Why do academics choose useless titles for articles and chapters? Four steps to getting a better title.

An informative title for an article or chapter maximizes the likelihood that your audience correctly remembers enough about your arguments to re-discover what they are looking for. Without embedded cues, your work will sit undisturbed on other scholars’ PDF libraries, or languish unread among hundreds of millions of other documents on the Web. Patrick Dunleavy presents examples of frequently used useless titles and advises on using a full narrative title, one that makes completely clear your argument, conclusions or findings.

An interesting article on the LSE’s Impact Blog (Maximising the impact of academic research). Patrick Dunleavy is a Professor of Political Science at the LSE and the article is particularly relevant to the social sciences and humanities. Dunleavy has also written the book Authoring a PhD (library copies here).

Why do academics choose useless titles for articles and chapters? Four steps to getting a better title.

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