15 Effective Ways to Construct the Best Dissertation Title

“What’s in a name”, one of the most famous quotes from Shakespeare, stands true for most things. But we doubt that when he said it, he did think about dissertation titles.

When it comes to dissertation writing, there’s a lot in a name. Although you won't be earning your degree by your title alone, it is super important and if done correctly, pack a mean punch.

A title is the first point of contact between your dissertation and the world. It's the one element upon which the readers make their first impression of your overall dissertation. So, even if a sub-par dissertation has a good title, chances are people will be more intrigued towards it, than towards an effective dissertation with a sub-par title.

Get the components of your title right

Your dissertation title should constitute many elements, which should tell people about the aspects of your research.

The focus and area of your research

Your dissertation title must convey the area of your research and the main focus in that area of your research.  For instance, take the following title:

The fall of Roman Empire: a critical study

Here "Roman empire" is your area and "the fall" is the focus of your research.

But in some cases, you'd be constricted for word count in your title. In that case, only one of the focus or the area can be used

The Outcome

Many times your research may have a practical outcome, towards which you want to draw attention. In that case, you can use the outcome or the application of that outcome in your title. For instance:

British Occupation of India: Lessons from colonial rule

In this case, there is no specific focus, only the area, which is "British Occupation of India". Also, the outcome of the study, in this case, is "lessons".

Research Strategy

Another aspect of your dissertation title is the research strategy that you adopt while conducting the research. Your research strategy or design can be anything that you have used like a case study, a critical, empirical, qualitative or quantitative analysis etc.

Ensure that your dissertation title has the correct style

There are many variations when it comes to the form of titles in academic writing. But there are three main style guides, recognised and followed all over.

  • American Medical Association (AMA) style: used in Science and Medicine.
  • American Psychological Association (APA) style: used in Social sciences and psychology.
  • Modern Languages Association (MLA) style: used in Liberal arts and humanities


American Medication Association (AMA) style, 10th edition

  • The first letter of the title and the subtitle should be capitalised and a colon (:) should separate the subtitle and the title
  • Quotations (if used) should always be double.
  • Use geographical names (cities, states, provinces, countries) only when its essential
  • If there are numbers, spell them out (names of years excluded)
  • Avoid abbreviations unless they are exceptionally long or are well known in that format only.
  • Use general or non-proprietary name for drugs, unless the research is on the proprietary drug.
  • Always write genus and species in Italics with the first letter of the genus, and not the species, capitalised.

American Psychological Association (APA) style, 6th edition

  • The first letters of the title and subtitle should be capitalised, and they should be separated with a colon (:) or dash (-)
  • Quotation marks should be double.
  • Numbers should be spelt when they are under 10, start a title or are fractions. Numbers should be used when they are above 10 or are denoting ages.
  • In case of hyphenated compounds, both the words should be capitalised.

Modern Languages Association (MLA) style, 7th edition

  • The first letters of the title and subtitle should be capitalised, and they should be separated with a colon (:) or dash (-)
  • Italics should be used for denoting published matter.
  • Quotation marks used should be double.
  • In hyphenated compounds capitalised in titles, both words should be capitalised.

Now that you know how to formulate the title with the right components and how to style it right, it’s time for some short tips on what to keep in mind while forming the title and what to avoid at all costs.

A good Dissertation title must:

  • Keep your dissertation title as precise as it can be. It should be to the point with no extra decorative words
  • The title must be clear without any ambiguity and must convey the core focus of your research
  • The title must, to some extent, convey the outcome and the research methods along with your source.
  • The title should follow the appropriate grammar and style.


A good Dissertation title must not:

  • have a whole sentence as the title
  • Have informal language
  • Have abbreviations and acronyms (unless necessary)
  • Have mathematical symbols
  • Have quotation marks around the entire title

After reading this blog, we believe that you’ve got a fairly good grasp on how to write a killer dissertation title, which will stand apart from the rest.

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