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80+ Great Research Titles Examples in Various Academic Fields

Research titles examples

Coming up with a research title for an academic paper is one of the most challenging parts of the writing process. Even though there is an unlimited quantity of research titles to write about, knowing which one is best for you can be hard. We have done the research for you and compiled eighty examples of research titles to write on. Additionally, we have divided the research titles examples into sections to make them easier to choose.

Research Study Examples of Current Events

Examples of research topics on ethics, title of research study examples on health, research paper title examples on social concerns, examples of research title on art and culture, example of research interest in religion, samples of research study topics on technology, research examples of environmental studies, good research title examples on history, specific topic examples regarding education, research title examples for students on family, food, and nutrition, research problems examples computer science, samples of research title about business marketing and communications, sample of research study topics in women’s studies, research problem example on politics, what are some examples of research paper topics on law, final words about research titles.

When it comes to choosing a good sample research title, research is one of the best tips you can get. By reading widely, including your school notes and scholarly articles, you will have a problem/line of interest examples in research. Then, you can derive any question from areas that appear to have a knowledge gap and proceed with researching the answer. As promised, below are eighty research title examples categorized into different areas, including social media research topics .

  • Discuss the peculiar policies of a named country – for example, discuss the impacts of the one-child policy of China.
  • Research on the influence of a named political leader, say a president, on the country they governed and other countries around. For instance, you can talk about how Trump’s presidency has changed international relations.
  • Conduct an analysis of a particular aspect of two named countries – for example, the history of the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea.
  • Compare the immigration laws in two or more named countries – for example, discuss how the immigration laws in the U.S. compares with other countries.
  • Discuss how the Black Lives Matter movement has affected the view and discussions about racism in the United States.
  • Enumerate the different ways the government of the United States can reduce deaths arising from the unregulated use of guns.
  • Analyze the place of ethics in medicine or of medical practitioners. For instance, you can discuss the prevalence of physician-assisted suicides in a named country. You may also talk about the ethicality of such a practice and whether it should be legal.
  • Explain how recent research breakthroughs have affected that particular field – for instance, how stem cell research has impacted the medical field.
  • Explain if and why people should be able to donate organs in exchange for money.
  • Discuss ethical behaviors in the workplace and (or) the educational sector. For example, talk about whether or not affirmative action is still important or necessary in education or the workplace.
  • Weigh the benefits and risks of vaccinating children and decide which one outweighs the other. Here, you might want to consider the different types of vaccinations and the nature and frequency of associated complications.
  • Investigate at least one of the health issues that currently pose a threat to humanity and which are under investigation. These issues can include Alzheimer’s, cancer, depression, autism, and HIV/AIDS. Research how these issues affect individuals and society and recommend solutions to alleviate cost and suffering.
  • Study some individuals suffering from and under treatment for depression. Then, investigate the common predictors of the disease and how this information can help prevent the issue.

Tip : To make this example of a research title more comprehensive, you can focus on a certain age range – say, teenagers.

  • Discuss whether or not free healthcare and medication should be available to people and the likely implications.
  • Identify and elucidate different methods or programs that have been most effective in preventing or reducing teen pregnancy.
  • Analyze different reasons and circumstances for genetic manipulation and the different perspectives of people on this matter. Then, discuss whether or not parents should be allowed to engineer designer babies.
  • Identify the types of immigration benefits, including financial, medical, and education, your country provides for refugees and immigrants. Then, discuss how these benefits have helped them in settling down and whether more or less should be provided.
  • Discuss the acceptance rate of the gay community in your country or a specific community. For example, consider whether or not gay marriage is permitted if they can adopt children, and if they are welcome in religious gatherings.
  • Explore and discuss if terrorism truly creates a fear culture that can become a society’s unintended terrorist.
  • Consider and discuss the different techniques one can use to identify pedophiles on social media.

Tip : Social issues research topics are interesting, but ensure you write formally and professionally.

  • Investigate the importance or lack of importance of art in primary or secondary education. You can also recommend whether or not it should be included in the curriculum and why.

Tip : You can write on this possible research title based on your experiences, whether positive or negative.

  • Discuss the role of illustration in children’s books and how it facilitates easy understanding in children. You may focus on one particular book or select a few examples and compare and contrast.
  • Should the use of art in books for adults be considered, and what are the likely benefits?
  • Compare and contrast the differences in art from two named cultural Renaissance – for instance, the Northern Renaissance and the Italian Renaissance.
  • Investigate how sexism is portrayed in different types of media, including video games, music, and film. You can also talk about whether or not the amount of sexism portrayed has reduced or increased over the years.
  • Explore different perspectives and views on dreams; are they meaningful or simply a game of the sleeping mind? You can also discuss the functions and causes of dreams, like sleeping with anxiety, eating before bed, and prophecies.
  • Investigate the main reasons why religious cults are powerful and appealing to the masses, referring to individual cases.
  • Investigate the impact of religion on the crime rate in a particular region.

Tip : Narrow down this research title by choosing to focus on a particular age group, say children or teenagers, or family. Alternatively, you can focus on a particular crime in the research to make the paper more extensive.

  • Explore reasons why Martin Luther decided to split with the Catholic church.
  • Discuss the circumstances in Siddhartha’s life that led to him becoming the Buddha.

Tip : It is important to remove sentiments from your research and base your points instead on clear evidence from a sound study. This ensures your title of research does not lead to unsubstantiated value judgments, which reduces the quality of the paper.

  • Discuss how the steel sword, gunpowder, biological warfare, longbow, or atomic bomb has changed the nature of warfare.

Tip : For this example of the research problem, choose only one of these technological developments or compare two or more to have a rich research paper.

  • Explore the changes computers, tablets, and smartphones have brought to human behaviors and culture, using published information and personal experience.

Tip : Approach each research study example in a research paper context or buy research paper online , giving a formal but objective view of the subject.

  • Are railroads and trains primary forces in the industrialization, exploitation, and settlement of your homeland or continent?
  • Discuss how the use of fossil fuels has changed or shaped the world.

Tip : Narrow down this title of the research study to focus on a local or particular area or one effect of fossil fuels, like oil spill pollution.

  • Discuss what progress countries have made with artificial intelligence. You can focus on one named country or compare the progress of one country with another.
  • Investigate the factual status of global warming – that is, is it a reality or a hoax? If it is a reality, explore the primary causes and how humanity can make a difference.
  • Conduct in-depth research on endangered wildlife species in your community and discuss why they have become endangered. You can also enumerate what steps the community can take to prevent these species from going extinct and increase their chances of survival.
  • Investigate the environmental soundness of the power sources in your country or community. Then, recommend alternative energy sources that might be best suited for the area and why.
  • Consider an area close to wildlife reserves and national parks, and see whether oil and mineral exploration has occurred there. Discuss whether this action should be allowed or not, with fact-backed reasons.
  • Investigate how the use and abolishment of DDT have affected the population of birds in your country.

Tip : Each example research title requires that you consult authoritative scientific reports to improve the quality of your paper. Furthermore, specificity and preciseness are required in each example of research title and problem, which only an authority source can provide.

  • Discuss the importance of a major historical event and why it was so important in the day. These events can include the assassination of John F. Kennedy or some revolutionary document like the Magna Carta.
  • Consider voyagers such as the Vikings, Chinese, as well as native populations and investigate whether Columbus discovered America first.
  • Choose a named historical group, family, or individual through their biographies, examining them for reader responses.
  • Research people of different cultural orientations and their responses to the acts of others who live around them.
  • Investigate natural disasters in a named country and how the government has responded to them. For example, explore how the response of the New Orleans government to natural disasters has changed since Hurricane Katrina.

Tip : Focus this research title sample on one particular country or natural disaster or compare the responses of two countries with each other.

  • Explore the educational policy, “no child left behind,” investigating its benefits and drawbacks.
  • Investigate the concept of plagiarism in the twenty-first century, its consequences, and its prevalence in modern universities. Take a step further to investigate how and why many students don’t understand the gravity of their errors.
  • Do in-depth research on bullying in schools, explaining the seriousness of the problem in your area in particular. Also, recommend actions schools, teachers, and parents can take to improve the situation if anything.
  • Explore the place of religion in public schools; if it has a place, explain why, and if it does not, explain why not.
  • Does a student’s financial background have any effect on his or her academic performance? In this sample research title, you can compare students from different financial backgrounds, from wealthy to average, and their scores on standardized tests.
  • Is spanking one’s child considered child abuse; if so, why? In this research problem example for students, consider whether or not parents should be able to spank their children.
  • Investigate the relationship between family health and nutrition, focusing on particular nutrition. This example of the title of the research study, for instance, can focus on the relationship between breastfeeding and baby health.
  • Elucidate on, if any, the benefits of having a home-cooked meal and sitting down as a family to eat together.
  • Explore the effect of fast-food restaurants on family health and nutrition, and whether or not they should be regulated.
  • Research local food producers and farms in your community, pinpointing how much of your diet is acquired from them.

Tip : These are great research titles from which you can coin research topics for STEM students .

  • Compare and contrast the two major operating systems: Mac and Windows, and discuss which one is better.

Tip : This title of the research study example can lead to strong uninformed opinions on the matter. However, it is important to investigate and discuss facts about the two operating systems, basing your conclusions on these.

  • Explain the effect of spell checkers, autocorrect functions, and grammar checkers on the writing skills of computer users. Have these tools improved users’ writing skills or weakened them?

Tip : For this example of title research, it is better to consider more than one of these tools to write a comprehensive paper.

  • Discuss the role(s) artificial intelligence is playing now or will likely play in the future as regards human evolution.
  • Identify and investigate the next groundbreaking development in computer science (like the metaverse), explaining why you believe it will be important.
  • Discuss a particular trendsetting technological tool, like blockchain technology, and how it has benefited different sectors.

Tip : For this research title example, you may want to focus on the effect of one tool on one particular sector. This way, you can investigate this example of research and thesis statement about social media more thoroughly and give as many details as possible.

  • Consider your personal experiences as well as close friends’ and families experiences. Then, determine how marketing has invaded your lives and whether these impersonal communications are more positive than negative or vice versa.
  • Investigate the regulations (or lack thereof) that apply to marketing items to children in your region. Do you think these regulations are unfounded, right, or inadequate?
  • Investigate the merits and demerits of outsourcing customer services; you can compare the views of businesses with those of their customers.
  • How has the communication we do through blog sites, messaging, social media, email, and other online platforms improved interpersonal communications if it has?
  • Can understanding culture change the way you do business? Discuss how.

Tip : Ensure you share your reasoning on this title of the research study example and provide evidence-backed information to support your points.

  • Learn everything you can about eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia, as well as their causes, and symptoms. Then, investigate and discuss the impact of its significance and recommend actions that might improve the situation.
  • Research a major development in women’s history, like the admission of women to higher institutions and the legalization of abortion. Discuss the short-term and (or) long-term implications of the named event or development.
  • Discuss gender inequality in the workplace – for instance, the fact that women tend to earn less than men for doing the same job. Provide specific real-life examples as you explain the reasons for this and recommend solutions to the problem.
  • How have beauty contests helped women: have they empowered them in society or objectified them?

Tip : You may shift the focus of this topic research example to female strippers or women who act in pornographic movies.

  • Investigate exceptional businesswomen in the 21st century; you can focus on one or compare two or more.

Tip : When writing on the title of a research example related to women, avoid using persuasion tactics; instead, be tactful and professional in presenting your points.

  • Discuss the unique nature and implications of Donald Trump’s presidency on the United States and the world.
  • Investigate the conditions and forces related to the advent and rise of Nazi Germany. Shift the focus of this title research example on major wars like WWI or the American Civil War.
  • Is the enormous amount of money spent during election campaigns a legitimate expense?
  • Investigate a named major political scandal that recently occurred in your region or country. Discuss how it started, how its news spread, and its impacts on individuals in that area.
  • Discuss the impacts British rule had on India.
  • Investigate the rate of incarceration in your region and compare it with that of other countries or other regions.
  • Is incarcerating criminals an effective solution in promoting the rehabilitation of criminals and controlling crime rates?
  • Consider various perspectives on the issue of gun control and coin several argumentative essay topics on the matter.
  • Why do drivers continue to text while driving despite legal implications and dire consequences?
  • Discuss the legality of people taking their own lives due to suffering from a debilitating terminal disease.

Each example of the research title provided in this article will make for a rich, information-dense research paper. However, you have a part to play in researching thoroughly on the example of the research study. To simplify the entire process for you, hiring our writing services is key as you wouldn’t have to worry about choosing topics. Our team of skilled writers knows the right subject that suits your research and how to readily get materials on them.

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Enago Academy

6 Important Tips on Writing a Research Paper Title

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When you are searching for a research study on a particular topic, you probably notice that articles with interesting, descriptive research titles draw you in. By contrast, research paper titles that are not descriptive are usually passed over, even though you may write a good research paper with interesting contents. This shows the importance of coming up with a good title for your research paper when drafting your own manuscript.

peer review

Why do Research Titles Matter?

Before we look at how to title a research paper, let’s look at a research title example that illustrates why a good research paper should have a strong title.

Imagine that you are researching meditation and nursing, and you want to find out if any studies have shown that meditation makes nurses better communicators.  You conduct a keyword search using the keywords “nursing”, “communication”, and “meditation.” You come up with results that have the following titles:

  • Benefits of Meditation for the Nursing Profession: A Quantitative Investigation
  • Why Mindful Nurses Make the Best Communicators
  • Meditation Gurus
  • Nurses on the Move: A Quantitative Report on How Meditation Can Improve Nurse Performance

All four of these titles may describe very similar studies—they could even be titles for the same study! As you can see, they give very different impressions.

  • Title 1 describes the topic and the method of the study but is not particularly catchy.
  • Title 2 partly describes the topic, but does not give any information about the method of the study—it could simply be a theoretical or opinion piece.
  • Title 3 is somewhat catchier but gives almost no information at all about the article.
  • Title 4 begins with a catchy main title and is followed by a subtitle that gives information about the content and method of the study.

As we will see, Title 4 has all the characteristics of a good research title.

Characteristics of a Good Research Title

According to rhetoric scholars Hairston and Keene, making a good title for a paper involves ensuring that the title of the research accomplishes four goals as mentioned below:

  • It should predict the content of the research paper .
  • It should be interesting to the reader .
  • It should reflect the tone of the writing .
  • It should contain important keywords that will make it easier to be located during a keyword search.

Let’s return to the examples in the previous section to see if they meet these four criteria.

As you can see in the table above, only one of the four example titles fulfills all of the criteria of a suitable research paper title.

Related: You’ve chosen your study topic, but having trouble deciding where to publish it? Here’s a comprehensive course to help you identify the right journal .

Tips for Writing an Effective Research Paper Title

When writing a research title , you can use the four criteria listed above as a guide. Here are a few other tips you can use to make sure your title will be part of the recipe for an effective research paper :

  • Make sure your research title describes (a) the topic, (b) the method, (c) the sample, and (d) the results of your study. You can use the following formula:
[ Result ]: A [ method ] study of [ topic ] among [ sample ] Example : Meditation makes nurses perform better: a qualitative study of mindfulness meditation among German nursing students
  • Avoid unnecessary words and jargons. Keep the title statement as concise as possible. You want a title that will be comprehensible even to people who are not experts in your field. Check our article for a detailed list of things to avoid when writing an effective research title .
  • Make sure your title is between 5 and 15 words in length.
  • If you are writing a title for a university assignment or for a particular academic journal, verify that your title conforms to the standards and requirements for that outlet. For example, many journals require that titles fall under a character limit, including spaces. Many universities require that titles take a very specific form, limiting your creativity.
  • Use a descriptive phrase to convey the purpose of your research efficiently.
  • Most importantly, use critical keywords in the title to increase the discoverability of your article.

different names for a research paper

Resources for Further Reading

In addition to the tips above, there are many resources online that you can use to help write your research title. Here is a list of links that you may find useful as you work on creating an excellent research title:

  • The University of Southern California has a guide specific to social science research papers: http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/title
  • The Journal of European Psychology Students has a blog article focusing on APA-compliant research paper titles: http://blog.efpsa.org/2012/09/01/how-to-write-a-good-title-for-journal-articles/
  • This article by Kristen Hamlin contains a step-by-step approach to writing titles: http://classroom.synonym.com/choose-title-research-paper-4332.html

Are there any tips or tricks you find useful in crafting research titles? Which tip did you find most useful in this article? Leave a comment to let us know!

  • Hairston, M., & Keene, M. 2003. Successful writing . 5th ed. New York: Norton.
  • University of Southern California. 2017. Organizing your social sciences research paper: choosing a title . [Online] Available at: http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/title

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Thank you so much:) Have a nice day!

Thank you so much, it helped me.. God bless..

Thank you for the excellent article and tips for creating a research work, because I always forget about such an essential element as the keywords when forming topics. In particular, I have found a rapid help with the formation of informative and sound titles that also conforms to the standards and requirements.

I am doing a research work on sales girls or shop girls using qualititative method. Basicly I am from Pakistan and writing on the scenario of mycountry. I am really confused about my research title can you kindly give some suggestions and give me an approperaite tilte

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Hi Zubair, Thank you for your question. However, the information you have provided is insufficient for drafting an appropriate title. Information on what exactly you intend to study would be needed in order to draft a meaningful title. Meanwhile, you can try drafting your own title after going through the following articles our website: https://www.enago.com/academy/top-10-tips-on-choosing-an-attractive-research-title/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/writing-a-good-research-title-things-to-avoid/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/write-irresistible-research-paper-title/ We would be happy to give you feedback and suggest changes if required. Did you get a chance to install our free Mobile App? https://www.enago.com/academy/mobile-app/ . Make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter https://www.enago.com/academy/subscribe-now/ .

thanks for helping me like this!!

Thank you for this. It helped me improve my research title. I just want to verify to you the title I have just made. “Ensuring the safety: A Quantitative Study of Radio Frequency Identification system among the selected students of ( school’s name ).

(I need your reply asap coz we will be doing the chap. 1 tomorrow. Thank u in advance. 🙂 )

I am actually doing a research paper title. I want to know more further in doing research title. Can you give me some tips on doing a research paper?

Hi Joan, Thank you for your question. We are glad to know that you found our resources useful. Your feedback is very valuable to us. You can try drafting your own title after going through the following articles on our website: https://www.enago.com/academy/top-10-tips-on-choosing-an-attractive-research-title/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/writing-a-good-research-title-things-to-avoid/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/write-irresistible-research-paper-title/

We would be happy to give you feedback and suggest changes if required. Did you get a chance to install our free Mobile App? https://www.enago.com/academy/mobile-app/ . Make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter https://www.enago.com/academy/subscribe-now/ .

That really helpful. Thanks alot

Thank you so much. It’s really help me.

Thanks for sharing this tips. Title matters a lot for any article because it contents Keywords of article. It should be eye-catchy. Your article is helpful to select title of any article.

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This blog is very informative for me. Thanks for sharing.

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i’m found in selecting my ma thesis title ,so i’m going to do my final research after the proposal approved. Your post help me find good title.

I need help. I need a research title for my study about early mobilization of the mechanically ventilated patients in the ICU. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

Thank you for posting your query on the website. When writing manuscripts, too many scholars neglect the research title. This phrase, along with the abstract, is what people will mostly see and read online. Title research of publications shows that the research paper title does matter a lot. Both bibliometrics and altmetrics tracking of citations are now, for better or worse, used to gauge a paper’s “success” for its author(s) and the journal publishing it. Interesting research topics coupled with good or clever yet accurate research titles can draw more attention to your work from peers and the public alike. You can check through the following search results for titles on similar topics: https://www.google.com/search?q=early+mobilization+of+the+mechanically+ventilated+patients+in+the+icu&rlz=1C1GCEU_enIN907IN907&oq=&aqs=chrome.0.69i59.4920093j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 .

We hope this would be helpful in drafting an attractive title for your research paper.

Please let us know in case of any other queries.

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In case the topic is new research before you’re writing. And then to stand out, you end up being different.and be inclined to highlight yourself.

There are many free directories, and more paid lists.

To be honest your article is informative. I search many site to know about writing but I didn’t get the information I needed. I saw your site and I read it. I got some new information from here. I think some of your tips can be applied to those too! Thank you so very much for such informative and useful content.

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Home » Research Paper Title – Writing Guide and Example

Research Paper Title – Writing Guide and Example

Table of Contents

Research Paper Title

Research Paper Title

Research Paper Title is the name or heading that summarizes the main theme or topic of a research paper . It serves as the first point of contact between the reader and the paper, providing an initial impression of the content, purpose, and scope of the research . A well-crafted research paper title should be concise, informative, and engaging, accurately reflecting the key elements of the study while also capturing the reader’s attention and interest. The title should be clear and easy to understand, and it should accurately convey the main focus and scope of the research paper.

Examples of Research Paper Title

Here are some Good Examples of Research Paper Title:

  • “Investigating the Relationship Between Sleep Duration and Academic Performance Among College Students”
  • “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Employment: A Systematic Review”
  • “The Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “Exploring the Effects of Social Support on Mental Health in Patients with Chronic Illness”
  • “Assessing the Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
  • “The Impact of Social Media Influencers on Consumer Behavior: A Systematic Review”
  • “Investigating the Link Between Personality Traits and Leadership Effectiveness”
  • “The Effect of Parental Incarceration on Child Development: A Longitudinal Study”
  • “Exploring the Relationship Between Cultural Intelligence and Cross-Cultural Adaptation: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “Assessing the Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Chronic Pain Management”.
  • “The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “The Impact of Climate Change on Global Crop Yields: A Longitudinal Study”
  • “Exploring the Relationship between Parental Involvement and Academic Achievement in Elementary School Students”
  • “The Ethics of Genetic Editing: A Review of Current Research and Implications for Society”
  • “Understanding the Role of Gender in Leadership: A Comparative Study of Male and Female CEOs”
  • “The Effect of Exercise on Cognitive Function in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
  • “The Impacts of COVID-19 on Mental Health: A Cross-Cultural Comparison”
  • “Assessing the Effectiveness of Online Learning Platforms: A Case Study of Coursera”
  • “Exploring the Link between Employee Engagement and Organizational Performance”
  • “The Effects of Income Inequality on Social Mobility: A Comparative Analysis of OECD Countries”
  • “Exploring the Relationship Between Social Media Use and Mental Health in Adolescents”
  • “The Impact of Climate Change on Crop Yield: A Case Study of Maize Production in Sub-Saharan Africa”
  • “Examining the Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: A Meta-Analysis”
  • “An Analysis of the Relationship Between Employee Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment”
  • “Assessing the Impacts of Wilderness Areas on Local Economies: A Case Study of Yellowstone National Park”
  • “The Role of Parental Involvement in Early Childhood Education: A Review of the Literature”
  • “Investigating the Effects of Technology on Learning in Higher Education”
  • “The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges”
  • “A Study of the Relationship Between Personality Traits and Leadership Styles in Business Organizations”.

How to choose Research Paper Title

Choosing a research paper title is an important step in the research process. A good title can attract readers and convey the essence of your research in a concise and clear manner. Here are some tips on how to choose a research paper title:

  • Be clear and concise: A good title should convey the main idea of your research in a clear and concise manner. Avoid using jargon or technical language that may be confusing to readers.
  • Use keywords: Including keywords in your title can help readers find your paper when searching for related topics. Use specific, descriptive terms that accurately describe your research.
  • Be descriptive: A descriptive title can help readers understand what your research is about. Use adjectives and adverbs to convey the main ideas of your research.
  • Consider the audience : Think about the audience for your paper and choose a title that will appeal to them. If your paper is aimed at a specialized audience, you may want to use technical terms or jargon in your title.
  • Avoid being too general or too specific : A title that is too general may not convey the specific focus of your research, while a title that is too specific may not be of interest to a broader audience. Strive for a title that accurately reflects the focus of your research without being too narrow or too broad.
  • Make it interesting : A title that is interesting or provocative can capture the attention of readers and draw them into your research. Use humor, wordplay, or other creative techniques to make your title stand out.
  • Seek feedback: Ask colleagues or advisors for feedback on your title. They may be able to offer suggestions or identify potential problems that you hadn’t considered.

Purpose of Research Paper Title

The research paper title serves several important purposes, including:

  • Identifying the subject matter : The title of a research paper should clearly and accurately identify the topic or subject matter that the paper addresses. This helps readers quickly understand what the paper is about.
  • Catching the reader’s attention : A well-crafted title can grab the reader’s attention and make them interested in reading the paper. This is particularly important in academic settings where there may be many papers on the same topic.
  • Providing context: The title can provide important context for the research paper by indicating the specific area of study, the research methods used, or the key findings.
  • Communicating the scope of the paper: A good title can give readers an idea of the scope and depth of the research paper. This can help them decide if the paper is relevant to their interests or research.
  • Indicating the research question or hypothesis : The title can often indicate the research question or hypothesis that the paper addresses, which can help readers understand the focus of the research and the main argument or conclusion of the paper.

Advantages of Research Paper Title

The title of a research paper is an important component that can have several advantages, including:

  • Capturing the reader’s attention : A well-crafted research paper title can grab the reader’s attention and encourage them to read further. A captivating title can also increase the visibility of the paper and attract more readers.
  • Providing a clear indication of the paper’s focus: A well-written research paper title should clearly convey the main focus and purpose of the study. This helps potential readers quickly determine whether the paper is relevant to their interests.
  • Improving discoverability: A descriptive title that includes relevant keywords can improve the discoverability of the research paper in search engines and academic databases, making it easier for other researchers to find and cite.
  • Enhancing credibility : A clear and concise title can enhance the credibility of the research and the author. A title that accurately reflects the content of the paper can increase the confidence readers have in the research findings.
  • Facilitating communication: A well-written research paper title can facilitate communication among researchers, enabling them to quickly and easily identify relevant studies and engage in discussions related to the topic.
  • Making the paper easier to remember : An engaging and memorable research paper title can help readers remember the paper and its findings. This can be especially important in fields where researchers are constantly inundated with new information and need to quickly recall important studies.
  • Setting expectations: A good research paper title can set expectations for the reader and help them understand what the paper will cover. This can be especially important for readers who are unfamiliar with the topic or the research area.
  • Guiding research: A well-crafted research paper title can also guide future research by highlighting gaps in the current literature or suggesting new areas for investigation.
  • Demonstrating creativity: A creative research paper title can demonstrate the author’s creativity and originality, which can be appealing to readers and other researchers.

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  • USC Libraries
  • Research Guides

Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper

  • Choosing a Title
  • Purpose of Guide
  • Design Flaws to Avoid
  • Independent and Dependent Variables
  • Glossary of Research Terms
  • Reading Research Effectively
  • Narrowing a Topic Idea
  • Broadening a Topic Idea
  • Extending the Timeliness of a Topic Idea
  • Academic Writing Style
  • Making an Outline
  • Paragraph Development
  • Research Process Video Series
  • Executive Summary
  • The C.A.R.S. Model
  • Background Information
  • The Research Problem/Question
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Citation Tracking
  • Content Alert Services
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Primary Sources
  • Secondary Sources
  • Tiertiary Sources
  • Scholarly vs. Popular Publications
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Insiderness
  • Using Non-Textual Elements
  • Limitations of the Study
  • Common Grammar Mistakes
  • Writing Concisely
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Footnotes or Endnotes?
  • Further Readings
  • Generative AI and Writing
  • USC Libraries Tutorials and Other Guides
  • Bibliography

The title summarizes the main idea or ideas of your study. A good title contains the fewest possible words needed to adequately describe the content and/or purpose of your research paper.

Importance of Choosing a Good Title

The title is the part of a paper that is read the most, and it is usually read first . It is, therefore, the most important element that defines the research study. With this in mind, avoid the following when creating a title:

  • If the title is too long, this usually indicates there are too many unnecessary words. Avoid language, such as, "A Study to Investigate the...," or "An Examination of the...." These phrases are obvious and generally superfluous unless they are necessary to covey the scope, intent, or type of a study.
  • On the other hand, a title which is too short often uses words which are too broad and, thus, does not tell the reader what is being studied. For example, a paper with the title, "African Politics" is so non-specific the title could be the title of a book and so ambiguous that it could refer to anything associated with politics in Africa. A good title should provide information about the focus and/or scope of your research study.
  • In academic writing, catchy phrases or non-specific language may be used, but only if it's within the context of the study [e.g., "Fair and Impartial Jury--Catch as Catch Can"]. However, in most cases, you should avoid including words or phrases that do not help the reader understand the purpose of your paper.
  • Academic writing is a serious and deliberate endeavor. Avoid using humorous or clever journalistic styles of phrasing when creating the title to your paper. Journalistic headlines often use emotional adjectives [e.g., incredible, amazing, effortless] to highlight a problem experienced by the reader or use "trigger words" or interrogative words like how, what, when, or why to persuade people to read the article or click on a link. These approaches are viewed as counter-productive in academic writing. A reader does not need clever or humorous titles to catch their attention because the act of reading research is assumed to be deliberate based on a desire to learn and improve understanding of the problem. In addition, a humorous title can merely detract from the seriousness and authority of your research. 
  • Unlike everywhere else in a college-level social sciences research paper [except when using direct quotes in the text], titles do not have to adhere to rigid grammatical or stylistic standards. For example, it could be appropriate to begin a title with a coordinating conjunction [i.e., and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet] if it makes sense to do so and does not detract from the purpose of the study [e.g., "Yet Another Look at Mutual Fund Tournaments"] or beginning the title with an inflected form of a verb such as those ending in -ing [e.g., "Assessing the Political Landscape: Structure, Cognition, and Power in Organizations"].

Appiah, Kingsley Richard et al. “Structural Organisation of Research Article Titles: A Comparative Study of Titles of Business, Gynaecology and Law.” Advances in Language and Literary Studies 10 (2019); Hartley James. “To Attract or to Inform: What are Titles for?” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 35 (2005): 203-213; Jaakkola, Maarit. “Journalistic Writing and Style.” In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication . Jon F. Nussbaum, editor. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018): https://oxfordre.com/communication.

Structure and Writing Style

The following parameters can be used to help you formulate a suitable research paper title:

  • The purpose of the research
  • The scope of the research
  • The narrative tone of the paper [typically defined by the type of the research]
  • The methods used to study the problem

The initial aim of a title is to capture the reader’s attention and to highlight the research problem under investigation.

Create a Working Title Typically, the final title you submit to your professor is created after the research is complete so that the title accurately captures what has been done . The working title should be developed early in the research process because it can help anchor the focus of the study in much the same way the research problem does. Referring back to the working title can help you reorient yourself back to the main purpose of the study if you find yourself drifting off on a tangent while writing. The Final Title Effective titles in research papers have several characteristics that reflect general principles of academic writing.

  • Indicate accurately the subject and scope of the study,
  • Rarely use abbreviations or acronyms unless they are commonly known,
  • Use words that create a positive impression and stimulate reader interest,
  • Use current nomenclature from the field of study,
  • Identify key variables, both dependent and independent,
  • Reveal how the paper will be organized,
  • Suggest a relationship between variables which supports the major hypothesis,
  • Is limited to 5 to 15 substantive words,
  • Does not include redundant phrasing, such as, "A Study of," "An Analysis of" or similar constructions,
  • Takes the form of a question or declarative statement,
  • If you use a quote as part of the title, the source of the quote is cited [usually using an asterisk and footnote],
  • Use correct grammar and capitalization with all first words and last words capitalized, including the first word of a subtitle. All nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs that appear between the first and last words of the title are also capitalized, and
  • Rarely uses an exclamation mark at the end of the title.

The Subtitle Subtitles are frequently used in social sciences research papers because it helps the reader understand the scope of the study in relation to how it was designed to address the research problem. Think about what type of subtitle listed below reflects the overall approach to your study and whether you believe a subtitle is needed to emphasize the investigative parameters of your research.

1.  Explains or provides additional context , e.g., "Linguistic Ethnography and the Study of Welfare Institutions as a Flow of Social Practices: The Case of Residential Child Care Institutions as Paradoxical Institutions." [Palomares, Manuel and David Poveda.  Text & Talk: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse and Communication Studies 30 (January 2010): 193-212]

2.  Adds substance to a literary, provocative, or imaginative title or quote , e.g., "Listen to What I Say, Not How I Vote": Congressional Support for the President in Washington and at Home." [Grose, Christian R. and Keesha M. Middlemass. Social Science Quarterly 91 (March 2010): 143-167]

3.  Qualifies the geographic scope of the research , e.g., "The Geopolitics of the Eastern Border of the European Union: The Case of Romania-Moldova-Ukraine." [Marcu, Silvia. Geopolitics 14 (August 2009): 409-432]

4.  Qualifies the temporal scope of the research , e.g., "A Comparison of the Progressive Era and the Depression Years: Societal Influences on Predictions of the Future of the Library, 1895-1940." [Grossman, Hal B. Libraries & the Cultural Record 46 (2011): 102-128]

5.  Focuses on investigating the ideas, theories, or work of a particular individual , e.g., "A Deliberative Conception of Politics: How Francesco Saverio Merlino Related Anarchy and Democracy." [La Torre, Massimo. Sociologia del Diritto 28 (January 2001): 75 - 98]

6.  Identifies the methodology used , e.g. "Student Activism of the 1960s Revisited: A Multivariate Analysis Research Note." [Aron, William S. Social Forces 52 (March 1974): 408-414]

7.  Defines the overarching technique for analyzing the research problem , e.g., "Explaining Territorial Change in Federal Democracies: A Comparative Historical Institutionalist Approach." [ Tillin, Louise. Political Studies 63 (August 2015): 626-641.

With these examples in mind, think about what type of subtitle reflects the overall approach to your study. This will help the reader understand the scope of the study in relation to how it was designed to address the research problem.

Anstey, A. “Writing Style: What's in a Title?” British Journal of Dermatology 170 (May 2014): 1003-1004; Balch, Tucker. How to Compose a Title for Your Research Paper. Augmented Trader blog. School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Tech University; Bavdekar, Sandeep B. “Formulating the Right Title for a Research Article.” Journal of Association of Physicians of India 64 (February 2016); Choosing the Proper Research Paper Titles. AplusReports.com, 2007-2012; Eva, Kevin W. “Titles, Abstracts, and Authors.” In How to Write a Paper . George M. Hall, editor. 5th edition. (Oxford: John Wiley and Sons, 2013), pp. 33-41; Hartley James. “To Attract or to Inform: What are Titles for?” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 35 (2005): 203-213; General Format. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Kerkut G.A. “Choosing a Title for a Paper.” Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Physiology 74 (1983): 1; “Tempting Titles.” In Stylish Academic Writing . Helen Sword, editor. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012), pp. 63-75; Nundy, Samiran, et al. “How to Choose a Title?” In How to Practice Academic Medicine and Publish from Developing Countries? A Practical Guide . Edited by Samiran Nundy, Atul Kakar, and Zulfiqar A. Bhutta. (Springer Singapore, 2022), pp. 185-192.

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5 Simple steps to write a good research paper title

Title, Abstract & keywords

Jayashree Rajagopalan

5 Simple steps to write a good research paper title

The first thing journal editors and reviewers will see upon receiving your research paper is the title, and will immediately form a view on what they should expect in your research paper. Moreover, the tile of your research paper is the only aspect that will be freely available to readers through search engines or indexing databases. It is therefore imperative that you write a clear, persuasive title that leads readers to know more about your research.

In a hurry? We have just the thing for you -- The following 3-minute interactive video will give you a quick summary of the 5 simple steps to follow while writing an effective research paper title. 

You can also go on to read the rest of the article to deepen your understanding of which best practices to follow while writing a captivating, yet informative title for your research paper. 

The following example will help you understand how you can go about writing a good title for your research paper in 5 simple steps:

Ask yourself these questions and make note of the answers:

  • What is my paper about?

different names for a research paper

My paper studies whether X therapy improves the cognitive function of patients suffering from dementia.

  • What techniques/ designs were used?

It was a randomized trial.

  • Who/what is studied?

I studied 40 cases from six cities in Japan.

  • What were the results?

There was an improvement in the cognitive function of patients.

Use your answers to list key words.

  • Randomized trial
  • 6 Japanese cities
  • Improved cognitive function

Does your publication goal seem near yet too far?

Explore Researcher.Life to get the boost you need to achieve all your goals

Create a sentence that includes the key words you listed.

This study is a randomized trial that investigates whether X therapy improved cognitive function in 40 dementia patients from 6 cities in Japan; it reports improved cognitive function.

(Current length: 28 words)

Delete all unnecessary/ repetitive words and link the remaining. 

This study is a  randomized trial  that investigates whether  X therapy improved cognitive function in 40 dementia patients from 6 cities in Japan;  it reports improved cognitive function Randomized trial of X therapy for improving cognitive function in 40 dementia patients from 6 cities in Japan

(Length of revised title: 18 words)

Delete non-essential information and reword the title. 

Randomized trial  of  X therapy  for improving  cognitive function in 40 dementia patients  from 6 cities in Japan reports improved cognitive function

Randomized trial of X therapy for improving cognitive function in 40 dementia patients 

(Length of finalized title: 13 words) 

Include a subtitle

X therapy improves cognitive function in 40 dementia patients: A randomized trial 

(Title length: 12 words) Following the steps outlined above will help you arrive at an effective title for your research paper. Learn in depth how you can write a persuasive title for your manuscript with this course designed exclusively for researchers: How and how not to title your research paper - A handbook for authors

Related reading: The complete guide to writing a brilliant research paper

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Published on: Nov 18, 2014

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13.1 Formatting a Research Paper

Learning objectives.

  • Identify the major components of a research paper written using American Psychological Association (APA) style.
  • Apply general APA style and formatting conventions in a research paper.

In this chapter, you will learn how to use APA style , the documentation and formatting style followed by the American Psychological Association, as well as MLA style , from the Modern Language Association. There are a few major formatting styles used in academic texts, including AMA, Chicago, and Turabian:

  • AMA (American Medical Association) for medicine, health, and biological sciences
  • APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the social sciences
  • Chicago—a common style used in everyday publications like magazines, newspapers, and books
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) for English, literature, arts, and humanities
  • Turabian—another common style designed for its universal application across all subjects and disciplines

While all the formatting and citation styles have their own use and applications, in this chapter we focus our attention on the two styles you are most likely to use in your academic studies: APA and MLA.

If you find that the rules of proper source documentation are difficult to keep straight, you are not alone. Writing a good research paper is, in and of itself, a major intellectual challenge. Having to follow detailed citation and formatting guidelines as well may seem like just one more task to add to an already-too-long list of requirements.

Following these guidelines, however, serves several important purposes. First, it signals to your readers that your paper should be taken seriously as a student’s contribution to a given academic or professional field; it is the literary equivalent of wearing a tailored suit to a job interview. Second, it shows that you respect other people’s work enough to give them proper credit for it. Finally, it helps your reader find additional materials if he or she wishes to learn more about your topic.

Furthermore, producing a letter-perfect APA-style paper need not be burdensome. Yes, it requires careful attention to detail. However, you can simplify the process if you keep these broad guidelines in mind:

  • Work ahead whenever you can. Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” includes tips for keeping track of your sources early in the research process, which will save time later on.
  • Get it right the first time. Apply APA guidelines as you write, so you will not have much to correct during the editing stage. Again, putting in a little extra time early on can save time later.
  • Use the resources available to you. In addition to the guidelines provided in this chapter, you may wish to consult the APA website at http://www.apa.org or the Purdue University Online Writing lab at http://owl.english.purdue.edu , which regularly updates its online style guidelines.

General Formatting Guidelines

This chapter provides detailed guidelines for using the citation and formatting conventions developed by the American Psychological Association, or APA. Writers in disciplines as diverse as astrophysics, biology, psychology, and education follow APA style. The major components of a paper written in APA style are listed in the following box.

These are the major components of an APA-style paper:

Body, which includes the following:

  • Headings and, if necessary, subheadings to organize the content
  • In-text citations of research sources
  • References page

All these components must be saved in one document, not as separate documents.

The title page of your paper includes the following information:

  • Title of the paper
  • Author’s name
  • Name of the institution with which the author is affiliated
  • Header at the top of the page with the paper title (in capital letters) and the page number (If the title is lengthy, you may use a shortened form of it in the header.)

List the first three elements in the order given in the previous list, centered about one third of the way down from the top of the page. Use the headers and footers tool of your word-processing program to add the header, with the title text at the left and the page number in the upper-right corner. Your title page should look like the following example.

Beyond the Hype: Evaluating Low-Carb Diets cover page

The next page of your paper provides an abstract , or brief summary of your findings. An abstract does not need to be provided in every paper, but an abstract should be used in papers that include a hypothesis. A good abstract is concise—about one hundred fifty to two hundred fifty words—and is written in an objective, impersonal style. Your writing voice will not be as apparent here as in the body of your paper. When writing the abstract, take a just-the-facts approach, and summarize your research question and your findings in a few sentences.

In Chapter 12 “Writing a Research Paper” , you read a paper written by a student named Jorge, who researched the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets. Read Jorge’s abstract. Note how it sums up the major ideas in his paper without going into excessive detail.

Beyond the Hype: Abstract

Write an abstract summarizing your paper. Briefly introduce the topic, state your findings, and sum up what conclusions you can draw from your research. Use the word count feature of your word-processing program to make sure your abstract does not exceed one hundred fifty words.

Depending on your field of study, you may sometimes write research papers that present extensive primary research, such as your own experiment or survey. In your abstract, summarize your research question and your findings, and briefly indicate how your study relates to prior research in the field.

Margins, Pagination, and Headings

APA style requirements also address specific formatting concerns, such as margins, pagination, and heading styles, within the body of the paper. Review the following APA guidelines.

Use these general guidelines to format the paper:

  • Set the top, bottom, and side margins of your paper at 1 inch.
  • Use double-spaced text throughout your paper.
  • Use a standard font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in a legible size (10- to 12-point).
  • Use continuous pagination throughout the paper, including the title page and the references section. Page numbers appear flush right within your header.
  • Section headings and subsection headings within the body of your paper use different types of formatting depending on the level of information you are presenting. Additional details from Jorge’s paper are provided.

Cover Page

Begin formatting the final draft of your paper according to APA guidelines. You may work with an existing document or set up a new document if you choose. Include the following:

  • Your title page
  • The abstract you created in Note 13.8 “Exercise 1”
  • Correct headers and page numbers for your title page and abstract

APA style uses section headings to organize information, making it easy for the reader to follow the writer’s train of thought and to know immediately what major topics are covered. Depending on the length and complexity of the paper, its major sections may also be divided into subsections, sub-subsections, and so on. These smaller sections, in turn, use different heading styles to indicate different levels of information. In essence, you are using headings to create a hierarchy of information.

The following heading styles used in APA formatting are listed in order of greatest to least importance:

  • Section headings use centered, boldface type. Headings use title case, with important words in the heading capitalized.
  • Subsection headings use left-aligned, boldface type. Headings use title case.
  • The third level uses left-aligned, indented, boldface type. Headings use a capital letter only for the first word, and they end in a period.
  • The fourth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are boldfaced and italicized.
  • The fifth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are italicized and not boldfaced.

Visually, the hierarchy of information is organized as indicated in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” .

Table 13.1 Section Headings

A college research paper may not use all the heading levels shown in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” , but you are likely to encounter them in academic journal articles that use APA style. For a brief paper, you may find that level 1 headings suffice. Longer or more complex papers may need level 2 headings or other lower-level headings to organize information clearly. Use your outline to craft your major section headings and determine whether any subtopics are substantial enough to require additional levels of headings.

Working with the document you developed in Note 13.11 “Exercise 2” , begin setting up the heading structure of the final draft of your research paper according to APA guidelines. Include your title and at least two to three major section headings, and follow the formatting guidelines provided above. If your major sections should be broken into subsections, add those headings as well. Use your outline to help you.

Because Jorge used only level 1 headings, his Exercise 3 would look like the following:

Citation Guidelines

In-text citations.

Throughout the body of your paper, include a citation whenever you quote or paraphrase material from your research sources. As you learned in Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” , the purpose of citations is twofold: to give credit to others for their ideas and to allow your reader to follow up and learn more about the topic if desired. Your in-text citations provide basic information about your source; each source you cite will have a longer entry in the references section that provides more detailed information.

In-text citations must provide the name of the author or authors and the year the source was published. (When a given source does not list an individual author, you may provide the source title or the name of the organization that published the material instead.) When directly quoting a source, it is also required that you include the page number where the quote appears in your citation.

This information may be included within the sentence or in a parenthetical reference at the end of the sentence, as in these examples.

Epstein (2010) points out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).

Here, the writer names the source author when introducing the quote and provides the publication date in parentheses after the author’s name. The page number appears in parentheses after the closing quotation marks and before the period that ends the sentence.

Addiction researchers caution that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (Epstein, 2010, p. 137).

Here, the writer provides a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence that includes the author’s name, the year of publication, and the page number separated by commas. Again, the parenthetical citation is placed after the closing quotation marks and before the period at the end of the sentence.

As noted in the book Junk Food, Junk Science (Epstein, 2010, p. 137), “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive.”

Here, the writer chose to mention the source title in the sentence (an optional piece of information to include) and followed the title with a parenthetical citation. Note that the parenthetical citation is placed before the comma that signals the end of the introductory phrase.

David Epstein’s book Junk Food, Junk Science (2010) pointed out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).

Another variation is to introduce the author and the source title in your sentence and include the publication date and page number in parentheses within the sentence or at the end of the sentence. As long as you have included the essential information, you can choose the option that works best for that particular sentence and source.

Citing a book with a single author is usually a straightforward task. Of course, your research may require that you cite many other types of sources, such as books or articles with more than one author or sources with no individual author listed. You may also need to cite sources available in both print and online and nonprint sources, such as websites and personal interviews. Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.2 “Citing and Referencing Techniques” and Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provide extensive guidelines for citing a variety of source types.

Writing at Work

APA is just one of several different styles with its own guidelines for documentation, formatting, and language usage. Depending on your field of interest, you may be exposed to additional styles, such as the following:

  • MLA style. Determined by the Modern Languages Association and used for papers in literature, languages, and other disciplines in the humanities.
  • Chicago style. Outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style and sometimes used for papers in the humanities and the sciences; many professional organizations use this style for publications as well.
  • Associated Press (AP) style. Used by professional journalists.

References List

The brief citations included in the body of your paper correspond to the more detailed citations provided at the end of the paper in the references section. In-text citations provide basic information—the author’s name, the publication date, and the page number if necessary—while the references section provides more extensive bibliographical information. Again, this information allows your reader to follow up on the sources you cited and do additional reading about the topic if desired.

The specific format of entries in the list of references varies slightly for different source types, but the entries generally include the following information:

  • The name(s) of the author(s) or institution that wrote the source
  • The year of publication and, where applicable, the exact date of publication
  • The full title of the source
  • For books, the city of publication
  • For articles or essays, the name of the periodical or book in which the article or essay appears
  • For magazine and journal articles, the volume number, issue number, and pages where the article appears
  • For sources on the web, the URL where the source is located

The references page is double spaced and lists entries in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. If an entry continues for more than one line, the second line and each subsequent line are indented five spaces. Review the following example. ( Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provides extensive guidelines for formatting reference entries for different types of sources.)

References Section

In APA style, book and article titles are formatted in sentence case, not title case. Sentence case means that only the first word is capitalized, along with any proper nouns.

Key Takeaways

  • Following proper citation and formatting guidelines helps writers ensure that their work will be taken seriously, give proper credit to other authors for their work, and provide valuable information to readers.
  • Working ahead and taking care to cite sources correctly the first time are ways writers can save time during the editing stage of writing a research paper.
  • APA papers usually include an abstract that concisely summarizes the paper.
  • APA papers use a specific headings structure to provide a clear hierarchy of information.
  • In APA papers, in-text citations usually include the name(s) of the author(s) and the year of publication.
  • In-text citations correspond to entries in the references section, which provide detailed bibliographical information about a source.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Free Research Name Generator

Type your search term

Stuck formulating a creative title for your research paper or essay? The free research name generator we've made! All you need to do is:

Do you need help developing an appealing research name for your essay assignment? Don't stress anymore! In three easy steps, you can create an attention-grabbing name for your research paper in a few minutes with the help of our free online research name generator.

  • Input your search term.
  • Click on the “search topic” button and pick one or more topics proposed by the research name generator.
  • Reload the list by clicking the search button again if you want more options.
  • 📝 Why Is a Research Name Important
  • 📍 Coming up with a Topic
  • 🪝 Making a Catchy Research Name

🔗 References

📝 research name - what it is & why it is important.

When looking for a research study on a specific topic, you are likelier to pick essays with catchy, descriptive research names that grab your attention. In contrast, the research paper headings that are less captivating or descriptive are easy to ignore, regardless of the content’s quality. That is why developing an excellent and noticeable title for your research paper is crucial.

So, what makes a good name for your essay?

Let's explore 4 characteristics of a quality research title:

Research Topic vs. Research Name

Although most people use these two terms interchangeably, it is essential to note that a research name is not similar to a research topic:

  • A research topic gives you a brief context of the research essay by displaying a sneak peek of the content. Topics are often long, sometimes two sentences long.
  • A research name is short and precise, equal to the text’s title. It does not show the context of the research paper.

📍 Coming up with a Research Topic

Writing an academic paper is a serious task requiring intense effort. One of the most critical parts of the entire process is coming up with a suitable heading for your paper. The name you choose for your research proposal, term paper, thesis, or dissertation determines your readers' enthusiasm toward the paper even before they dig into it.

Selecting a theme of your genuine interest is essential because it makes your writing process much easier and more enjoyable.

Here is how you come up with an exciting research topic :

  • Seek inspiration from other bodies of work in the same field by consuming as much information as possible regarding your research area. From your research, you will find a name that piques your interest and that of your readers.
  • Consider your target audience while writing your research paper name. Use language that is palatable and relatable to your readers. For example, the language relatable to an audience of medics differs from what an audience of lawyers might find suitable.
  • Be as straightforward as possible with your topic. A garbled and complicated topic is a huge turn-off for your readers, who will assume that your research paper is as complex as your title.
  • Avoid jargon on your research topic since it interferes with the clarity of the message. Try to stick to the basics unless it is vital, field-specific jargon.

🪝 How to Make a Catchy Research Name in 5 Steps

Choosing an appropriate topic for your paper should be the starting point of your writing process. It may be challenging to pick a title from all the content from your research work.

You may wonder:

  • What will make your research name appealing to the readers ?
  • How to write a heading that captures the essence of your work?

It may be a difficult task, but lucky for you, we are here to help with a few pointers.

1. Answer Some Fundamental Questions about Your Research Paper

You could start by answering the simple question: what issues does your paper address, or what does it seek to achieve? The brief answer to this question can create a relevant title for your research paper.

Let us explore some solutions and build up a title.

2. Identify Research Study Keywords

Having answered the questions, identify the essential parts of the answer and make them your keywords.

3. Use the Keywords to Write Your Title

"We employed a case study of 30 diabetic patients in New York aged between 40 – 60 years to assess the effects of long-term use of pain medication on their insulin production; results revealed a negative correlation between the two."

4. Create a Realistic Research Paper Heading

To create a working title, delete all the unnecessary words that are not important to the study or that your readers would not include in their search.

“A case study of 30 diabetic patients in New York aged 40 – 60 years assessing the effects of pain medication on insulin production, revealing a negative correlation between the medication and insulin levels.” (Word count: 33)

We are drawing closer to a good research paper name.

5. Make Your Title Even Shorter

Since most of the qualitative and quantitative data will be included in the essay, there is no need to have the numbers on your title . Research techniques are also unnecessary in the title, so we can remove them. Let’s see what we have now:

“Assessing the effects of pain medication on diabetic patients” (Word count: 9)

One can immediately recognize the subject and its aims from the simple title. To save yourself the time to create this title, you can use our free online research paper name generator and have a list of catchy title ideas to choose from.

Consider trying other study instruments for students that we’ve made:

  • Thesis checker

❓ Name Generator FAQ

❓ what is a good research title.

A creative and catchy research title should be short, captivating, clear, and precise to attract a reader to the article. Our research name maker will help you create a great title.

❓ How do you create a research name?

It would help if you focused on the intended study outcome to compose a well-designed research name. What are you interested in? What parameter of your subject will you measure? All these questions give valuable pointers for creating the name of your study paper. If you’re running out of ideas and time, you can use our free research name checker to develop some catchy titles for your research paper.

❓ What are five examples of research paper names?

There are many types of research paper names, but you can use the five most popular versions for your paper. These are direct, how-to, question, the reason why, and two-part titles.

❓ What is a working title in research?

A working title should highlight the research problem and solution to guide the reader on what to expect from the essay.

  • How to write a good research paper title - Nature
  • Writing the title and abstract for a research paper - NCBI
  • Importance of Choosing a Good Title
  • A Title that Works: Characteristics and Tips
  • Selecting a Research Topic - LibGuides at MIT Libraries

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Types of Sources

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We live in an age overflowing with sources of information. With so many information sources at our fingertips, knowing where to start, sorting through it all and finding what we want can be overwhelming! This handout provides answers to the following research-related questions: Where do I begin? Where should I look for information? What types of sources are available?

This section lists the types of sources most frequently used in academic research and describes the sort of information that each commonly offers.

Print Sources

Books and Textbooks:  Odds are that at least one book has been written about virtually any research topic you can imagine (and if not, your research could represent the first steps toward a best-selling publication that addresses the gap!). Because of the time it takes to publish a book, books usually contain more dated information than will be found in journals and newspapers. However, because they are usually much longer, they can often cover topics in greater depth than more up-to-date sources.

Newspapers:  Newspapers contain very up-to-date information by covering the latest events and trends. Newspapers publish both factual information and opinion-based articles. However, due to journalistic standards of objectivity, news reporting will not always take a “big picture” approach or contain information about larger trends, instead opting to focus mainly on the facts relevant to the specifics of the story. This is exacerbated by the rapid publication cycles most newspapers undergo: new editions must come out frequently, so long, in-depth investigations tend to be rarer than simple fact-reporting pieces.

Academic and Trade Journals:  Academic and trade journals contain the most up-to-date information and research in industry, business, and academia. Journal articles come in several forms, including literature reviews that overview current and past research, articles on theories and history, and articles on specific processes or research. While a well-regarded journal represents the cutting-edge knowledge of experts in a particular field, journal articles can often be difficult for non-experts to read, as they tend to incorporate lots of technical jargon and are not written to be engaging or entertaining.

Government Reports and Legal Documents:  The government regularly releases information intended for internal and/or public use. These types of documents can be excellent sources of information due to their regularity, dependability, and thoroughness. An example of a government report would be any of the reports the U.S. Census Bureau publishes from census data. Note that most government reports and legal documents can now be accessed online.

Press Releases and Advertising:  Companies and special interest groups produce texts to help persuade readers to act in some way or inform the public about some new development. While the information they provide can be accurate, approach them with caution, as these texts' publishers may have vested interests in highlighting particular facts or viewpoints.

Flyers, Pamphlets, Leaflets:  While some flyers or pamphlets are created by reputable sources, because of the ease with which they can be created, many less-than-reputable sources also produce these. Pamphlets and leaflets can be useful for quick reference or very general information, but beware of pamphlets that spread propaganda or misleading information.

Digital and Electronic Sources

Multimedia:  Printed material is certainly not the only option for finding research. You might also consider using sources such as radio and television broadcasts, interactive talks, and recorded public meetings. Though we often go online to find this sort of information today, libraries and archives offer a wealth of nondigitized media or media that is not available online. 

Websites:  Most of the information on the Internet is distributed via websites. Websites vary widely in terms of the quality of information they offer. For more information, visit the OWL's page on evaluating digital sources.

Blogs and personal websites:  Blogs and personal sites vary widely in their validity as sources for serious research. For example, many prestigious journalists and public figures may have blogs, which may be more credible than most amateur or personal blogs. Note, however, that there are very few standards for impartiality or accuracy when it comes to what can be published on personal sites.

Social media pages and message boards:  These types of sources exist for all kinds of disciplines, both in and outside of the university. Some may be useful, depending on the topic you are studying, but, just like personal websites, the information found on social media or message boards is not always credible.


Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 113 great research paper topics.

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General Education


One of the hardest parts of writing a research paper can be just finding a good topic to write about. Fortunately we've done the hard work for you and have compiled a list of 113 interesting research paper topics. They've been organized into ten categories and cover a wide range of subjects so you can easily find the best topic for you.

In addition to the list of good research topics, we've included advice on what makes a good research paper topic and how you can use your topic to start writing a great paper.

What Makes a Good Research Paper Topic?

Not all research paper topics are created equal, and you want to make sure you choose a great topic before you start writing. Below are the three most important factors to consider to make sure you choose the best research paper topics.

#1: It's Something You're Interested In

A paper is always easier to write if you're interested in the topic, and you'll be more motivated to do in-depth research and write a paper that really covers the entire subject. Even if a certain research paper topic is getting a lot of buzz right now or other people seem interested in writing about it, don't feel tempted to make it your topic unless you genuinely have some sort of interest in it as well.

#2: There's Enough Information to Write a Paper

Even if you come up with the absolute best research paper topic and you're so excited to write about it, you won't be able to produce a good paper if there isn't enough research about the topic. This can happen for very specific or specialized topics, as well as topics that are too new to have enough research done on them at the moment. Easy research paper topics will always be topics with enough information to write a full-length paper.

Trying to write a research paper on a topic that doesn't have much research on it is incredibly hard, so before you decide on a topic, do a bit of preliminary searching and make sure you'll have all the information you need to write your paper.

#3: It Fits Your Teacher's Guidelines

Don't get so carried away looking at lists of research paper topics that you forget any requirements or restrictions your teacher may have put on research topic ideas. If you're writing a research paper on a health-related topic, deciding to write about the impact of rap on the music scene probably won't be allowed, but there may be some sort of leeway. For example, if you're really interested in current events but your teacher wants you to write a research paper on a history topic, you may be able to choose a topic that fits both categories, like exploring the relationship between the US and North Korea. No matter what, always get your research paper topic approved by your teacher first before you begin writing.

113 Good Research Paper Topics

Below are 113 good research topics to help you get you started on your paper. We've organized them into ten categories to make it easier to find the type of research paper topics you're looking for.


  • Discuss the main differences in art from the Italian Renaissance and the Northern Renaissance .
  • Analyze the impact a famous artist had on the world.
  • How is sexism portrayed in different types of media (music, film, video games, etc.)? Has the amount/type of sexism changed over the years?
  • How has the music of slaves brought over from Africa shaped modern American music?
  • How has rap music evolved in the past decade?
  • How has the portrayal of minorities in the media changed?


Current Events

  • What have been the impacts of China's one child policy?
  • How have the goals of feminists changed over the decades?
  • How has the Trump presidency changed international relations?
  • Analyze the history of the relationship between the United States and North Korea.
  • What factors contributed to the current decline in the rate of unemployment?
  • What have been the impacts of states which have increased their minimum wage?
  • How do US immigration laws compare to immigration laws of other countries?
  • How have the US's immigration laws changed in the past few years/decades?
  • How has the Black Lives Matter movement affected discussions and view about racism in the US?
  • What impact has the Affordable Care Act had on healthcare in the US?
  • What factors contributed to the UK deciding to leave the EU (Brexit)?
  • What factors contributed to China becoming an economic power?
  • Discuss the history of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies  (some of which tokenize the S&P 500 Index on the blockchain) .
  • Do students in schools that eliminate grades do better in college and their careers?
  • Do students from wealthier backgrounds score higher on standardized tests?
  • Do students who receive free meals at school get higher grades compared to when they weren't receiving a free meal?
  • Do students who attend charter schools score higher on standardized tests than students in public schools?
  • Do students learn better in same-sex classrooms?
  • How does giving each student access to an iPad or laptop affect their studies?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of the Montessori Method ?
  • Do children who attend preschool do better in school later on?
  • What was the impact of the No Child Left Behind act?
  • How does the US education system compare to education systems in other countries?
  • What impact does mandatory physical education classes have on students' health?
  • Which methods are most effective at reducing bullying in schools?
  • Do homeschoolers who attend college do as well as students who attended traditional schools?
  • Does offering tenure increase or decrease quality of teaching?
  • How does college debt affect future life choices of students?
  • Should graduate students be able to form unions?


  • What are different ways to lower gun-related deaths in the US?
  • How and why have divorce rates changed over time?
  • Is affirmative action still necessary in education and/or the workplace?
  • Should physician-assisted suicide be legal?
  • How has stem cell research impacted the medical field?
  • How can human trafficking be reduced in the United States/world?
  • Should people be able to donate organs in exchange for money?
  • Which types of juvenile punishment have proven most effective at preventing future crimes?
  • Has the increase in US airport security made passengers safer?
  • Analyze the immigration policies of certain countries and how they are similar and different from one another.
  • Several states have legalized recreational marijuana. What positive and negative impacts have they experienced as a result?
  • Do tariffs increase the number of domestic jobs?
  • Which prison reforms have proven most effective?
  • Should governments be able to censor certain information on the internet?
  • Which methods/programs have been most effective at reducing teen pregnancy?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of the Keto diet?
  • How effective are different exercise regimes for losing weight and maintaining weight loss?
  • How do the healthcare plans of various countries differ from each other?
  • What are the most effective ways to treat depression ?
  • What are the pros and cons of genetically modified foods?
  • Which methods are most effective for improving memory?
  • What can be done to lower healthcare costs in the US?
  • What factors contributed to the current opioid crisis?
  • Analyze the history and impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic .
  • Are low-carbohydrate or low-fat diets more effective for weight loss?
  • How much exercise should the average adult be getting each week?
  • Which methods are most effective to get parents to vaccinate their children?
  • What are the pros and cons of clean needle programs?
  • How does stress affect the body?
  • Discuss the history of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
  • What were the causes and effects of the Salem Witch Trials?
  • Who was responsible for the Iran-Contra situation?
  • How has New Orleans and the government's response to natural disasters changed since Hurricane Katrina?
  • What events led to the fall of the Roman Empire?
  • What were the impacts of British rule in India ?
  • Was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary?
  • What were the successes and failures of the women's suffrage movement in the United States?
  • What were the causes of the Civil War?
  • How did Abraham Lincoln's assassination impact the country and reconstruction after the Civil War?
  • Which factors contributed to the colonies winning the American Revolution?
  • What caused Hitler's rise to power?
  • Discuss how a specific invention impacted history.
  • What led to Cleopatra's fall as ruler of Egypt?
  • How has Japan changed and evolved over the centuries?
  • What were the causes of the Rwandan genocide ?


  • Why did Martin Luther decide to split with the Catholic Church?
  • Analyze the history and impact of a well-known cult (Jonestown, Manson family, etc.)
  • How did the sexual abuse scandal impact how people view the Catholic Church?
  • How has the Catholic church's power changed over the past decades/centuries?
  • What are the causes behind the rise in atheism/ agnosticism in the United States?
  • What were the influences in Siddhartha's life resulted in him becoming the Buddha?
  • How has media portrayal of Islam/Muslims changed since September 11th?


  • How has the earth's climate changed in the past few decades?
  • How has the use and elimination of DDT affected bird populations in the US?
  • Analyze how the number and severity of natural disasters have increased in the past few decades.
  • Analyze deforestation rates in a certain area or globally over a period of time.
  • How have past oil spills changed regulations and cleanup methods?
  • How has the Flint water crisis changed water regulation safety?
  • What are the pros and cons of fracking?
  • What impact has the Paris Climate Agreement had so far?
  • What have NASA's biggest successes and failures been?
  • How can we improve access to clean water around the world?
  • Does ecotourism actually have a positive impact on the environment?
  • Should the US rely on nuclear energy more?
  • What can be done to save amphibian species currently at risk of extinction?
  • What impact has climate change had on coral reefs?
  • How are black holes created?
  • Are teens who spend more time on social media more likely to suffer anxiety and/or depression?
  • How will the loss of net neutrality affect internet users?
  • Analyze the history and progress of self-driving vehicles.
  • How has the use of drones changed surveillance and warfare methods?
  • Has social media made people more or less connected?
  • What progress has currently been made with artificial intelligence ?
  • Do smartphones increase or decrease workplace productivity?
  • What are the most effective ways to use technology in the classroom?
  • How is Google search affecting our intelligence?
  • When is the best age for a child to begin owning a smartphone?
  • Has frequent texting reduced teen literacy rates?


How to Write a Great Research Paper

Even great research paper topics won't give you a great research paper if you don't hone your topic before and during the writing process. Follow these three tips to turn good research paper topics into great papers.

#1: Figure Out Your Thesis Early

Before you start writing a single word of your paper, you first need to know what your thesis will be. Your thesis is a statement that explains what you intend to prove/show in your paper. Every sentence in your research paper will relate back to your thesis, so you don't want to start writing without it!

As some examples, if you're writing a research paper on if students learn better in same-sex classrooms, your thesis might be "Research has shown that elementary-age students in same-sex classrooms score higher on standardized tests and report feeling more comfortable in the classroom."

If you're writing a paper on the causes of the Civil War, your thesis might be "While the dispute between the North and South over slavery is the most well-known cause of the Civil War, other key causes include differences in the economies of the North and South, states' rights, and territorial expansion."

#2: Back Every Statement Up With Research

Remember, this is a research paper you're writing, so you'll need to use lots of research to make your points. Every statement you give must be backed up with research, properly cited the way your teacher requested. You're allowed to include opinions of your own, but they must also be supported by the research you give.

#3: Do Your Research Before You Begin Writing

You don't want to start writing your research paper and then learn that there isn't enough research to back up the points you're making, or, even worse, that the research contradicts the points you're trying to make!

Get most of your research on your good research topics done before you begin writing. Then use the research you've collected to create a rough outline of what your paper will cover and the key points you're going to make. This will help keep your paper clear and organized, and it'll ensure you have enough research to produce a strong paper.

What's Next?

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Want to know the fastest and easiest ways to convert between Fahrenheit and Celsius? We've got you covered! Check out our guide to the best ways to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit (or vice versa).

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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Free Research Title Generator

Looking for a creative and catchy title for a research proposal, thesis, dissertation, essay, or other project? Try our research title maker! It is free, easy to use, and 100% online.

Welcome to our free online research title generator. You can get your title in 3 simple steps:

  • Type your search term and choose one or more subjects from the list,
  • Click on the “Search topic” button and choose among the ideas that the title generator has proposed,
  • Refresh the list by clicking the button one more time if you need more options.

Please try again with some different keywords or subjects.

  • ️✅ Research Title Generator: 4 Benefits
  • ️👣 Making a Research Title in 3 Steps
  • ️🔗 References

Creating a topic for the research is one of the most significant events in a researcher’s life. Whether it is a thesis, dissertation, research proposal , or term paper, all of these assignments are time-consuming and require a lot of effort.

It is essential to choose a topic that you like and are genuinely interested in because you will spend a lot of time working on it. Our research title generator can help you with this crucial task. By delegating this work to our research title maker, you can find the best title for your research.

✅ Research Title Generator: 4 Benefits

There are many different research title makers online, so what makes our thesis title generator stand out?

👣 How to Make a Research Title: 3 Simple Steps

Research can be the most stressful period in a student’s life. However, creating a title is not as hard as it may seem. You can choose a topic for your paper in three simple steps.

The picture describes the 3 steps of research title making process.

Step 1: Brainstorm

The first step to take before getting into your research is to brainstorm . To choose a good topic, you can do the following:

  • Think of all your interests related to your field of study. What is the reason you've chosen this field? Think of the topics of your area that you like reading about in your free time.
  • Go through your past papers and choose the ones you enjoyed writing. You can use some lingering issues from your previous work as a starting point for your research.
  • Go through current events in your field to get an idea of what is going on. Whether you are writing a literary analysis , gender studies research, or any other kind of paper, you can always find tons of articles related to your field online. You can go through them to see what issue is getting more attention.
  • Try to find any gaps in current researches in your field. Use only credible sources while searching. Try to add something new to your field with your research. However, do not choose a completely new issue.
  • Discuss what topic is suitable for you with your professors. Professor knows a lot of information about current and previous researches, so try to discuss it with them.
  • Discuss lingering issues with your classmates. Try to ask what questions do they have about your field.
  • Think of your desired future work . Your research might serve as a starting point for your future career, so think of your desired job.
  • Write down 5-10 topics that you might be interested in. Ph.D. or Master’s research should be specific, so write down all the appropriate topics that you came up with.

Step 2: Narrow It Down

As you are done brainstorming, you have a list of possible research topics. Now, it is time to narrow your list down.

Go through your list again and eliminate the topics that have already been well-researched before. Remember that you need to add something new to your field of study, so choose a topic that can contribute to it. However, try not to select a topic not researched at all, as it might be difficult.

Once you get a general idea of what your research will be about, choose a research supervisor. Think of a professor who is an expert in your desired area of research. Talk to them and tell them the reason why you want to work with them and why you chose this area of study.

As you eliminated some irrelevant topics and shortened your list to 1-3 topics, you can discuss them with your supervisor. Since your supervisor has a better insight into your field of study, they can recommend a topic that can be most suitable for you. Make sure to elaborate on each topic and the reason you chose it.

Step 3: Formulate a Research Question

The next step is to create a research question. This is probably the most important part of the process. Later you'll turn your research question into a thesis statement .

Learn as many materials as you can to figure out the type of questions you can ask for your research. Make use of any articles, journals, libraries, etc. Write notes as you learn, and highlight the essential parts.

First, make any questions you can think of. Choose the ones that you have an interest in and try to rewrite them. As you rewrite them, you can get a different perspective on each of the questions. An example of the potential question:

How did the economic situation in the 19th century affect literature?

Think of a question that you can answer and research best. To do it, think of the most convenient research process and available materials that you have access to. Do you need to do lab testing, quantitative analysis, or any kind of experiment? What skills do you have that can be useful?

Discuss the question that you came up with your supervisor. Get their feedback as they might have their own opinion on that topic and give you creative advice.

❓ Research Title Maker FAQ

❓ how to make a research title.

To make a research title:

  • Brainstorm your field of study first.
  • Think of the topics that you are interested in.
  • Research current events in your study area and discuss your possible topics with your professors and classmates.
  • Avoid random topics that are not well-researched.

❓ What is a working title for a research paper?

To make a good research paper title, analyze your area of study and all the related current events. Discuss your possible topics with your classmates and professors to get their opinion on them. You can also use our research title maker for free.

❓ What is the title page of a research paper?

The title page of the research paper is the first paper of your work. It includes your name, research type, and other essential information about your research.

❓ How to title a research proposal?

The research proposal title should be clear enough to showcase your research. Think of a statement that best describes your work and try to create a title that reflects it.

🔗 References

  • Research Topics | Frontiers
  • Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper
  • Strategies for Selecting a Research Topic - ResearchGate
  • The First Steps: Choosing a Topic and a Thesis Supervisor
  • How to Pick a Masters Thesis Topic | by Peter Campbell

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  • Knowledge Base
  • Citing sources

Citation Styles Guide | Examples for All Major Styles

Published on June 24, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on November 7, 2022.

A citation style is a set of guidelines on how to cite sources in your academic writing . You always need a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize a source to avoid plagiarism . How you present these citations depends on the style you follow. Scribbr’s citation generator can help!

Different styles are set by different universities, academic associations, and publishers, often published in an official handbook with in-depth instructions and examples.

There are many different citation styles, but they typically use one of three basic approaches: parenthetical citations , numerical citations, or note citations.

Parenthetical citations

  • Chicago (Turabian) author-date

CSE name-year

Numerical citations

CSE citation-name or citation-sequence

Note citations

  • Chicago (Turabian) notes and bibliography

Table of contents

Types of citation: parenthetical, note, numerical, which citation style should i use, parenthetical citation styles, numerical citation styles, note citation styles, frequently asked questions about citation styles.

The clearest identifying characteristic of any citation style is how the citations in the text are presented. There are three main approaches:

  • Parenthetical citations: You include identifying details of the source in parentheses in the text—usually the author’s last name and the publication date, plus a page number if relevant ( author-date ). Sometimes the publication date is omitted ( author-page ).
  • Numerical citations: You include a number in brackets or in superscript, which corresponds to an entry in your numbered reference list.
  • Note citations: You include a full citation in a footnote or endnote, which is indicated in the text with a superscript number or symbol.

Citation styles also differ in terms of how you format the reference list or bibliography entries themselves (e.g., capitalization, order of information, use of italics). And many style guides also provide guidance on more general issues like text formatting, punctuation, and numbers.

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In most cases, your university, department, or instructor will tell you which citation style you need to follow in your writing. If you’re not sure, it’s best to consult your institution’s guidelines or ask someone. If you’re submitting to a journal, they will usually require a specific style.

Sometimes, the choice of citation style may be left up to you. In those cases, you can base your decision on which citation styles are commonly used in your field. Try reading other articles from your discipline to see how they cite their sources, or consult the table below.

The American Anthropological Association (AAA) recommends citing your sources using Chicago author-date style . AAA style doesn’t have its own separate rules. This style is used in the field of anthropology.

APA Style is defined by the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . It was designed for use in psychology, but today it’s widely used across various disciplines, especially in the social sciences.

Generate accurate APA citations with Scribbr

The citation style of the American Political Science Association (APSA) is used mainly in the field of political science.

The citation style of the American Sociological Association (ASA) is used primarily in the discipline of sociology.

Chicago author-date

Chicago author-date style is one of the two citation styles presented in the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition). It’s used mainly in the sciences and social sciences.

The citation style of the Council of Science Editors (CSE) is used in various scientific disciplines. It includes multiple options for citing your sources, including the name-year system.

Harvard style is often used in the field of economics. It is also very widely used across disciplines in UK universities. There are various versions of Harvard style defined by different universities—it’s not a style with one definitive style guide.

Check out Scribbr’s Harvard Reference Generator

MLA style is the official style of the Modern Language Association, defined in the MLA Handbook (9th edition). It’s widely used across various humanities disciplines. Unlike most parenthetical citation styles, it’s author-page rather than author-date.

Generate accurate MLA citations with Scribbr

The American Chemical Society (ACS) provides guidelines for a citation style using numbers in superscript or italics in the text, corresponding to entries in a numbered reference list at the end. It is used in chemistry.

The American Medical Association ( AMA ) provides guidelines for a numerical citation style using superscript numbers in the text, which correspond to entries in a numbered reference list. It is used in the field of medicine.

CSE style includes multiple options for citing your sources, including the citation-name and citation-sequence systems. Your references are listed alphabetically in the citation-name system; in the citation-sequence system, they appear in the order in which you cited them.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ( IEEE ) provides guidelines for citing your sources with IEEE in-text citations that consist of numbers enclosed in brackets, corresponding to entries in a numbered reference list. This style is used in various engineering and IT disciplines.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) citation style is defined in Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (2nd edition).

Vancouver style is also used in various medical disciplines. As with Harvard style, a lot of institutions and publications have their own versions of Vancouver—it doesn’t have one fixed style guide.

Scribbr Citation Checker New

The AI-powered Citation Checker helps you avoid common mistakes such as:

  • Missing commas and periods
  • Incorrect usage of “et al.”
  • Ampersands (&) in narrative citations
  • Missing reference entries

different names for a research paper

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation is the main style guide for legal citations in the US. It’s widely used in law, and also when legal materials need to be cited in other disciplines.

Chicago notes and bibliography

Chicago notes and bibliography is one of the two citation styles presented in the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition). It’s used mainly in the humanities.

The Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities ( OSCOLA ) is the main legal citation style in the UK (similar to Bluebook for the US).

There are many different citation styles used across different academic disciplines, but they fall into three basic approaches to citation:

  • Parenthetical citations : Including identifying details of the source in parentheses —usually the author’s last name and the publication date, plus a page number if available ( author-date ). The publication date is occasionally omitted ( author-page ).
  • Numerical citations: Including a number in brackets or superscript, corresponding to an entry in your numbered reference list.
  • Note citations: Including a full citation in a footnote or endnote , which is indicated in the text with a superscript number or symbol.

Check if your university or course guidelines specify which citation style to use. If the choice is left up to you, consider which style is most commonly used in your field.

  • APA Style is the most popular citation style, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences.
  • MLA style is the second most popular, used mainly in the humanities.
  • Chicago notes and bibliography style is also popular in the humanities, especially history.
  • Chicago author-date style tends to be used in the sciences.

Other more specialized styles exist for certain fields, such as Bluebook and OSCOLA for law.

The most important thing is to choose one style and use it consistently throughout your text.

A scientific citation style is a system of source citation that is used in scientific disciplines. Some commonly used scientific citation styles are:

  • Chicago author-date , CSE , and Harvard , used across various sciences
  • ACS , used in chemistry
  • AMA , NLM , and Vancouver , used in medicine and related disciplines
  • AAA , APA , and ASA , commonly used in the social sciences

APA format is widely used by professionals, researchers, and students in the social and behavioral sciences, including fields like education, psychology, and business.

Be sure to check the guidelines of your university or the journal you want to be published in to double-check which style you should be using.

MLA Style  is the second most used citation style (after APA ). It is mainly used by students and researchers in humanities fields such as literature, languages, and philosophy.

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Caulfield, J. (2022, November 07). Citation Styles Guide | Examples for All Major Styles. Scribbr. Retrieved November 3, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/citing-sources/citation-styles/

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Formatting Research Paper Headings and Subheadings

different names for a research paper

Different style guides have different rules regarding the formatting of headings and subheadings in a paper, but what information you should actually put into your subheadings is a different question and often up to personal taste. Here we quickly summarize general guidelines, different approaches, and what not to do when choosing headings for a research paper.

Does it matter how I name my sections and subsections?

The main sections of a research paper have general headers and are often journal-specific, but some (e.g., the methods and discussion section) can really benefit from subsections with clear and informative headers. The things to keep in mind are thus the general style your paper is supposed to follow (e.g., APA, MLA), the specific guidelines the journal you want to submit to lists in their author instructions , and your personal style (e.g., how much information you want the reader to get from just reading your subsection headers). 

Table of Contents:

  • Style Guides: Rules on Headings and Subheadings
  • What Sections and Subsections Do You Need? 
  • How Should You Name Your Sections and Subsections?
  • Avoid These Common Mistakes

research paper headings

Style Guides: Research Paper Heading and Subheading Format

Headers identify the content within the different sections of your paper and should be as descriptive and concise as possible. That is why the main sections of research articles always have the same or very similar headers ( Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion ), with no or only small differences between journals. However, you also need to divide the content of some of these sections (e.g., the method section) into smaller subsections (e.g., Participants, Experimental Design, and Statistical Analysis ), and make sure you follow specific journal formatting styles when doing so. 

If the journal you submit to follows APA style , for example, you are allowed to use up to five levels of headings, depending on the length of your paper, the complexity of your work, and your personal preference. To clearly indicate how each subsection fits into the rest of the text, every header level has a different format – but note that headers are usually not numbered because the different formatting already reflects the text hierarchy.

APA style headings example structure

Level 1 Centered, Bold, Title Case

Text begins as a new paragraph.

Level 2 Left-aligned, Bold, Title Case

Level 3 Left-aligned, Bold Italic, Title Case

Level 4     Indented, Bold, Title Case, Period . Text begins on the same                    

                                 line and continues as a regular paragraph.

Level 5     Indented, Bold Italic, Title Case, Period. Text begins on the                           

                                 same line and continues as a regular paragraph.

If you only need one section header (e.g. Methods ) and one level of subsection headers (e.g., Participants, Experimental Design, and Statistical Analysis ), use Level 1 and Level 2 headers. If you need three levels of headings, use Levels 1, 2, and 3 (and so on). Do not skip levels or combine them in a different way. 

If you write a paper in Chicago style or MLA style , then you don’t need to follow such exact rules for headings and subheadings. Your structure just has to be consistent with the general formatting guidelines of both styles (12-pts Times New Roman font, double-spaced text, 0.5-inch indentation for every new paragraph) and consistent throughout your paper. Make sure the different formatting levels indicate a hierarchy (e.g., boldface for level 1 and italics for level 2, or a larger font size for level 1 and smaller font size for level 2). The main specifics regarding Chicago and MLA headings and subheadings are that they should be written in title case (major words capitalized, most minor words lowercase) and not end in a period. Both styles allow you, however, to number your sections and subsections, for example with an Arabic number and a period, followed by a space and then the section name. 

MLA paper headings example structure

1. Introduction

2. Material and Methods

2.1 Subject Recruitment

2.2 Experimental Procedure

2.3 Statistical Analysis

3.1 Experiment 1

3.2 Experiment 2

4. Discussion

5. Conclusion

What research paper headings do you need?

Your paper obviously needs to contain the main sections ( Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and maybe Conclusion ) and you need to make sure that you name them according to the target journal style (have a look at the author guidelines if you are unsure what the journal style is). The differences between journals are subtle, but some want you to combine the results and discussion sections, for example, while others don’t want you to have a separate conclusion section. You also need to check whether the target journal has specific rules on subsections (or no subsections) within these main sections. The introduction section should usually not be subdivided (but some journals do not mind), while the method section, for example, always needs to have clear subsections.

How to Name Your Sections and Subsections

The method section subheadings should be short and descriptive, but how you subdivide this section depends on the structure you choose to present your work – which can be chronological (e.g., Experiment 1, Experiment 2 ) or follow your main topics (e.g., Visual Experiment, Behavioral Experiment, Questionnaire ). Have a look at this article on how to write the methods for a research paper if you need input on what the best structure for your work is. The method subheadings should only be keywords that tell the reader what information is following, not summaries or conclusions. That means that “ Subject Recruitment ” is a good methods section subheading, but “ Subjects Were Screened Using Questionnaires ” is not.  

The subheadings for the result section should then follow the general structure of your method section, but here you can choose what information you want to put in every subheading. Some authors keep it simple and just subdivide their result section into experiments or measures like the method section, but others use the headings to summarize their findings so that the reader is prepared for the details that follow. You could, for example, simply name your subsections “ Anxiety Levels ” and “ Social Behavior ,” if those are the measures you studied and explained in the method section. 

Or, you could provide the reader with a glimpse into the results of the analyses you are going to describe, and instead name these subsections “ Anxiety-Like Behaviors in Mutant Mice ” and “ Normal Social Behaviors in Mutant Mice .” While keeping headings short and simple is always a good idea, such mini-summaries can make your result section much clearer and easier to follow. Just make sure that the target journal you want to submit to does not have a rule against that. 

Common Heading and Subheading Mistakes 

Subheadings are not sentences.

If your heading reads like a full sentence, then you can most probably omit the verb or generally rephrase to shorten it. That also means a heading should not contain punctuation except maybe colons or question marks – definitely don’t put a period at the end, except when you have reached heading level 4 in the APA formatting style (see above) and the rules say so.  

Be consistent

Always check your numbering, for example for spaces and periods before and after numbers (e.g., 3.2. vs 3.2 ), because readability depends on such features. But also make sure that your headings are consistent in structure and content: Switching between short keyword headings (e.g., “ Experiment 2 ”) and summary headings (e.g., “ Mice Do not Recognize People ”) is confusing and never a good idea. Ideally, subheadings within a section all have a similar structure. If your first subsection is called “ Mice Do not Recognize People ,” then “ People Do not Recognize Mice” is a better subheader for the next subsection than “Do People Recognize Mice? ”, because consistency is more important in a research paper than creativity. 

Don’t overdo it

Not every paragraph or every argument needs a subheading. Only use subheadings within a bigger section if you have more than one point to make per heading level, and if subdividing the section really makes the structure clearer overall.

Before submitting your journal manuscript to academic publishers, be sure to get English editing services , including manuscript editing or paper editing from a trusted source. And receive instant proofreading with Wordvice AI, our ai online editor , which provides unlimited editing while drafting your research work.

Research Paper Guide

Research Paper Example

Nova A.

Research Paper Example - APA and MLA Format

12 min read

Published on: Nov 27, 2017

Last updated on: Oct 25, 2023

Research Paper Example

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Do you spend time staring at the screen and thinking about how to approach a monstrous  research paper ?

If yes, you are not alone.

Research papers are no less than a curse for high school and college students.

It takes time, effort, and expertise to craft a striking research paper.

Every other person craves to master the magic of producing impressive research papers.

Continue with the guide to investigate the mysterious nature of different types of research through examples.

Research Paper Example for Different Formats

An academic paper doesn't have to be boring. You can use an anecdote, a provocative question, or a quote to begin the introduction.

Learning from introductions written in professional college papers is the best strategy.

Have a look at the expertise of the writer in the following example.

Social Media and Social Media Marketing: A Literature Review

APA Research Paper Example

While writing research papers, you must pay attention to the required format.

Follow the example when the instructor mentions the  APA format .

Effects of Food Deprivation of Concentration and Preserverance

Research Paper Example APA 7th Edition

Research Paper Example MLA

Once you are done with APA format, let’s practice the art of writing quality MLA papers.

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We have provided you with a top-notch research paper example in  MLA format  here.

Research Paper Example Chicago

Chicago style  is not very common, but it is important to learn. Few institutions require this style for research papers, but it is essential to learn. The content and citations in the research paper are formatted like this example.

Chicago Research Paper Sample

Research Paper Example Harvard

To learn how a research paper is written using the  Harvard citation style , carefully examine this example. Note the structure of the cover page and other pages.

Harvard Research Paper Sample

Examples for Different Research Paper Parts

A research paper has different parts. Each part is important for the overall success of the paper. Chapters in a research paper must be written correctly, using a certain format and structure.

The following are examples of how different sections of the research paper can be written.

Example of Research Proposal

What is the first step to starting a research paper?

Submitting the research proposal!

It involves several sections that take a toll on beginners.

Here is a detailed guide to help you  write a research proposal .

Are you a beginner or do you lack experience? Don’t worry.

The following example of a research paper is the perfect place to get started.

View Research Proposal Example Here

Research Paper Example Abstract

After submitting the research proposal, prepare to write a seasoned  abstract  section.

The abstract delivers the bigger picture by revealing the purpose of the research.

A common mistake students make is writing it the same way a summary is written.

It is not merely a summary but an analysis of the whole research project. Still confused?

Read the abstract mentioned in the following research to get a better idea.

Affirmative Action: What Do We Know? - Abstract Example

Literature Review Research Paper Example

What if a novice person reads your research paper?

He will never understand the critical elements involved in the research paper.

To enlighten him, focus on the  literature review  section. This section offers an extensive analysis of the past research conducted on the paper topics.

It is relatively easier than other sections of the paper.

Take a closer look at the paper below to find out.

Methods Section of Research Paper Example

While writing research papers, excellent papers focus a great deal on the methodology.

Yes, the research sample and methodology define the fate of the papers.

Are you facing trouble going through the methodology section?

Relax and let comprehensive sample research papers clear your doubts.

View Methods Section of Research Paper Here

Research Paper Conclusion Example

The conclusion leaves the last impression on the reader.

“Who cares for the last impression? It’s always the first.”

Don’t be fooled!

The conclusion sets the tone of the whole research paper properly.

A key list of elements must be present in conclusion to make it crisp and remarkable.

The Conclusion: Your Paper's Final Impression

View the sample paper and identify the points you thought were never a part of the conclusion.


Get Quick AI Research Help!

Research Paper Examples for Different Fields

Research papers can be about any subject that needs a detailed study. The following examples show how research papers are written for different subjects.

History Research Paper Sample

Many Faces of Generalisimo Fransisco Franco

Sociology Research Paper Sample

A Descriptive Statistical Analysis within the State of Virginia

Science Fair Research Paper Sample

What Do I Need To Do For The Science Fair?

Psychology Research Paper Sample

The Effects of Food Deprivation on Concentration and Preserverance

Art History Research Paper Sample

European Art History: A Primer

Scientific Research Paper Example

We have discussed several elements of research papers through examples.

Research Proposal!

Introduction in Research Paper!

Read on to move towards advanced versions of information.

Scientific research paper

Let's have a look at the template and an example to elaborate on concepts.

It includes:

  • Introduction
  • Related Work
  • Research Methodology
  • Experiments
  • Results and Discussion
  • Conclusion & Future Work
  • Acknowledgment

The name itself sounds terrifying to many students. Make no mistake; it sure is dangerous when touched without practice.

Students become afraid and hence aspire to locate an outstanding essay paper writer to get their papers done.

Detailed, high-quality, and credible sources and samples are a must to be shared here.

Science Fair Paper Format

Example of Methodology in Research Paper

The words methodology, procedure, and approach are the same. They indicate the approach pursued by the researcher while conducting research to accomplish the goal through research.

The methodology is the bloodline of the research paper.

A practical or assumed procedure is used to conduct the methodology.

The Effects of Immediate Feedback Devices in High School Chemistry Classes

See the way the researcher has shared participants and limits in the methodology section of the example.

Research Paper Example for Different Levels

The process of writing a research paper is based on a set of steps. The process will seem daunting if you are unaware of the basic steps. Start writing your research paper by taking the following steps:

  • Choose a Topic
  • Create a thesis statement
  • Do in-depth research for the research study
  • Create an outline

You will find writing a research paper much easier once you have a plan.

No matter which level you are writing at, your research paper needs to be well structured.

Research Paper Example Outline

Before you plan on writing a well-researched paper, make a rough draft.

Brainstorm again and again!

Pour all of your ideas into the basket of the outline.

What will it include?

A standard is not set but follow the  research paper outline  example below:

View Research Paper Outline Example Here

This example outlines the following elements:

  • Thesis Statement
  • Methodology

Utilize this standard of outline in your research papers to polish your paper. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you write a research paper according to this format.

Good Research Paper Examples for Students

Theoretically, good research paper examples will meet the objectives of the research.

Always remember! The first goal of the research paper is to explain ideas, goals, and theory as clearly as water.

Yes, leave no room for confusion of any sort.

Fiscal Research Center - Action Plan

Qualitative Research Paper Example

Research Paper Example Introduction

How to Write a Research Paper Example?

Research Paper Example for High School

When the professor reads such a professional research paper, he will be delighted.

High scores!

Grant of funds for the project!

Appreciation in Class!

You'll surely be highly rewarded.

Research Paper Conclusion

“Who cares for the last impression? It's always the first.”

Don't be fooled!

A key list of elements must be present in the conclusion to make it crisp and remarkable.

Critical Research Paper

To write a research paper remarkably, include the following ingredients in it:

  • Justification of the Experimental Design
  • Analysis of Results
  • Validation of the Study

How to Write the Methods Section of a Research Paper

Theoretical Framework Examples

The theoretical framework is the key to establish credibility in research papers.

Read the purpose of the theoretical framework before following it in the research paper.

The researcher offers a guide through a theoretical framework.

  • Philosophical view
  • Conceptual Analysis
  • Benefits of the Research

An in-depth analysis of theoretical framework examples research paper is underlined in the sample below.

View Theoretical Framework Example Here

Now that you have explored the research paper examples, you can start working on your research project. Hopefully, these examples will help you understand the writing process for a research paper.

If you're facing challenges with your writing requirements, think about hiring an online custom paper writing service .

MyPerfectWords.com is your trusted solution for obtaining a custom research paper and assisting students with their unique writing needs.

Don't hesitate – Hire our writing service now.

Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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10 Easy Steps: How to Write Author Name in Research Paper

10 Easy Steps How to Write Author Name in Research Paper

Step 1: Understand the Importance of Citing Author Names

step 1  understand the importance of citing author names

When writing a research paper , it is crucial to give credit to the authors whose work you have referenced. Properly citing author names not only acknowledges their contribution but also adds credibility to your own work. It allows readers to locate the original source and verify the information you have presented. In this article, we will guide you through ten easy steps on how to write author names in your research paper.

Why is citing author names important?

Citing author names is important because it:

  • Shows respect for the original authors
  • Allows readers to find the original source
  • Provides evidence for your claims
  • Prevents plagiarism

Step 2: Understand the Different Citation Styles

step 2  understand the different citation styles

Before you start citing author names, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the different citation styles commonly used in academic writing . The most popular citation styles include APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), and Chicago/Turabian. Each style has its own set of rules for formatting author names, so make sure to consult the appropriate style guide for your research paper.

What are the main citation styles?

The main citation styles used in academic writing are:

  • APA (American Psychological Association)
  • MLA (Modern Language Association)
  • Chicago/Turabian

Step 3: Determine the Number of Authors

step 3  determine the number of authors

The way you write author names in your research paper depends on the number of authors involved. If there is only one author, the format will be different compared to multiple authors. It is important to correctly identify the number of authors to ensure accurate citation.

How do you determine the number of authors?

To determine the number of authors, check the original source of the research paper. Look for the author information provided, such as the author's name, affiliations, and any additional contributors.

Step 4: Format Author Names for Single Authors

If there is only one author, the format for citing their name will be different compared to multiple authors. In most citation styles, the author's last name is followed by their initials. However, some styles may require the full first name or a combination of the first initial and full last name.

How do you format author names for single authors?

To format author names for single authors:

  • Write the author's last name first, followed by a comma
  • Include the author's initials or full first name, depending on the citation style
  • Separate the initials or first name from the last name with a comma

Step 5: Format Author Names for Multiple Authors

step 5  format author names for multiple authors

When there are multiple authors, the format for citing their names will vary depending on the citation style. Some styles require listing all authors' names, while others only require listing the first author's name followed by "et al." It is important to follow the specific guidelines of the citation style you are using.

How do you format author names for multiple authors?

To format author names for multiple authors:

  • List all authors' names if required by the citation style
  • Use the word "and" to separate the last two authors' names
  • Use a comma to separate the other authors' names
  • Use "et al." after the first author's name if required by the citation style

Step 6: Include Author Names in In-text Citations

step 6  include author names in in text citations

In-text citations are used to acknowledge the author's work within the body of your research paper. When including author names in in-text citations, it is important to follow the specific rules of the citation style you are using. In most cases, the author's last name and the year of publication are included in parentheses.

How do you include author names in in-text citations?

To include author names in in-text citations:

  • Place the author's last name and the year of publication in parentheses
  • Separate the last name and the year with a comma
  • Place the in-text citation at the end of the sentence or paragraph

Step 7: Include Author Names in the Reference List

step 7  include author names in the reference list

The reference list is a separate section at the end of your research paper that provides detailed information about the sources you have cited. Including author names in the reference list follows a specific format based on the citation style you are using. It typically includes the author's last name, initials, or full first name, depending on the style.

How do you include author names in the reference list?

To include author names in the reference list:

  • Follow the author's name with the year of publication in parentheses
  • Include the title of the research paper, the name of the journal or book, and other relevant publication information

Step 8: Use Proper Punctuation and Capitalization

step 8  use proper punctuation and capitalization

When writing author names in your research paper, it is important to use proper punctuation and capitalization. Different citation styles have specific rules regarding the use of commas, periods, and capital letters . Pay attention to these details to ensure accurate and consistent formatting.

What are the rules for punctuation and capitalization?

The rules for punctuation and capitalization may vary depending on the citation style. Some general guidelines include:

  • Use a comma to separate the author's last name from their initials or first name
  • Use a period after each initial in the author's name
  • Capitalize the first letter of the author's last name and any proper nouns
  • Use title case for the title of the research paper or book

Step 9: Proofread and Edit Your Citations

step 9  proofread and edit your citations

After completing the previous steps, it is crucial to proofread and edit your citations for accuracy and consistency. Check for any errors in spelling, punctuation, or formatting. Make sure that all author names are correctly cited and that they match the information provided in the original source.

How do you proofread and edit your citations?

To proofread and edit your citations:

  • Check for spelling errors in the author's name
  • Ensure that the punctuation and capitalization are consistent
  • Verify that the citation style guidelines have been followed correctly
  • Compare the citations with the original source to ensure accuracy

By following these ten easy steps, you can confidently write author names in your research paper. Remember to consult the appropriate citation style guide for specific formatting rules. Properly citing author names not only demonstrates your academic integrity but also enhances the credibility of your research.

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How should I write the author's name in a research paper?

In a research paper, the author's name should be written in the format: Last name, First name. If there are multiple authors, separate their names with commas.

What if the author has a middle name or initial?

If the author has a middle name or initial, include it after the first name. For example: Last name, First name Middle initial.

Should I include the author's credentials or titles?

In general, it is not necessary to include the author's credentials or titles in a research paper. However, if the author has a specific title or credential that is relevant to the research, it can be included after the name.

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This paper is in the following e-collection/theme issue:

Published on 2.11.2023 in Vol 25 (2023)

Temporal and Emotional Variations in People’s Perceptions of Mass Epidemic Infectious Disease After the COVID-19 Pandemic Using Influenza A as an Example: Topic Modeling and Sentiment Analysis Based on Weibo Data

Authors of this article:

Author Orcid Image

Original Paper

  • Jing Dai 1 * , PhD   ; 
  • Fang Lyu 1 * , MS   ; 
  • Lin Yu 1   ; 
  • Yunyu He 2 , MM  

1 Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming, China

2 The First People’s Hospital of Yunnan Province, Kunimg, China

*these authors contributed equally

Corresponding Author:

Yunyu He, MM

The First People’s Hospital of Yunnan Province

57 Jinbi Road

Kunimg, 650093

Phone: 86 18987253562

Email: [email protected]

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts on society, including public health, the economy, daily life, and social interactions. Social distancing measures, travel restrictions, and the influx of pandemic-related information on social media have all led to a significant shift in how individuals perceive and respond to health crises. In this context, there is a growing awareness of the role that social media platforms such as Weibo, among the largest and most influential social media sites in China, play in shaping public sentiment and influencing people’s behavior during public health emergencies.

Objective: This study aims to gain a comprehensive understanding of the sociospatial impact of mass epidemic infectious disease by analyzing the spatiotemporal variations and emotional orientations of the public after the COVID-19 pandemic. We use the outbreak of influenza A after the COVID-19 pandemic as a case study. Through temporal and spatial analyses, we aim to uncover specific variations in the attention and emotional orientations of people living in different provinces in China regarding influenza A. We sought to understand the societal impact of large-scale infectious diseases and the public’s stance after the COVID-19 pandemic to improve public health policies and communication strategies.

Methods: We selected Weibo as the data source and collected all influenza A–related Weibo posts from November 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023. These data included user names, geographic locations, posting times, content, repost counts, comments, likes, user types, and more. Subsequently, we used latent Dirichlet allocation topic modeling to analyze the public’s focus as well as the bidirectional long short-term memory model to conduct emotional analysis. We further classified the focus areas and emotional orientations of different regions.

Results: The research findings indicate that, compared with China’s western provinces, the eastern provinces exhibited a higher volume of Weibo posts, demonstrating a greater interest in influenza A. Moreover, inland provinces displayed elevated levels of concern compared with coastal regions. In addition, female users of Weibo exhibited a higher level of engagement than male users, with regular users comprising the majority of user types. The public’s focus was categorized into 23 main themes, with the overall emotional sentiment predominantly leaning toward negativity (making up 7562 out of 9111 [83%] sentiments).

Conclusions: The results of this study underscore the profound societal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. People tend to be pessimistic toward new large-scale infectious diseases, and disparities exist in the levels of concern and emotional sentiments across different regions. This reflects diverse societal responses to health crises. By gaining an in-depth understanding of the public’s attitudes and focal points regarding these infectious diseases, governments and decision makers can better formulate policies and action plans to cater to the specific needs of different regions and enhance public health awareness.


Over the past century, COVID-19 has emerged as one of the most widespread and impactful diseases. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the rapid transmission and extensive reach of the novel coronavirus, as well as the potentially fatal symptoms of the disease, were a cause for great concern. This not only had a profound impact on people’s lives and economies but also triggered widespread panic, which could lead individuals to experience fear, anxiety, and panic-driven behaviors, such as hoarding supplies or avoiding public places. Therefore, effective risk communication and emotional management are of paramount importance in mitigating the panic effect. In the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, studying people’s focus and emotional orientation when confronted with new large-scale infectious diseases becomes crucial.

Research has shown that effective information dissemination can alleviate people’s fear of infectious diseases. Consequently, public awareness and an understanding of large-scale infectious diseases play a pivotal role in alleviating panic and prompting individuals to take action against this challenge. Personal perceptions of risk are often influenced by emotions. Positive emotions can make people more attentive and inclined to take proactive protective measures. When individuals have a more positive attitude toward pandemics, the recovery rate and control tend to be higher [ 1 ]. Conversely, negative emotions may lead to avoidance or inaction. Therefore, discussing the public’s attention to outbreaks of contagious diseases and the emotional shifts after the COVID-19 pandemic not only provides insights into changes in public attention to contagious diseases but also helps identify positive and negative emotions, as well as provides a more comprehensive understanding of the public’s stance on large-scale infectious diseases.

Simultaneously, discussing the public’s focus on large-scale infectious diseases and emotional orientation can not only help clarify the public’s perspectives on this issue but also assist in identifying the factors influencing emotions, both positive and negative, toward infectious diseases. Social media platforms play a vital role in disseminating information and shaping public opinion. Governments, health organizations, and public intellectuals can use these platforms to convey accurate information, reduce the spread of false information, and actively engage the public’s attention and actions regarding large-scale infectious diseases.

People are now more willing to express their opinions web-based and there is an abundance of data on social media platforms. Because of the convergence of opinions on the web, researchers can explore the changes in public discussion during the time change and likewise can focus on the public’s changing emotions about it. Considering current trends in technology, especially the role of computer science, it must be acknowledged that computer technology has made a major contribution to medical decision-making with regard to, for example, infectious diseases and epidemics [ 2 , 3 ]. The accurate and logical access sources of these data include social media platforms, which provide more valuable data than ever.

Weibo is among the largest and most influential social media sites in China. Weibo users can share their opinions, discuss current events, and express their emotions via PC using text, share pictures, and upload videos. Therefore, Weibo is an ideal platform for obtaining data sources of popular opinion texts. In addition, the opinions expressed on social networks are highly emotionally oriented; therefore, it is essential to analyze the emotions in the texts and content posted by users. Positive emotions are critical for motivation, perseverance, and prosocial behavior [ 4 , 5 ].

The existing literature on influenza sentiment orientation is mainly about COVID-19; for example, the study by Yin et al [ 6 ] is based on 13 million posts related to COVID-19 pneumonia collected over 2 weeks on Twitter (subsequently rebranded X), and the study by Harba et al [ 7 ] investigated how consumer sentiment evolved during the COVID-19 outbreak through content analysis and sentiment analysis of the texts of web-based restaurant reviews. Other mass infectious diseases have been studied to a lesser extent. Ng et al [ 8 ] studied public sentiment on the global outbreak of monkeypox on Twitter and analyzed 352,182 posts via unsupervised machine learning.

However, it is rare for an analysis of emotional orientation to analyze people’s attitudes toward other mass infectious diseases after experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, analyzing the public’s sentiment and changing views on the currently prevalent mass infectious disease, influenza A, through content posted on Weibo can accurately reflect the importance of public opinion in promoting policies related to epidemic prevention, increasing public awareness and participation in protective actions against the epidemic, and advancing the epidemic management process.

In surveys about emotions (questionnaires or interviews), respondents or interviewees may be influenced by the content of the questions or consider privacy issues and negative impacts, leading to difficulties in assessing emotions accurately and reasonably. Moreover, questionnaires do not allow access to, say, real-time influenza A sentiment, and data collection takes a long time and has high economic costs [ 9 ]. Therefore, we chose text mining as the research method to ensure the spatial and temporal diversity of data. Moreover, text mining applications have been used in various areas, including tourism [ 10 , 11 ], business [ 12 , 13 ], education [ 14 , 15 ], and health care [ 16 - 18 ] for a variety of beneficial purposes.

On the basis of the analysis described in the previous subsection, this study used a web crawler approach to obtain people’s opinions about influenza A. Thematic model analysis and sentiment analysis were used to explore people’s attention, concerns, and sentiments about the recent epidemic of the mass infectious disease. The topic analysis used latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) to extract latent topics from comment text data. For comment text sentiment analysis, deep learning, that is, the bidirectional long short-term memory (BiLSTM) model, was chosen to classify sentiment. This study attempts to answer the following questions:

  • How concerned are people about the recently prevalent infectious disease, influenza A, after experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic? How does the concern differ from province to province?
  • What are the spatiotemporal differences between the total number of blog posts and the public’s attention to influenza A?
  • What are the changes in the public’s attitude toward infectious diseases after experiencing the COVID-19 outbreak? What are the most critical concerns of the people when a new infectious disease is spreading?
  • What is the public sentiment toward epidemic infectious diseases? How does it vary by region?
  • What are the drivers of positive and negative emotions?

We primarily used web crawling techniques to acquire data. After preprocessing the data, we further explored and analyzed the data using 2 models, LDA and BiLSTM, and obtained some meaningful conclusions, as shown in Figure 1 .

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We used web crawling techniques to collect 9351 posts on Weibo related to “influenza A” from November 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023. These data were used to create a data set that included user names, locations, posting times, content, repost counts, comments, likes, user types, and more.

To ensure the validity and stability of the data set, we removed duplicate data, deleted posts with <6 characters, and eliminated meaningless stop words, expressions, punctuation marks, and numbers. We also conducted semantic integration by summarizing words with similar meanings in the vocabulary.

Text Mining Analysis

Lda topic model.

The standard topic models are latent semantic analysis, probabilistic latent semantic analysis, LDA, and hierarchical Dirichlet process. On the basis of text features and research needs, this study used LDA to extract latent topics from comment text data. LDA is an unsupervised machine learning technique that can identify potential topic information in large document sets or corpora. It uses a bag-of-words approach that treats each document as a vector of word frequencies, thereby converting textual information into numerical information that can be easily modeled. The model was first proposed by Blei et al [ 19 ] in 2003, along with the concepts and ideas of the LDA model. It is a 3-level Bayesian probabilistic model containing words, topics, and documents, and the document generation process is shown in Figure 2 . In this study, the LDA model was used to investigate public attention to potential topics and understand the focus of public attention.

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Sentiment Analysis

Comment text data are typically categorized into positive and negative sentiments for comment text sentiment analysis. There are 3 approaches to text sentiment analysis: sentiment analysis based on sentiment lexicon, sentiment analysis based on machine learning, and sentiment parsing based on deep knowledge. However, when it comes to sentiment analysis of medical service reviews, using a sentiment dictionary constructed based on electronic commerce reviews may lead to significant errors. Deep learning methods have shown clear advantages in sentiment analysis, breaking free from complex rule-based setups and demonstrating superior recognition performance, with the evaluation metrics and results significantly outperforming those achieved using traditional rule-based learning models. Research into deep learning models for sentiment recognition has primarily focused on the field of neural networks. However, owing to the large number of parameters in deep neural networks, they tend to overfit on limited data sets. To address this challenge, Vaswani et al [ 20 ] introduced the transformer deep learning model, which combines self-attention mechanisms, achieving fast and parallelized training and effectively addressing the issues of slow training and overfitting. Pretrained models have found extensive application in natural language processing tasks, particularly in domain-specific sentiment analysis. Nevertheless, regular corpora often fail to cover various domain-specific terminologies, resulting in certain limitations in the application of pretrained models such as bidirectional encoder representations from transformers in sentiment analysis research within the field of web-based sentiment. Research results indicate that, compared with other traditional sentiment analysis methods such as long short-term memory (LSTM), recurrent neural network, convolutional neural network, and naïve Bayes, BiLSTM models exhibit higher efficiency because they can effectively capture semantic information, achieving >90% accuracy in context understanding [ 21 ]. In sentiment analysis, positive and negative sentiments are typically the core focus because they directly relate to emotional polarity, which is crucial for many applications, such as sentiment trend analysis. Although some sentiment analysis tasks may include the classification of neutral sentiments, this choice often depends on specific application scenarios. Nevertheless, to maintain the research’s focus and clarity, we opted to solely concentrate on positive and negative sentiments. After careful consideration, we selected deep learning, specifically the BiLSTM model, for sentiment classification and categorized sentiment values into positive and negative emotions.

BiLSTM is a bidirectional recurrent neural network that takes the entire sentence’s words as input and considers the contextual information of the text. This allows information to be processed in both forward and backward directions [ 22 , 23 ]. As illustrated in Figure 3 , BiLSTM combines forward LSTM and backward LSTM. Compared with convolutional neural network and LSTM, the BiLSTM model demonstrates superior performance, achieving an accuracy rate of >90% [ 21 ]. The internal structure of LSTM is depicted in Figure 4 .

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Ethical Considerations

This study was approved by the medical ethics committee of the First People’s Hospital of Yunnan province (2022ZYFB001). The study used open-access social media data and excluded all personal information; therefore, informed consent was not required.

Basic Information About Blog Posts and Public Attention

Trends in the number of blog posts and public attention over time.

First, a fundamental descriptive statistical analysis of blog post volume was conducted to analyze the trend in public concern about influenza A. As seen in Figure 5 , the public concern about the change in influenza A showed a significant increasing trend over time. In November 2022, there were 231 posts on Weibo related to the influenza A. In December, this number increased significantly to 1073 posts. Moving into January 2023, there were 194 posts, and in February, the number surged to 1703 posts. By March, the conversation intensified further, with a total of 5910 posts on the topic. After the COVID-19 pandemic, influenza A is a recent epidemic that has received much attention.

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Spatial Difference Analysis of Blog Posts and Public Attention

There are considerable regional variations in the levels of concern about influenza A among Chinese provinces. This paper investigated the correlation between the number of blog posts and concerns about a potential mass epidemic in different areas of China, revealing some intriguing findings.

The study involved calculating the number of blog posts and the level of worry about influenza A for each of the 34 provinces. The findings, as depicted in Figure 6 , highlight a substantial disparity in the number of blog posts between China’s eastern and western regions. Specifically, the Yellow River basin (including the provinces of Henan, Shandong, Hebei, and Shanxi) exhibits a relatively high number of blog posts, whereas the northwest region demonstrates the lowest. This pattern corresponds to the trapezoidal downward development trend observed in China, where the number of blog posts gradually diminishes from the eastern coastal areas to the western inland regions. Furthermore, the analysis identifies Beijing as the province with the highest number of published blog posts. In terms of ranking, Beijing, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shandong, and Sichuan occupy the top 5 positions. This indicates that these provinces expressed greater concern about influenza A than the others.

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Comparative Analysis of Influenza A Attention Among Different Genders and User Types

Among different genders, there are 2122 male users and 5997 female users. It is evident that the number of posts made by female users surpasses that of male users. This observation suggests that women exhibit a higher level of concern about influenza A and actively engage in discussions on the internet regarding this topic. Their willingness to participate indicates a significant interest in the subject matter. Furthermore, Weibo classifies its users into 4 categories: blue V users, yellow V users, red V users, and regular users (the “V” label is akin to a verification symbol). Blue V users typically represent businesses or departments affiliated with certified institutions. These entities are required to undergo certification processes involving recognized organizations such as governments, businesses, schools, and media. Yellow V users, by contrast, are certified accounts belonging to renowned individuals in fields such as entertainment, sports, media, finance and economics, science and technology, literature and publishing, humanities and arts, games, military aviation, animation, tourism, and fashion, as well as government officials. Finally, red V users are certified accounts that achieve a minimum of 10 million monthly reads, granting them the red V certification. This distinction is a testament to the users’ popularity and influence on the platform.

Among all users, regular users make up the majority, accounting for 83% (7562/9111); following them are yellow V users at 10% (911/9111); blue V users at 5% (455/9111); while red V users comprise only 2% (183/9111). This observation implies that the topic of influenza A holds significant importance and captures the interest of the general public. The fact that ordinary users, who represent the majority of users on Weibo, display the greatest interest in this topic further emphasizes its relevance and the widespread concern among the public. It suggests that discussions and information related to influenza A are highly valued and sought after by ordinary individuals, highlighting the significance of this topic in the public discourse.

Influenza A Topic Analysis

Word frequency analysis.

The word frequency analysis, shown in Textbox 1 , is used to analyze the concerns that people have about influenza A. The textbox shows that the words “Covid-19,” “infection,” “virus,” “influenza,” “flu,” and “feeling” are the main focus of people’s attention. This indicates that people will compare influenza, fever, and COVID-19 when concerned about influenza A and that the symptoms after falling sick are the most important. In addition to the aforementioned words, words such as “hospital,” “mask,” and “vaccine” appear more frequently. This indicates that people are also very worried about the related protective and treatment measures and the distribution of medical resources when concerned about influenza A.

  • Covid-19: 4445
  • Infection: 3437
  • Virus: 2946
  • Influenza: 2447
  • Fever: 2107
  • Symptoms: 1843
  • Hospitals: 1537
  • Schools: 1324
  • Student: 1324
  • Children: 1273
  • Vaccine: 1206
  • Outbreak: 1122
  • Feeling: 1003
  • Health: 904

Hot Topic Analysis

In this study, the LDA topic model was used for topic mining. The hyperparameters α and β were set as symmetric Dirichlet priors with values of 50/T and .01, respectively. The number of iterations for Gibbs sampling was set to 100, and the document contribution threshold ε was set to 1/k. The LDA model plays a crucial role in determining the number of potential topics and assigning meaningful labels to these topics. We used perplexity values to identify the optimal number of topics for the LDA model.

To determine the optimal number of topics, we conducted experiments with topic values ranging from 1 to 25 and generated a consistency curve fit, as depicted in Figure 7 . On the basis of the results, 23 topics were identified as the most suitable for analysis. The right-hand section of Figure 8 illustrates the top 30 words with the highest frequency associated with each of the 23 topics.

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From Figure 8 , it is evident that there is a high degree of overlap among topics 1, 5, and 8. Textbox 2 reveals that these topics share common keywords such as “school,” “students,” and “classes.” The topics discussed revolve around the suspension of classes at primary and secondary schools owing to a rise in influenza A cases. In addition, topics 7 and 21 also exhibit a significant overlap. Moreover, there is a substantial crossover between topics 7 and 21, as well as among topics 6, 9, and 17. In Figure 8 , the larger the circle in the left-hand section, the more critical the topic. Therefore, the blog posts with the highest attention paid to influenza A are topics 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7. These highly discussed topics will be further analyzed.

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Topics and content

  • Covid-19, school, students, class, prevention, control, outbreak, command, primary school, virus, symptoms, children, testing, antigens, and precautions
  • granules, Pfizer medicine, western medicine, clinical, price, efficacy, Covid-19, national, Pfizer, pharmaceuticals, pharmacy, treatment, protocol, drug, and patients
  • pneumonia, epidemic, patient, patients, research, immunity, disease, symptoms, virus, situation, capsules, clinical, methods, traditional Chinese medicine, and time
  • influenza, symptoms, influenza virus, oseltamivir, drugs, antiviral, population, general, high Incidence, virus, dosing, patients, video, taking, and influenza vaccine
  • parents, students, Covid-19, positive, children, symptoms, virus, antigen, news, outbreak, school, class, test, virus infection, and elementary school
  • virus, influenza, Covid-19, human, transmission, everyone, virus strain, medical, nucleic acid, variant, positive, data, avian influenza, general, and mortality
  • company, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, limited company, pharmaceutical industry, national, work, Chinese Yuan, center, products, market, projects, production, sales, and hospitals
  • school, student, Covid-19, class, influenza, infectious disease, outbreak, primary school, symptoms, education bureau, situation, part, oral disease, and parents
  • vaccine, Covid-19, link, web page, biological, cell, protein, population, antibody, virus, variant, level, elderly, research, and antigen
  • feeling, throat, symptoms, sore throat, runny nose, slight, headache, body, body aches all over, stuffy nose, snot, whole body, pharynx, dizziness, and taste
  • hospital, viral, infection, influenza, patients, reporters, symptoms, disease, people, virus, situation, feelings, antigen, Covid-19, people’s daily, and nausea
  • sickness, infection, home, friends, teacher, classmates, school, exam, record, dormitory, colleague, good night, infection to, and almost
  • hospital, doctor, nucleic acid, test, check, outpatient, home, negative, symptoms, oseltamivir, community, queue, Covid-19 reinfection, daughter, and influenza
  • mom, son, dad, sister, adult, world, child, brother, life, diarrhea, family members, school, family, medicine, and housemate
  • body temperature, a little bit, all over the body, mental, state, bed, oseltamivir, hour, special medicine, antipyretic, day, affect, appetite, weakness, and aunt
  • child, fever medicine, hour, cooling, wave influenza A, All, warm water, disinfection, temperature, physical, everyone, situation, parents, moisture, and children
  • mask, month, personnel, ventilation, work, Covid-19, subtype, home, everyone, mobile, personal, time, first wave, and diligent hand washing
  • Covid-19, video, influenza B, school, aftermath, news, experiences, experts, positive rate, prevention, help, national, infectiousness, large number, and events
  • body, people, antigen, race, licorice, cold medicine, problem, situation, outrageous, advice, acute, magic, medicine, weight, ingredients, and pharyngitis
  • symptoms, soreness, general, advice, whole body, food nourishment, muscle, nasal congestion, infection period, inflammation, healthy, sore throat, throat, runny, and stomach
  • start school, infectious disease, basic, epidemic, family, spread, awareness, times, infectiousness, unable, probability, eyes, task, period, and science
  • life, kids, roommates, resistance, exercise, experts, parent, programs, moms, professors, gym, nutrition, dad, chief, physician, good, and news
  • kids, colleague, throat, influenza, vaccine, nose, infusion, go out, play, leader, thing, diary, neighborhood, oseltamivir, cake, care, and what

In topic 1, the keywords include “Covid-19,” “school,” “students,” “class,” “prevention and control,” “outbreak,” “command,” “primary school,” “virus,” “symptoms,” “children,” and “testing.” This topic focuses on the outbreak of influenza A in primary and secondary schools. Because of the gathering of people and the relative vulnerability of children, who are more susceptible to influenza A than adults, there is heightened societal concern about large-scale infections.

On social media platforms, individuals often express their concerns when their children contract influenza A. Parents who have not been infected themselves are worried about what preventive measures they can take against influenza A. These prevention efforts encompass a range of measures, including enhancing hygiene management and supervision at educational institutions; implementing disinfection and ventilation protocols; promptly identifying and isolating patients who have fallen ill and providing necessary treatment; raising awareness about protection measures among teachers, students, and parents; and reinforcing virus and antibody testing. Overall, the outbreak of influenza A at primary and secondary schools poses a significant public health challenge that necessitates collaborative efforts from the government, schools, parents, and the community to prevent and control its spread. Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is heightened societal concern regarding mass infectious diseases, emphasizing the need for increased attention toward prevention and response to safeguard the health and safety of our children.

Compared with topic 1, topic 2 places more emphasis on the drugs used for combating influenza A, including their prices, efficacy, and the pharmaceutical manufacturers involved. Keywords associated with this topic include “Chinese medicine,” “Western medicine,” “clinical,” “treatment,” “Pfizer,” and “pharmacy.” The scarcity of drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic made it imperative to focus on drug-related aspects when addressing a new large-scale epidemic. Simultaneously, people want the pharmaceutical industry to develop specific drugs for contagious diseases, aiming to help individuals avoid illness. As is evident from the keywords, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) holds a significant role in addressing the recent outbreaks of contagious diseases, garnering appreciation from the public. However, the issue of antibiotic misuse persists, particularly among patients with respiratory infections. Although various studies have been conducted to address the reduction of irrational antibiotic use, only a few have been multicenter or randomized trials. Exploring novel and innovative methods of administering medications is crucial to achieving the societal objectives of reducing irrational antibiotic use and eliminating unreasonable drug use. Therefore, providing education on the appropriate use of antibiotics during large-scale epidemic outbreaks is critical. Moreover, attention should be directed toward the drugs used to treat influenza A and their pricing to ensure that the public can access effective treatment promptly. This focus also aims to promote the research, development, and production efforts of pharmaceutical manufacturers in this field.

As depicted in Figure 8 , topic 3 exhibits overlap with topic 2, sharing common areas of focus such as clinical aspects, methodologies, and TCM. Topic 3 specifically concentrates on the rational use of medications for managing influenza A symptoms. In light of the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus, there has been heightened interest in mass infectious diseases, leading to a deeper understanding of the influenza A virus. This includes comprehending the symptoms caused by the virus, the human immune system’s response, and making comparisons with the novel coronavirus. Furthermore, individuals are likely to express concerns regarding the transmission of the influenza A virus, the efficacy of herbal treatments, and available clinical treatment options. Consequently, the outbreak of the novel coronavirus has significantly elevated the public’s awareness and comprehension of epidemic infectious diseases.

The topic 4 keywords encompass “influenza,” “symptoms,” “influenza virus,” “oseltamivir “ “drugs,” “antiviral,” “population,” “general,” “high incidence,” “virus,” “dosing,” “patients,” “video,” “taking,” and “influenza vaccine,” highlighting the focus on influenza A itself. Simultaneously with rapid ecological changes, accelerated urbanization, the impact of influenza A, and increased risks associated with travel and globalization, epidemics are becoming more frequent, complex, and challenging to prevent and control. In recent years, the general public has become increasingly aware of the health implications of epidemics, as evidenced by the appearance of keywords such as “antiviral,” “high incidence,” and “influenza vaccine” in topic 4. In conclusion, effectively responding to large-scale infectious diseases such as influenza A necessitates collaborative efforts among the government, medical institutions, pharmaceutical manufacturers, academia, and the public. By enhancing public education, improving preventive measures, and promoting rational drug use, the incidence and transmission risks of epidemics can be reduced, thereby ensuring public health and safety. In addition, it is crucial to learn from the experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, enhance the public’s awareness and understanding of mass infectious diseases, and drive continual improvement and progress in epidemic prevention and control.

Keywords for topic 6 include “virus,” “influenza,” “Covid-19,” “human,” “transmission,” “everyone,” “viral strain,” “medical,” “nucleic acid,” “variant,” “positive,” “data,” “avian influenza,” “general,” and “mortality.” The focus is on the discussion of viruses. Influenza A is an influenza virus that belongs to the family Orthomyxoviridae, a different family of viruses than the novel coronavirus. The virulence of the influenza A virus is relatively low, but it spreads quickly and is easily disseminated among the population. The main symptoms of influenza A include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle pain, fatigue, and headache, which usually appear within 2 to 3 days after infection. The mortality rate of the influenza A virus is low. However, it may cause more severe complications in specific populations, such as older adults, young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. It is important to note that the influenza A virus and the novel coronavirus have different characteristics and impacts on public health. It is worth noting that topic 6 mentions comparisons with previous major infectious viruses when discussing influenza A viruses, including the ones responsible for COVID-19 and avian influenza.

Under topic 7, the keywords include “company,” “pharmaceuticals,” “vaccines,” “limited company,” “pharmaceutical industry,” “national,” “work,” “Chinese Yuan” “center,” “products,” “market,” and “projects.” This topic focuses on the public’s interest in pandemic vaccines. Influenza viruses are classified into 3 serotypes: A, B, and C. Type A has the potential to cause large-scale epidemics owing to the variation in the structure of its antigens, which occurs approximately once every 10 to 15 years. Type B epidemics are typically milder and more limited in scope, whereas type C generally causes milder epidemics. Humans are universally susceptible to all 3 types, and all 3 types can cause various respiratory conditions such as laryngitis, bronchitis, bronchiectasis, capillary bronchitis, and pneumonia.

In Figure 9 , the left-hand side represents the 4 provinces with the highest posting activity, whereas the right-hand side shows the number of posts corresponding to negative emotional themes. The research findings indicate that the topic of greatest concern among users is topic 12, which revolves around infections in schools. This is primarily because of the closure of schools after the influenza A outbreak, and the susceptibility of children in school environments to infection. The next topic of interest is topic 10, which includes keywords such as “feeling,” “throat,” “symptoms,” “sore throat,” “runny nose,” “slight headache,” “body aches over all,” “stuffy nose,” “snot,” “whole body,” “dizziness,” and “taste.” This topic pertains to postinfection symptoms because the symptoms associated with influenza A infections are prominent, leading individuals to experience physical and emotional distress, thereby contributing to more negative sentiment.

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Influenza A Change Sentiment Orientation Analysis

Spatial difference analysis.

Emotional distribution can reflect the public’s attitude and sentiment toward relevant issues. In this paper, we categorized emotional orientation as positive or negative. According to our analysis, the public’s emotional exposure toward influenza is mainly negative, with negative emotions accounting for 83% (7562/9111), whereas positive emotions account for only 17% (1549/9111). This indicates that although the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many adverse effects, the public’s attitude toward influenza still needs to be more optimistic. We also analyzed the emotional orientation of different provinces toward influenza A. Figure 10 shows that each region holds a negative attitude toward influenza A, and there is little difference in the ratio of positive and negative emotions. We mainly focused on 3 regions—Qinghai, Yunnan, and Tibet—and found that they have a stronger negative emotional orientation than other sites.

different names for a research paper

The Factors Influencing Sentiment Orientation

On the basis of the study’s analysis, further exploration was conducted to understand the reasons behind positive and negative emotions among the public regarding influenza A. In the word frequency analysis concerning positive emotions, the following terms hold significance within the data set: “COVID-19” appears 1863 times, “influenza A” is documented 1768 times, “Infection” occurs 1596 times, “Virus” is mentioned 1033 times, “Influenza” is noted 1008 times, “Symptoms” is found 1001 times, “Control” is used 909 times, “Prevention” appears 854 times, “Outbreak” is mentioned 829 times, “Vaccine” occurs 818 times, “Fever” is referenced 719 times, “Children” is included 709 times, “Hospital” appears 706 times, “Malaise” is used 681 times, and “Classes” is seen 622 times. In addition to the high-frequency term “influenza A,” the public often discussed terms such as “prevention,” “control,” and “vaccine,” an indication of their concern and focus on influenza A. This suggests that the positive sentiment toward the influenza A epidemic primarily stems from effective prevention and control measures and the availability of a reliable vaccine. Furthermore, discussions about antiviral drugs and treatment reflect the public’s trust and expectation of scientific treatment options.

In the word frequency analysis pertaining to negative emotions, the following terms play a significant role in the data: “influenza A” appears 6069 times, “COVID-19” occurs 1729 times, “fever” is found 1373 times, “infection” appears 903 times, “myself” is present 820 times, “today” is mentioned 816 times, “influenza” is documented 778 times, “symptoms” is noted 759 times, “cold” is mentioned 730 times, “feeling” appears 721 times, “virus” occurs 679 times, “hospital” is seen 616 times, “uncomfortable” is used 599 times, and “child” is included 527 times. Finally, “cough” is listed 522 times. The common words associated with negative sentiment in blog posts, including “infection,” “fever,” and “symptoms” reflect the negative emotions stemming from public concern about the influenza A outbreak and the discomfort experienced by those who fall sick. In addition, inaccurate rumors and misunderstandings can contribute to negative emotions among the public. Therefore, it is crucial to disseminate scientific and accurate information while implementing timely epidemic prevention and control measures. These actions can effectively alleviate negative emotions, enhance public confidence and resilience, and collectively address the challenges posed by the influenza A epidemic.

Principal Findings

The level of concern regarding the recently prevalent infectious disease, influenza A, has shown variations across Chinese provinces, influenced by the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the central region of China seems to display a heightened level of concern, whereas the northwest region exhibits a lower level of attention. This geographic disparity is reflected in both the total number of blog posts and the public’s attention to influenza A, demonstrating fluctuations over time. These fluctuations underscore the dynamic nature of public attention to infectious diseases and emphasize the necessity for region-specific communication strategies. Furthermore, the research findings suggest that individuals become more sensitized with regard to infectious diseases and exhibit increased levels of concern, especially in the face of the spread of a new infectious disease.


Spatiotemporal differences between blog posts and public attention.

From November 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023, there was an increase in the number of posts related to influenza A, indicating a growing concern among the public regarding this issue. Figure 6 illustrates that the number of posts is relatively lower in the western region and higher in the eastern part of the country, with a concentration in the central area. This pattern may be attributed to the higher population density and greater mobility in the eastern part, leading to a faster spread of influenza A and prompting more people to pay attention to the topic and discuss it. In addition, the central region, characterized by a more densely populated area, facilitates frequent information exchange among its residents, resulting in an increased number of posts on Weibo. Notably, Beijing has the highest number of posts among all provinces. This can be attributed to Beijing being a region with high population density and significant mobility, which may contribute to a faster spread of influenza A and generate more attention and discussion on the topic. Moreover, Beijing’s advanced internet infrastructure and the widespread adoption of social media platforms also contribute to the higher number of posts.

Difference Analysis of Influenza A Attention Among Different Genders and User Types

This study of the genders and types of users shows that female users are much more concerned about influenza A than men. This can be explained in several ways. First, women are more concerned about health and personal hygiene issues [ 24 ], which makes them more worried about the influenza A outbreak. Second, more women than men work in medical and nursing professions [ 25 ], which means that diseases such as influenza A are top of mind for them. This also contributes to their higher level of concern about influenza A. In addition, information about influenza A is usually more widely disseminated by women in the family [ 26 ]. Women typically play more active roles in the family as primary family caregivers, guardians of children, and so on [ 27 ]. Therefore, they are more likely to spread information about influenza A within the family. In addition, some studies show that women are better at expressing emotions and empathy [ 28 ]. Women’s risk perception ability is sharper when faced with a public health event [ 29 ], and they are more likely to pay attention to information about influenza A. From another perspective, there is a reason why there are many Weibo users with posts related to influenza A. First, influenza A is a prevalent infectious disease that can affect most people. Therefore, many people are concerned about information related to influenza A. Second, the symptoms of influenza A are similar to those of some common diseases, such as cold and influenza, which makes many people search for influenza A–related information when they have similar symptoms.

Building from previous studies that focus on influenza [ 30 - 32 ], this study highlights that the health topic of greatest public concern in China is influenza A and its characteristics. As a highly contagious disease, influenza A, which shares similarities with influenza, is known to be more painful than influenza and prone to severe complications, including death. Consequently, the public is eager to acquire more information about influenza A to safeguard their health and that of their families. Furthermore, both the novel coronavirus and the influenza A virus are respiratory viruses, prompting comparisons between the two. Consequently, understanding the differences and similarities between influenza A and COVID-19 can empower the public to comprehend both diseases better and adopt more effective preventive and control measures.

The next topic of interest is viruses. As influenza A is a virus-transmitted disease, it is essential to understand its virulence, symptoms, mortality rate, and transmission rate to understand the disease. This is also because the spread of the virus directly affects public health and social stability; therefore, naturally, the public is concerned about the virus.

Another topic is the public’s concern about preventing mass epidemic infectious diseases through the use of vaccines. The reasons for this are easy to understand. First, as vaccines are one of the most effective measures to prevent disease [ 33 , 34 ], the public began to pay more attention to the development of a vaccine in the hope that reliable preventive measures would be available early. Considering the role played by vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic, we can see the importance of vaccines in controlling the spread of diseases and providing the public with effective measures to prevent the spread of epidemics. Second, public concern is also related to the safety and efficacy of vaccines [ 35 , 36 ] because vaccinating oneself is a significant decision involving everyone’s health and life. Finally, the public’s concern about epidemic vaccines is also related to health care systems and policies [ 36 , 37 ]. Vaccine development, production, and distribution require the support and regulation of health care systems and policies.

In addition to prevention, people are also concerned about the drugs used to treat influenza A, the price and efficacy of the drugs, and the drug manufacturers. This may be related to the COVID-19 outbreak. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to pose a threat to people’s physical and mental health, there is still concern among the public about contracting the virus. In addition, people are also worried about the efficacy and side effects of antiviral medications and want to know details about their safety and applicability to make the proper treatment choice [ 38 ]. Pharmaceutical manufacturers have also become the focus of public attention because they are essential players in producing influenza A treatment drugs. Many TCM institutions and physicians actively responded during the COVID-19 pandemic and achieved some significant treatment results [ 39 - 41 ]. This also drew public attention to TCM’s role during the epidemic, and people increasingly value TCM; in fact, the treatment of influenza A by TCM has received much attention [ 42 - 45 ].

The next concern is the rational use of medication after contracting influenza A. This may be related to the COVID-19 outbreak, in the sense that the public is more concerned now about using the correct medications to relieve influenza A symptoms. In this context, the public is more concerned about using medications to relieve influenza A symptoms correctly. In addition, owing to the popularity of the internet and social media, public health awareness is gradually increasing, and people are more willing now to actively seek health information and treatment advice [ 46 - 48 ]. At the same time, the continuous advancement of medical technology has made the treatment methods for influenza A more and more diversified and precise, making the public more concerned about the rational use of medication to treat influenza A.

One fascinating topic was the influenza A outbreak in primary and secondary schools. This relates to the closure of primary and secondary schools in China during the COVID-19 pandemic when the government took several measures to prevent the spread of the disease. This resulted in students being unable to attend school, and many students began to study independently or receive distance learning at home. This situation has led to an increase in parents’ concerns about the safety and hygiene standards prevalent in schools and other educational institutions [ 49 - 51 ]. Besides, it is known that schools can become a source of mass infections among children.

Sentiment Orientation Analysis

Understanding public sentiment regarding the influenza A epidemic in light of the COVID-19 outbreak is crucial because it reflects public perceptions and attitudes toward health and disease, as well as their level of confidence and trust in outbreak prevention and control measures. The results of our study indicate that 83% (7357/9111) of Chinese individuals hold negative attitudes toward influenza A. These negative emotions are not primarily directed at the government or official institutions but rather stem from people’s psychological distress and anxiety regarding physical discomfort because influenza A can cause physical pain, fever, cough, and weakness, leading to individuals feeling unwell and physically burdened; in addition, given the recent experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, the emergence of influenza A exacerbates people’s psychological exhaustion and weariness.

At the same time, there are also positive emotions associated with confronting influenza A; for example, the efforts of the Chinese government in implementing various measures to address the influenza A outbreak, including vaccination programs, have helped the public to better cope with the outbreak and instilled confidence in the government’s response.


Data source limitations.

It is important to acknowledge the limitations of our data source. Weibo users, primarily composed of the younger demographic, may not provide a comprehensive representation of society as a whole. Furthermore, the attitudes and sentiments expressed on Weibo may not be entirely reflective of the broader societal attitude. It is crucial to recognize that Weibo users’ opinions may not necessarily encompass the perspectives of the entire community.

Spatiotemporal Analysis Constraints

Our study’s spatiotemporal analysis is subject to certain constraints. Specifically, we focused on analyzing people’s attitudes toward influenza A during a specific time frame after the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, we did not conduct a comparative analysis of attitudes before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This limitation restricts our ability to provide insights into how the pandemic might have influenced changes in attitudes over time. In future research, comparing prepandemic and pandemic-era attitudes could yield valuable additional insights.


The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased public awareness of mass infections and the importance of preventive and control measures. In this context, this study on influenza A and its analysis of public sentiment provide valuable insights into the changing attitudes and concerns of the public. These findings can positively affect epidemic prevention and control efforts in the following ways.

Effective Communication Policies

Understanding public sentiment regarding the influenza A epidemic empowers the government and health organizations to devise communication policies tailored to the public’s perceptions and concerns. By addressing these, they can enhance the public’s comprehension of the outbreak and encourage the adoption of suitable protective measures. This proactive communication strategy plays a pivotal role in effectively curbing the spread of the epidemic; for instance, the government may implement a comprehensive communication plan, including daily updates on infection rates, guidelines for mask wearing, and information on vaccination centers, all designed to keep the public well informed.

Promoting Vigilance and Preventive Awareness

Positive public attitudes toward the influenza A epidemic can heighten public vigilance and awareness of preventive measures. A positive outlook encourages individuals to proactively engage in protective behaviors such as regular handwashing, consistent mask use, and avoidance of crowded areas. These actions reduce the risk of infection and contribute significantly to slowing down the transmission of the virus. To promote this, public health campaigns can emphasize the role of these behaviors in reducing transmission rates and saving lives.

Promptly Addressing Public Concerns

Understanding public attitudes and concerns about the influenza A epidemic equips health organizations and government authorities to promptly respond to public inquiries and address worries. By strengthening public information campaigns and educational initiatives focused on influenza A, they can bolster the public’s confidence and willingness to cooperate with recommended control and prevention measures; for example, they may establish hotlines or web-based forums where experts provide real-time answers to common questions, alleviating public concerns and building trust in official guidance.

Risk Assessment and Adaptive Policies

Negative public sentiment regarding influenza A in China indicates the necessity for a comprehensive risk assessment. Understanding public opinion allows health organizations and government entities to swiftly adapt prevention and control measures. This includes the development of targeted policies and guidelines that align with the evolving public sentiment; for instance, if negative sentiment arises owing to perceived vaccine shortages, authorities can swiftly adjust vaccine distribution strategies and communicate these changes transparently to rebuild trust.

Enhancing Management Capacity and Public Cooperation

A profound understanding of public sentiment helps enhance the management capacity of health organizations and government bodies. It strengthens communication channels and cooperation with the public, fostering a more robust social collaboration mechanism. This, in turn, facilitates the seamless implementation of epidemic prevention and control measures; for example, regular public engagement forums can be established, allowing citizens to voice concerns and provide input into decision-making processes, ultimately leading to more effective and inclusive policies.

By actively considering public sentiment, health organizations and the government can not only engage the public more effectively but also tailor their strategies and policies to better address the challenges presented by the influenza A epidemic.


This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71764014).

Data Availability

The data sets generated and analyzed during this study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Authors' Contributions

JD and FL contributed equally to this work. JD acquired funding, provided a mock peer review, and supervised the investigation. FL analyzed the data and wrote the original draft. LY performed a mock peer review and helped write the Discussion section. YH provided a mock peer review and supervised the investigation.

Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

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Edited by A Mavragani; submitted 24.05.23; peer-reviewed by R Gore, P Brzustewicz; comments to author 01.09.23; revised version received 20.09.23; accepted 11.10.23; published 02.11.23

©Jing Dai, Fang Lyu, Lin Yu, Yunyu He. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (https://www.jmir.org), 02.11.2023.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on https://www.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.


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  5. Research Paper Title

    Research Paper Title. Research Paper Title is the name or heading that summarizes the main theme or topic of a research paper.It serves as the first point of contact between the reader and the paper, providing an initial impression of the content, purpose, and scope of the research.A well-crafted research paper title should be concise, informative, and engaging, accurately reflecting the key ...

  6. Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper

    The Subtitle Subtitles are frequently used in social sciences research papers because it helps the reader understand the scope of the study in relation to how it was designed to address the research problem. Think about what type of subtitle listed below reflects the overall approach to your study and whether you believe a subtitle is needed to emphasize the investigative parameters of your ...

  7. How to Write a Research Paper

    Understand the assignment. Choose a research paper topic. Conduct preliminary research. Develop a thesis statement. Create a research paper outline. Write a first draft of the research paper. Write the introduction. Write a compelling body of text. Write the conclusion.

  8. 5 Simple steps to write a good research paper title

    5 Simple steps to write a good research paper title. The first thing journal editors and reviewers will see upon receiving your research paper is the title, and will immediately form a view on what they should expect in your research paper. Moreover, the tile of your research paper is the only aspect that will be freely available to readers ...

  9. 13.1 Formatting a Research Paper

    General Formatting Guidelines This chapter provides detailed guidelines for using the citation and formatting conventions developed by the American Psychological Association, or APA. Writers in disciplines as diverse as astrophysics, biology, psychology, and education follow APA style.

  10. Title page setup

    The professional title page includes the paper title, author names (the byline), author affiliation (s), author note, running head, and page number, as shown in the following example. Follow the guidelines described next to format each element of the professional title page. Last updated: July 2022 Date created: September 2019

  11. Free Research Name Generator

    Search Topic Results Your results will be here We will write a 100% plagiarism-free paper in as little as 3 hours Learn More Do you need help developing an appealing research name for your essay assignment? Don't stress anymore!

  12. Types of Research Papers

    Most research assignments ask you to engage in one of two approaches: Explore and evaluate (present an analysis) Persuade (present an argument) The tabs below will give you more information about each type. Your professor may allow you to choose between these strategies or may ask you to use only one. If you're not sure which type you should ...

  13. Types of Sources

    Purdue OWL Research and Citation Conducting Research Research Overview Types of Sources Types of Sources This section lists the types of sources most frequently used in academic research and describes the sort of information that each commonly offers. Print Sources

  14. Research Paper Format

    Table of contents Formatting an APA paper Formatting an MLA paper Formatting a Chicago paper Frequently asked questions about research paper formatting Formatting an APA paper The main guidelines for formatting a paper in APA Style are as follows: Use a standard font like 12 pt Times New Roman or 11 pt Arial. Set 1 inch page margins.

  15. Research Methods

    Research methods are specific procedures for collecting and analyzing data. Developing your research methods is an integral part of your research design. When planning your methods, there are two key decisions you will make. First, decide how you will collect data. Your methods depend on what type of data you need to answer your research question:

  16. 113 Great Research Paper Topics

    General Education One of the hardest parts of writing a research paper can be just finding a good topic to write about. Fortunately we've done the hard work for you and have compiled a list of 113 interesting research paper topics.

  17. Research Title Generator: Make a Title for Your Thesis or Paper Easily

    Search topic Looking for a creative and catchy title for a research proposal, thesis, dissertation, essay, or other project? Try our research title maker! It is free, easy to use, and 100% online. Welcome to our free online research title generator. You can get your title in 3 simple steps:

  18. Writing a Research Paper Introduction

    Table of contents Step 1: Introduce your topic Step 2: Describe the background Step 3: Establish your research problem Step 4: Specify your objective (s) Step 5: Map out your paper Research paper introduction examples Frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction Step 1: Introduce your topic

  19. Citation Styles Guide

    There are many different citation styles used across different academic disciplines, but they fall into three basic approaches to citation: Parenthetical citations: Including identifying details of the source in parentheses—usually the author's last name and the publication date, plus a page number if available (author-date).

  20. Formatting Research Paper Headings and Subheadings

    Here we quickly summarize general guidelines, different approaches, and what not to do when choosing headings for a research paper. Does it matter how I name my sections and subsections? The main sections of a research paper have general headers and are often journal-specific, but some (e.g., the methods and discussion section) can really ...

  21. 20+ Research Paper Example

    Research Paper Example for Different Levels. The process of writing a research paper is based on a set of steps. The process will seem daunting if you are unaware of the basic steps. Start writing your research paper by taking the following steps: Choose a Topic. Create a thesis statement.

  22. 10 Easy Steps: How to Write Author Name in Research Paper

    Include the author's initials or full first name, depending on the citation style. Separate the initials or first name from the last name with a comma. Follow the author's name with the year of publication in parentheses. Include the title of the research paper, the name of the journal or book, and other relevant publication information.

  23. Choosing my name as an author when publishing a scientific paper, can I

    (1) and (2) in the last paragraph are very important. Thinking about name tags on conferences, it could be a hassle to get your "academic" name written there, if it is different from the official name stated e.g. on the credit card with which you pay the registration. That's why I'd recommend using your official name on publications. -

  24. Journal of Medical Internet Research

    Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts on society, including public health, the economy, daily life, and social interactions. Social distancing measures, travel restrictions, and the influx of pandemic-related information on social media have all led to a significant shift in how individuals perceive and respond to health crises.