Le Gouvernement Dentreprise Dissertation Titles

Dissertation titles

The dissertation title is your first opportunity to let the reader know what your dissertation is about. With just a few words, the title has to highlight the purpose of the study, which can often include its context, outcomes, and important aspects of the research strategy adopted. But a poorly constructed title can also mislead the reader into thinking the study is about something it is not, confusing them from the very start.

In our articles on EXPECTATIONS and LEARNING, we explain what the reader expects and learns from your dissertation title, before setting out the major COMPONENTS that can be included in dissertation titles. Finally, since your dissertation title should follow a specific written style, which explains when to capitalise words, which words to capitalise, how to deal with quotation marks, abbreviations, numbers, and so forth, we provide some guidance in our article on STYLES.

LEARNING

What the reader learns from a dissertation title

The person reading your dissertation should be able to understand the core principles and focus of your research just from reading the dissertation title. This is because each word of your dissertation title carries meaning. Understanding this skill is important not only in creating your own dissertation title, but being able to rapidly search the literature for useful articles to support your own work. This section de-constructs two existing titles to illustrate some of the things that can be learnt from titles. For a more exhaustive guide to the core components of dissertation titles, jump to the next section: COMPONENTS: The main components of a dissertation title.

Dissertation titles are made up of a number of components. Each of these components tells the reader something about your research. Think of a component as a single word (or just 2-3 words) that convey something meaningful about your research. This may be the focus of your research, the main theory or theories adopted, your chosen methodology, research design or methods, the population that you studied, where the research was conducted, what variables you used, and so forth. The purpose of this section is to illustrate the main components of some existing titles to research papers so that you can understand what the reader is able to learn from a dissertation title.

Title examples

We view the two example titles below as having two main parts. Before explaining this, take a look at the titles:

Example #1
Barriers to Internet banking adoption: A qualitative study among corporate customers in Thailand

Example #2
Problems with partnerships at work: Lessons from an Irish case study

The two main parts of these titles are the area of interest (and focus) of the research, which we group together, and the methodological components that the researchers want to draw attention to. Looking at these titles again, we've put the area of interest (and focus) in blue and the methodological components in green.

Barriers to Internet banking adoption: A qualitative study among corporate customers in Thailand

Problems with partnershipsat work: Lessonsfrom an Irish case study

We can now break-down the area of interest (and focus), and methodological components further to illustrate the main points the title is telling us about the research. We have highlighted these components using [bold text]

Example #1
Barriers to Internet banking adoption: A qualitative study among corporate customers in Thailand

Barriers [focus] to Internet banking adoption [area of interest]: A qualitative study [qualitative research design] among corporate customers [population] in Thailand [situated nature of the study]

The title explains that the area of interest is Internet banking adoption. However, the particular focus of the research on Internet banking adopting is the barriers to such adoption. We immediately understand the focus of the research. It is not about the rate of Internet banking adoption or the success factors for Internet banking adoption. Therefore, we would expect the research not to focus on any of these other aspects of Internet banking adoption, but instead, the barriers to Internet banking adoption. In the second part of the title, the authors emphasize the methodological components of the research. By stating it was a qualitative study, we would expect that the research design used was a qualitative one, not a quantitative one or a mixed-methods research design. When reading about the research methods used in the study, we would anticipate that these were qualitative methods (e.g. interviews, focus groups). The authors also emphasized the population being studied, which were corporate customers, and the location (situated nature) of the study; in this case, Thailand. Clarifying the population in the title is useful because many readers may expect a study on Internet banking adoption to focus on consumers like you or me, not corporate customers. Stating the location of the research, Thailand, is also understandable, because country-based factors such as economic development, telecommunication infrastructure, government policy, and so forth, have a significant impact on the barriers to Internet banking adoption. Therefore, the reader understands that the findings of the research will be explained in the context of this specific location.

Now let's look at a similar example with a twist. As with the example above, remember that the area of interest (and focus) is displayed in blue and the methodological components are displayed in green.

Example #2
Problems with partnershipsat work: Lessonsfrom an Irish case study

Problems [focus] with partnerships [area of interest]at work [population, situated nature of the study]: Lessons [proposed outcome]from an Irish [situated nature of the study] case study [methodology]

We have chosen this second example because it is so similar in structure to the first example, but with one important addition; it highlights the proposed outcome of the research. The title illustrates that the focus of the research is on the problems associated with partnerships, which is the area of interest. In terms of the methodological components, the population being studied are partnership at work, clarifying that such partnerships are not at home, in a relationship, and so forth. The authors also state that this is an Irish case study, emphasizing the situated nature of the study (an Irish firm or a firm in Ireland) and the methodology being used, the case study approach. However, as mentioned, it also highlights the proposed outcome of the research, which are lessons; in other words, the research not only focuses on the problems with partnerships, but also aims to provide the reader with lessons that could address such problems. Therefore, we would expect the research to focus not just on the problems with partnerships, but also the lessons learnt from the case study that could help address such problems.

For a more exhaustive guide to the core components of dissertation titles, necessary for creating your own dissertation title, see the next section: COMPONENTS: The main components of your dissertation title.

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