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Other APA Guidelines: Titles

Goals of a Title

A title should summarize the main ideas of your manuscript in an engaging way as well as possibly identify variables or the theoretical issue under investigation and identify the relationship between the variables.

Elements of a Good Title

Good titles

  • are concise; they say only what needs to be said, avoid words that serve no purpose (such as methods, results, a study of..., or an experimental investigation of...).
  • fully explain the central idea of the paper when standing alone (the title is a statement of what the manuscript contains and must be searchable).
  • use full terms and avoids abbreviations.
  • use title case (every significant word capitalized), are bolded, and are centered in the upper half of the page.

(Note that in APA 6, the title was not bolded, but the new APA 7 guidelines recommend bolding the title of a paper.)

For specific guidelines and help with title format, check out our APA templates.

Examples of Titles

Wordy Title: "A Study of the Effects of Transformed Letters on Reading Speed"

Improved: "Effect of Transformed Letters on Reading Speed"

 

Vague and Wordy: "An Investigation of the Relationship Between Differentiated Instruction and Student Achievement"

Improved: "Differentiated Instruction's Influence on Student Achievement"