Structure

A title needs to include a lot of meanings in a limited amount of words. This is why certain language structures are commonly used in titles. To write a good title, you need to learn something about these language structures.

Typically, a title contains long and complex groups of words called NOUN GROUPS. A noun group is a group of words that has the same function as a noun, that is, it names or identifies a person, place or thing.

A title can consist of a single noun group or more noun groups joined together in a sentence. Within a noun group, one word is usually central to the meaning of the group and this is called the HEAD NOUN. Other words can occur before and after the head to add to its meaning.

Click the structure words in the boxes to see an example.

Head Noun

Prepositional phrases (ie. preposition + noun)

The central word in a title can also be an ACTION like 'varying', 'changing' etc.. These action words are made up of a verb with an -'ing' ending.

Click the structure words in the boxes to see an example.

Action

Noun Group

Usually, the title is formed from the statement of the aim or conclusion of your experiment.

Click on the Aim to see the links between the titles and the vocabulary in the aim and conclusion. Then click the highlighted words in the aim for more explanation.

Aim

This study aimed to demonstrate that consumption of a high cholesterol diet results in an increase in blood cholesterol concentration.

Conclusion

As has been found in previous studies, a diet which is high in cholesterol increases the plasma cholesterol concentration.

Title 1

Plasma cholesterol concentration increases in response to cholesterol intake in the diet.

Title 2

Varying the dietary intake of cholesterol may cause changes in plasma cholesterol concentration in middle-aged subjects.

AIMconsumption of a high cholesterol diet
CONCLUSIONa diet which is high in cholesterol
TITLE 1in response to cholesterol intake in the diet
TITLE 2Varying the dietary intake of cholesterol

 

Notice how the information about diet is shifted from the beginning part of the sentence in the aim and conclusion to the end in title 1. This allows the focus in title 1 to be on what is affected i.e. plasma cholesterol concentration rather than on the cause i.e. cholesterol in the diet. Also title 1 is more general than the aim and conclusion as it refers to cholesterol 'intake' in the diet rather than a 'high' cholesterol diet.
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