How to Write a Research Title

Having had discussions with friends that were just started to learn on how to do an academic research, the most crucial question that anybody is arguably able to answer immediately is, “How to choose a research title?”

On contrary, I can recall that from most of my acquaintances either academically or non-academically, or either by readings of printed matters or electronic copies, perhaps this is one of the most simplest method that I have ever come across on the steps on how to determine a research title:

First: Determine your area of study or discipline of your research.

Second: Identify the broad topic for the chosen area.

Third: Identify the narrow topic from the broad topic that you have decided.

Fourth: Identify the focus topic for the specific broad topic that you decided earlier.

Fifth: Write all the possible research questions for the focus topic that you have written.

In summary, the five steps above can be represented in a table form. Figure 1 is illustrating an example (for the scope of rainwater harvesting) on how to follow the steps that were listed in the above para.


As an extension, from the above research questions you can further define your problem statement by identifying the topic’s contributing factors, problems, and consequences. Another diagram can be drawn for that purpose such as the following example illustrated in Figure 2.


After following the above-mentioned steps, you will definitely be able to construct your research title. All the best! 😉


I owe this good lesson from the late Mdm. Ho Chooi Peng for her dedicated work in conducting the course of Research Methodology at the National Institute of Public Administration (INTAN), Bukit Kiara, Malaysia. I have taken her class prior to my enrolment as a Master student and as a preparation for the Federal Government officers after being awarded with the scholarship for postgraduate studies. Though she has gone, her knowledge was never forgotten.

Her book on research methodology can be found at:



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