirements of your assignment
  • Be moderately simply for you to research
  • Be something you have a passion for
  • Be concise and not too broad a topic
  • Not be too narrow that it doesn’t fill your page length
  • Be interesting
  • Be creative
  • Be original

So how can you brainstorm an effective research paper title?

Begin with a blank piece of paper. Give yourself some time to free write. This means you have no phone calls or interruptions and you just write.

Write down anything and everything that comes to mind. This will get your creative juices flowing. It is actually ideal to do this when you are tired, because as you become tired, your brain stops filtering itself, which encourages creativity.

Ask yourself:

  • What are my interests?
  • What is something I feel strongly about?
  • What do I know a lot about?

The answer to these questions should spark a handful of topic ideas. Your first topic will likely be too long and broad. This is where you need to brainstorm again to narrow it down.

Use your words wisely

You only have a limited number of words for the title. So if you want to conduct a research paper that is an analysis on the impact that raising minimum wage has on unemployment rates, you should get rid of words such as “an analysis of”. These are just eating up space and are not necessary for the reader. The reader knows it is an analysis of something, otherwise it wouldn’t be a research paper.

Your overall goal is to describe exactly what the paper covers in your title, so don’t be afraid to brainstorm key ideas or key words and then play around with the order until you find something that is easy to understand.

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