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TITLE GUIDELINE TWO
PUT YOUR TOPIC WORDS NEAR THE START OF THE TITLE
Titles may contain several key words or key phrases (see guideline three), but one of these words or phrases will usually be more significant than others. Let's call these topic words.
Putting topic words near start of title makes it easier for reader to decide what your document is about and if it should be read.
Consider following titles in which topic words are shown in capitals. In all cases topic words comes near start of title.
CHAOS as a Source Of Complexity and Diversity in Evolution
The USC BRAIN PROJECT: Confronting Models With Data
VLSI NEURAL NETWORKS: Design Challenges and Opportunities
Low-level VISION IN INSECTS and Applications to Robot Navigation
TITLE GUIDELINE THREE
INCLUDE SEARCHABLE KEY WORDS IN YOUR TITLE
Articles are usually indexed by key words. Frequently, particularly with web-based search engines, these key words are taken from document's title. It follows that people will be more likely to find your work if its title contains significant key words.
Compare these two titles:
An Interim Report from Myers Project
The Myers Project Interim Report into Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Memory Retention
Not only does second title bring topic phrase ('the Myers Project') to start of title, but it also includes additional key words: sleep deprivation and memory retention. Readers searching using these terms will have an increased chance of finding document.
Note that this guideline is somewhat at odds with guideline one: use fewest number of words. Clearly a balance needs to be found between titles that are brief and titles that contain a suitable number of key words.
With these guidelines in mind, you should have no trouble choosing an effective title for your next publication.
Adapted from WRITING SCIENTIFIC PAPERS by Tim North. This easy-to-read e-book is just US$9.95 and comes with a 30-day, money-back guarantee. http://www.scribe.com.au/ebooks.htm