Titles

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Titles

To underline or not to underline?

  • If the work is published separately, italicize the title.

    Italicized titles include books, magazines, journals, plays, poems published as books, pamphlets, newspapers, films, television programs, record albums, ballets, operas, instrumental compositions, paintings, sculptures, ships, and aircraft.

    My favorite book is The Scarlet Letter.
  • If the work is published within another work, use quotes around the title.

    Titles surrounded by quotes include articles (newspaper, magazine, journal, and encyclopedia), essays, short stories, poems included in anthologies, songs, chapters, episodes of television programs, and lectures.

    My favorite chapter of The Scarlet Letter is "The Minister's Vigil."

Special Conditions

  • Sources that use neither italics nor quotes include sacred writings and editions.
  • If a quoted title appears within an italicized title, keep the quotes and italicize the entire title.
  • An Analysis of "The Mist" by Steven King

  • If an italicized title appears within a quoted title, keep the italics.

    "Musings on Tom Sawyer"
  • If a quoted title appears within another quoted title, use single quotes around the shorter title.

    "An Analysis of `The Lottery'"
  • If an italicized title appears within another italicized title, do not italicize the shorter title.

    Too Many Faces of Tom Sawyer

Underlining = italics (italics preferred)


*Information and examples created by Theresa Lennon