TITLE: Summary


A good title is short and to the point. It should be treated either as an aim or a conclusion. The trend in the Biochemical literature these days is for the latter.

If you were writing about an experiment in which you had measured the effect of artificial sweeteners on insulin secretion you could write the title as an aim or a conclusion

Example Titles:

Aim Testing the effect of various food additives on the secretion of insulin in humans This title is fine but it isn't much of a 'come on' to prospective readers and it would be impossible to tell which compounds had been tested. The greater purpose of the experiment is not clear (if all they did was test the effect of 25 different brands of chicken soup on insulin secretion then it's probably not worth a trip to the library).
Conclusion Insulin secretion in humans is stimulated by the consumption of the artificial sweetener aspartame This title drives straight to the heart of the matter. It is a powerful, informative statement in which the authors have come to a definite conclusion; the statement is provocative and invites further scrutiny. You feel as if you have to get a copy of that paper!

Creating a Title from the Aim and the Conclusion:

Aim This study aimed to demonstrate that consumption of a high cholesterol diet results in an increase in blood cholesterol concentration.
Conclusion As has been found in previous studies, a diet which is high in cholesterol increases the plasma cholesterol concentration.
Title 1 Plasma cholesterol concentration increases in response to cholesterol intake in the diet.
Title 2 Varying the dietary intake of cholesterol may cause changes in plasma cholesterol concentration in middle-aged subjects.

Words in italics and in bold are related.

The noun increase in the Aim changes to the verb increases in the Conclusion and Title 1 and is expressed in a more general and tentative way in Title 2.

comparison of titles

Rather than using the verb 'increase' which actually means that a certain kind of change does take place, in Title 2 'may cause changes' is a more tentative statement of the relationship between plasma cholesterol concentration and cholesterol in the diet.

The information about diet is shifted from the beginning part of the sentence in the Aim and Conclusion to the end in Title 1. This allows the focus in Title 1 to be on what is affected i.e. plasma cholesterol concentration rather than on the cause i.e. cholesterol in the diet. Also both Title 1 and 2 are more general than the Aim and Conclusion as they refer to cholesterol 'intake' in the diet rather than a 'high' cholesterol diet. The different coloured arrows show the connections among the words.

connections among ain conclusion and title

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Glossary: aim, conclusion, tentative.