The importance of the colon: I finally came up with a title

‘Write blog post’ has been on my to do list for the last month. But let’s face it, any to do list has a hierarchy, and ‘write blog post’ has a tendency to fall below ‘actually go to gym this week’ and ‘PROPOSAL’. Yup, that’s right, I’ve been writing my proposal.

Proposals are written for almost any research project. They outline the need for the research and what the research will entail. It seems that as you get more established as a researcher, you can just put together a couple of pages and reference yourself a bunch of times. Not so as the lowly grad student.

The most exciting/ulcer inducing part is then coming up with a title. Why? Mainly because I spend too much time on and have developed complete imposter syndrome around this. But also because I’m a goddamn researcher, not some creative genius. Ask me to write a sentence with 100 words it in, and I’ll write you a sentence that (after you’ve read it three times) makes sense. Ask me to write a clever title and I will most probably reference something which occurred in 2007, pat myself on the back for being ‘topical’, and try and include a rhyme.

My time on thesis title sites (of which there are many) has taught me that there are three essential components to a title:

  1. Something snappy – most often, in academia, this means alliteration;
  2. A colon – an essential punctuation mark; and
  3. An explanation

And so, I present:

Screenshot 2016-08-01 21.21.09

The proposal writing itself is still underway. But can currently be best summed up by this gif: