Writing research and academic papers takes a lot of time and effort, but who said that academic papers have to be dull? A little humor or clever pun can go a long way to grabbing the reader's attention or creating buzz around your paper. So, live a little! Here are eight brilliant paper titles that prove a little fun never hurt anyone’s academic career.
Fantastic Yeasts and Where to Find Them: The Hidden Diversity of Dimorphic Fungal Pathogens You have to admit that this is quite the clever play on words. Deep down we all wish we went to Hogwarts (or, at the very least, got assigned our majors by a magical sorting hat). You can, however, still daydream about being able to cast a spell on your graduate advisor. Expecto patronum!
Wombats Detected From Space If we learned anything from the Star Wars universe, it’s never to trust a “cute” and “cuddly” furball. Where was this technology when Darth Vader decided to build his secret moon base on Endor? Think about it! Had the empire secured this cutting-edge technology, the Ewoks may not have stood a chance. But, don’t worry, humans won’t make the same mistake. We’ll be ready when “Planet of the Marsupials” becomes a thing.
Oldest Ass Recovered from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, and the Origin of Asses Well, this very scientific paper just debunked your theory about your next-door neighbor. Yeah, I know Frank plays his electric guitar a little too loud and lets his dog poop in front of your place, but you can’t argue with science.
The Effect of Having Christmas Dinner with In-Laws on Gut Microbiota Composition Most people will agree that this situation is likely the closest thing to being waterboarded. Honestly, I’m impressed that the researcher even found any microbiota in the first place. I would have thought the massive amount of alcohol required to endure the visit would have eliminated any chance of microbial life.
Snakes on a Spaceship - An Overview of Python in Heliophysics You just read that title in Samuel L. Jackson’s voice, didn’t you? I can only imagine the writer trying to explain to their advisor why this academic paper definitely needed a plethora of colorful language (It almost seems offensive not to have at least one “motherf***/er”, right?).
The Unsuccessful Self-Treatment of a Case of “Writer’s Block” We’ve all been there, but I’m not entirely sure you want to lead with that. Especially on a very important academic paper. Maybe next time keep your thoughts to yourself, Chad.
When is a Bologna Sandwich Better Than Sex? A Defense of Small-n Case Study Evaluations Now, it might just be me, but this title does seem to confirm that alternate universes are definitely a thing. Either that or this writer has access to some really mystical lunch meat. Shouldn’t be too hard to track down the only deli on the planet with eight stars on Yelp, right?
Die Hard: Are Cancer Stem Cells the Bruce Willises of Tumor Biology? Please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t go naming your tumor after a fictional German terrorist. Personally, I think Hans Gruber is a much better name for a cat. And, while we can’t all agree whether Die Hard is in fact, a Christmas movie, we can certainly agree on one thing…. “yippie ki-yay” for curing cancer!
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