Q: If the title has a positive word or phrase, should the research outline only the positive aspects of the topic?
If the topic of the research starts with the phrase “Assessment of effectiveness of records practices,” does the problem statement have to be positive, that is, should it outline only positive things about the research topic?
That is an interesting consideration. I guess in the part-title that you have provided, by ‘positive word or phrase,’ you are referring to ‘effectiveness.’ Note that ‘effectiveness’ by itself does not indicate a positive outcome. Rather, it refers to qualifying the extent to which something has been effective, if indeed it has been effective. In this topic, for instance, it could be that records practices have been very effective, less effective, or moderately effective. Your study needs to assess how effective the practices have been. If, on the other hand, the title explicitly had a descriptor such as ‘positive,’ for example, ‘positive effect of records practices,’ then it would indeed need to discuss the positive outcomes.
To know more about topic titles, problem statements, and research questions, you may refer to the following resources: