Recently, my PhD supervisor suggested that I should start finishing my PhD. There are several necessary organizational steps, but the most important part is likely that I should summarize the contributions of my best papers in a single document--my PhD thesis.

While it is quite clear what the content of the thesis should be (my papers), we are both struggling to come up with a reasonable title. The problem is that my (best) papers address two different problems--let's call them A and B. In particular, I have

  • 2 papers that exclusively address problem A.
  • 2 papers that exclusively address problem B.
  • 1 paper that addresses the combined occurrence of A and B.

Moreover, all 5 papers contribute a "solution" that has property C, either for A, B, or both. Property C even appears in the title of 4 out of 5 papers. My question: How do I combine all this into a single thesis title?

Of course, problem C is what connects the papers and should appear in the title. One the one hand, it seems wrong to me to write something like "Using C for A and B" because this would give the impression that A and B are handled separately, which they are not in the one paper addressing A and B. But on the other hand, if I write something like "Using C for the joint occurrence of A and B", then I as a reader would wonder why papers/results are included that exclusively address A or B.

Please note that I am not asking for a concrete suggested title, but rather I would appreciate general advice and maybe experience from someone who has faced a similar problem.

  • 1
    How about "Using C: A, B and A and B"? Though this is quite hard to answer without knowing what A, B and C are. I had a similar problem with my thesis title -- in the end, you just have to keep brainstorming and asking friends/colleagues for suggestions.
    – astronat
    Sep 16 at 9:16
  • @astronat Thank you for your suggestion. It was indeed a good starting point and has inspired me to a reasonable solution that also my supervisor likes. If you bother to upgrade your comment to an answer, then I will likely accept it.
    – mto_19
    Sep 16 at 9:54
  • 1
    @mto_19 how about skipping A and B altogether and just naming the thesis something along the lines of "C - a novel approach to problem solving" or, "Using C to solve aspects of D" where D is an umbrella term (if such exists) for A and B
    – Sursula
    Sep 16 at 10:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.