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ERIC Number: EJ748381
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 13
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0889-4906
Writing Titles in Science: An Exploratory Study
Soler, Viviana
English for Specific Purposes, v26 n1 p90-102 2007
To prevent a paper from being discarded and ensure that it addresses the right audience, it must have a proper title that satisfies certain requirements. Writing the titles to scientific articles is therefore a challenging exercise that demands the use of various skills. Still, although the research paper is one of the most thoroughly studied scientific genres, the study of research paper titles does not share the same privilege, nor does the study of review paper titles. The purpose of this research and discussion note (RD) is to examine the most recurrent structural constructions of titles in two different genres, namely, review papers (RVP) and research papers (RP) in two fields: biological sciences and social sciences. More specifically, the questions raised are, on the one hand, whether the structural construction of titles is a key distinctive feature between RP titles and RVP titles, and, on the other, whether the inherent peculiarities of scientific disciplines imprint differences on the structural constructions of RP and RVP titles. Our RD was based on a "corpus" of 570 titles, of which 480 were RP titles and the remaining 90 were RVP titles, all covering the period 1996-2002. Words per title were firstly counted to measure their length and all structural constructions detected, namely, nominal, question, compound, and full-sentence constructions, were registered. Results evidence an interesting finding regarding the full-sentence title construction which appears not only as a generic peculiarity of RPs but also as a disciplinary peculiarity of Biology RP titles. The lines of evidence registered in this RD support suggestions as to how to guide novice scientists to write titles appropriately.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A