Wednesday, January 30, 2008

forget the article--what's the title?

Eyes_of_bette As writers, we want to be read. To reach our audiences, we need to be published (or perhaps, just blog, but that's another thread). Both of these considerations drive an author's selection of a title for the work.

A recent study by Julie Oseid and Leah Christensen shows that when law review student editors are deciding what to publish, the "catchiness" of an article's title is more attractive to third- and fourth-tier law reviews than to their higher-tier cohorts.

One of my faculty colleagues, a former editor-in-chief of a top tier review, told me that the buzz he's hearing these days is that when it comes to titles, "short is the new long."

One of the things I like about longer titles is that they give me a sense of what's inside. I don't know what to make of a title like this one: Unlaw, published at 55 Buff. L. Rev. 841 (2007).

My favorite law review article title of all time was fine with the editors of the Columbia Law Review--but that was back in 1990. The title? She's Got Bette Davis['s] Eyes: Assessing the Nonconsensual Removal of Cadaver Organs under the Takings and Due Process Clauses, published at 90 Colum. L. Rev. 528 (1990).


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