Structural Organisation of Research Article Titles: A Comparative Study of Titles of Business, Gynaecology and Law

Kingsley Richard Appiah, Christopher Ankomah, Harrison Yaw Osei, Timothy Hattoh-Ahiaduvor


Since titles are gateways to the heart of research articles (RAs), their organisational structure should be regarded very crucial in appealing to the potential reader. This study aimed to investigate how titles of RAs are presented in three disciplines (Gynaecology/Obstetrics, Business, and Law). After a thorough study of 574 titles, the study revealed that Business titles were averagely longer than those in the other two disciplines. In terms of title style, it was revealed that the Single Unit Title was extensively used in Gynaecology/Obstetrics and Law, while the Compound Unit Title dominated the Business titles. Syntactically, Noun Phrases extremely dominated the Single Unit Titles across the three domains. Detailed examination of the NP modifications showed that nominal titles which were both Pre and Post-modified were highly frequent in all the disciplines, which contrasts what is in the literature. The study also identified the Prepositional Phrase as the commonest structure used in post-modifying the nominal structures than using non-finite clauses in all the disciplines. Again, colon was the most predominant punctuation mark used in partitioning the Compound Unit Titles across the three disciplines, with Law recording the highest followed by Gynaecology/Obstetrics and Business. Lastly, the data exhibited high frequency of Domain-Specific words in the titles more than Research-Based words across the disciplines. This study provides useful information on the nature of effective RA titles to novice writers and advanced authors. It also informs the teaching of academic writing skills.


Cross-disciplinary, Ra Titles, Style, Syntactic Structures, Text Length

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