Making the Title for Your Dissertation

Although your dissertation is graded according to its content, it is still important to give it a good title. As the very first thing a person sees, your audience should want to turn the pages already and read.

A good title also helps your published work become noticed by other researchers and authoritative bodies. If you want to be cited in future researches, people have to discover your study. They can’t do this if they don’t recognize what it is or if they are discouraged already by the title of your dissertation. And if you’d like your work to be published in an academic journal, it has to sound professional enough to be included. You cannot just change your title every time you apply.

So take a look at some things to consider when making your title.

1. Consider the title’s length

The title should be long enough so that the reader is not left wondering what the dissertation is all about, but it should not be that long. Usually, titles are roughly between 15 to 20 words in length. However, as your university may have a standard, check with your advisor about any minimum and maximum word counts.

2. Make it sound academically relevant

Your field of study may affect the “liveliness” of the title. Fields such as humanities or the arts may require a more expressive title compared to something in the fields of science and mathematics. Regardless, keep in mind that this is a research, not a fictional novel, so there are limits to how you can word your title.

3. Include important descriptors

As a research, the title should clearly express what the topic is about so that your reader knows at a glance if it may be something that they need. So include essential keywords that will make it clear. If your study is about a particular period, region, or population, include those details too. For example, a title like “Board games and mathematics: Effects on analytical ability” can be improved to “Board games and mathematics: Effects on 4th Graders’ analytical ability in Orange County.”

Moreover, good descriptors may also give the reader an idea of the type of research the dissertation is, whether it is qualitative or quantitative. Since some readers may be looking for a particular kind of study, this already helps them decide if they should read further or not.

4. Consider using SEO keywords

Because many writers would like their work to be referenced by others, it can help to include keywords for SEO purposes (provided of course they are connected to your research). After coming up with a working title, think of how particular words can be changed. For instance, instead of using “company workers” you may wish to use “labor” to make it more SEO-friendly.


Even though the title is the shortest thing you will write for your dissertation, those 15 to 20 words hold much weight. So allocate enough time to come up with a title that you won’t regret later on.Check out the educational blog at Dissertation Team to get more useful advice and dissertation writing ideas.