Titles in research articles

Ken Hyland, Hang (Joanna) Zou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Titles are a key part of every academic genre and are particularly important in research papers. Today, online searches are overwhelmingly based on articles rather than journals which means that writers must, more than ever, make their titles both informative and appealing to attract readers who may go on to read, cite and make use of their research. In this paper we explore the key features of 5070 titles in the leading journals of six disciplines in the human and physical sciences to identify their typical structural patterns and content foci. In addition to proposing a model of title patterns, we show there are major disciplinary differences which can be traced to different characteristics of the fields and of the topics of the articles themselves. Our findings have important implications for EAP and ERPP teachers working with early career academic writers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101094
JournalJournal of English for Academic Purposes
Early online date4 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Academic writing
  • Corpus analysis
  • Disciplinary differences
  • Research articles
  • Titles

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