Drafting a title for a scientific article

Drafting a title for a scientific article

This article will allow you to understand:

1. How to develop a title that gives a good first impression of a research article.
2. The need to develop a descriptive, direct, accurate, appropriate, interesting, concise, precise and unique title.


Drafting the title for a scientific article

This provides the first impression to the reader and influences whether a reader is interested in reading the manuscript. It should include all the essential words in the right order, such that the topic of the manuscript is accurately and fully conveyed.

A reader who cannot extract the significance of a paper from its title is unlikely to read further. Therefore, the first important step is to develop the title. The title should be short and unambiguous, yet be an adequate description of the work. A general rule-of-thumb is that the title should contain the keywords describing the work presented.

Remember that the title becomes the basis for most online searches – if your title is insufficient, few people will find or read your paper.

The journal to which the manuscript is being submitted should be indicated. In addition, complete contact information for the corresponding author should also be provided in the title section.

The title, with a maximum of 8 to 15 words, is the first piece of bait that could lure a potential reader to notice and explore your research.

A title should preferably answer the following questions:

  • What will be researched?
  • How will the topic be researched?
  • With whom? – Describes the research population and units of measurement
  • Where / in what context will the study be conducted?

To answer these questions, Grobler (2003) suggests the following basic structure for a title:
Main theme or research topic: Research design + population + geographical area

Activity 1: Watch the following videos and answer the questions that follow:

Based on the videos, what are the expectations of a good title for a research paper?

Assignment 1: Article Title
Draft a title for your research paper following requirements for your target scientific journal.

Activity 2: Reading Material
Read the material provided and use them in the following section.

Activity 3: Discussion on article titles
Share and discuss your title with your group members.

Estimated Length (to be aligned to journal guidelines)
Your title should be 8 to 15 words.

  • Share this article :

Studying online at the University of Johannesburg

Studying online at the University of Johannesburg

With a powerful online learning infrastructure that serves a diverse student body, the University of Johannesburg leads digital education innovation.

Read More

The value of an MBA in today's business landscape

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) has long been regarded as a golden ticket to high-level positions in this industry.

Read More

UJ's online BCom in Accountancy: expectations

In an increasingly digital world, the University of Johannesburg's online BCom in Accountancy programme stands out as an exceptional programme.

Read More

Program title :

Custom field :

Program Totall Fees :

Program Totall Credits :

Program Totall Module :

Don't miss out, study online.



Vibrant, multicultural and dynamic, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) shares the pace and energy of cosmopolitan Johannesburg, the city whose name it carries. Proudly South African, the university is alive down to its African roots, and well-prepared for its role in actualising the potential that higher education holds for the continent’s development.

Follow us