Quotation Marks or Italics In Titles?

Photo of author

| Candace Osmond

| Punctuation

Photo of author

Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

You’ve probably asked yourself while writing an essay: Should I italicize a play title or enclose it in quotation marks? What about a song title?

Don’t feel guilty for not knowing the rules for quotation marks or italics in titles . Even the most experienced writers have the same problem.

I’ll show you the basic rules for choosing between quotation marks and italics in titles. This guide features the guidelines of Chicago, MLA, and APA.

Using Italics or Quotation Marks in Titles

Using italics vs. quotation marks in titles depends on your style guide. But the general rule is to italicize long titles, such as titles of books, movie titles, or album titles.

Meanwhile, you must write titles in quotation marks for shorter pieces like musical titles, magazines, TV series, and articles. Note that the AP style does not put magazines, newspaper style, or journals in quotation marks.

Grammarist Article Graphic V2 2022 08 14T201339.353

  • “How You Feel About Gender Roles Will Tell Us How You’ll Vote” is an article worth the read.
  • My favorite song is “If I could Fly.”
  • My Year of Rest and Relaxation is for readers who want to escape their stressful lives.

Works That Require Italics

Use Italics for titles such as the following:

  • Pieces with sections, such as a collection or anthology.
  • Some scientific names.
  • Computers and video games.
  • Titles of newspapers and titles of articles from newspapers.
  • Play titles.
  • Works of art.
  • Court cases.
  • Television and radio shows.
  • Episode titles.
  • Book titles.
  • Magazine articles.
  • Album titles.
  • Names of Ships.
  • Operas, musical titles, and other musical works.

Here are some examples of italicized works:

book titles quotation marks

  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
  • Michelangelo’s David.
  • When Harry Met Sally.
  • Do you have a copy of Wag the Dog by award-winning author Larry Beinhart?
  • My favorite mystery book is In the Woods by the bestselling author Tana French .

The source’s title is usually italicized in a bibliography or reference list entries. But it can also depend on the source type. If you’re citing a journal article, every citation style italicizes the journal title instead of the article.

  • Asher, J. (2017). Thirteen reasons why . Penguin Books.
  • (2011). When Harry met Sally . Santa Monica, Calif: MGM Studio distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Works That Require Quotation Marks

Use double quotes for the following types of work.

  • Comic strips.
  • Article title.
  • Generic titles.
  • Short works like essays
  • Short story titles.
  • Song titles.

Remember that quotation marks come in pairs, so add both opening and closing quotation marks. Here are some examples where we use friendly quotation marks in titles:

  • “Cul de Sac” is a darkly humorous comic.
  • “Cinderella” is my favorite chapter title from the Big Blue Book .

Big Things vs. Little Things

“Big things” include a collection of novels or book series, movies, cartoon series, and other works that can stand independently. We can also consider them as complete bodies of work.

Meanwhile, the “little things” depend on other groups, so we put them in quotes.

Think of a “single” in an album title or a “book chapter” in a book title. Another good example includes “manuscripts” in collections.

Remember that this isn’t a perfect rule. But it helps writers determine whether they should quote or italicize the title of a work.

Italics vs. Quotation Marks in Style Guides

The grammar rules on italicizing or quoting titles are usually a matter of style. Take a look at the title formats’ differences among style guides.

In the Modern Language Association style guide, a quick rule is to italicize titles that are longer. Experienced writers state that these “longer works” include books, journals, court cases, etc. Ship names and other notable names are also in italics.

But for shorter works like articles and poems, MLA Style Guide recommends you format titles with double quotation marks.

Chicago Style

The Chicago Manual of Style goes by the same basic rules as MLA. Titles of major works, such as books, and special names like a ship should be in italics. But place the item in quotation marks for subsections of larger bodies like journal articles, blogs, and book chapters.

According to the APA Style 7th edition , you should use italics for titles like journals, magazines, and newspapers. Books, artworks, webpages, and any other larger body of work also use italics.

However, writers who follow APA use the regular type of format for shorter works. These include essays or works in journal articles and lectures.

When to Not Use Italics or Quotation Marks

There’s a specific type of title that all major style guides have no recommendations for. The following do not use italics or quotation marks for titles:

  • Commercial products.
  • Political documents.
  • Legal documents.
  • Major religious books or scriptures.
  • Name of artifacts.
  • Names of buildings.
  • Constitutional documents.
  • Traditional game.

If you are formatting titles on a website, there’s no need to follow the rules on italics vs. quotation marks. You can go with any more visually appealing style since online web pages are less formal than print materials.

Prioritize the font type, size, and headings when formatting websites and web pages. Make decisions based on what will attract visitors.

When to Underline Instead of Quote or Italicize

If you write using pen and paper, italicizing works can be challenging. Many style manuals recommend underlining the source instead. It’s easier, more practical, and keeps your handwriting legible.

Final Word on Italics vs. Quotes in Titles

An easy way to remember is that most types of titles are almost always in italics. APA, MLA, and Chicago manuals of style recommend italics for longer works.

I hope this guide on using quotation marks and italics in titles helps you become a better writer. 

Grammarist is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

2024 © Grammarist, a Found First Marketing company. All rights reserved.

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • Language rules
  • When to Use Quotation Marks (“”) | Rules & Examples

When to Use Quotation Marks ("") | Rules & Examples

Published on May 21, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on November 29, 2022 by Jack Caulfield.

Quotation marks (also known as quotes or inverted commas) are used to indicate direct speech and quotations.

In academic writing, you need to use quotation marks when you quote a source . This includes quotes from published works and primary data such as interviews . The exception is when you use a block quote, which should be set off and indented without quotation marks.

Whenever you quote someone else’s words, use a signal phrase to introduce it and integrate the source into your own text. Don’t rely on quotations to make your point for you.

Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

Be assured that you'll submit flawless writing. Upload your document to correct all your mistakes.

upload-your-document-ai-proofreader

Table of contents

Single vs. double quotation marks, quotes within quotes, punctuation following quotations, quotation marks for source titles, indirect quotation, scare quotes, frequently asked questions about quotation marks.

There are two types of quotation marks: ‘single’ and “double.” Which one to choose generally depends on whether you are using US or UK English . The US convention is to use double quotation marks, while the UK convention is usually to use single quotation marks.

Double quotation marks can also be acceptable in UK English, provided you are consistent throughout the text. APA Style requires double quotations.

Here's why students love Scribbr's proofreading services

Discover proofreading & editing

When your quotations are nested (i.e., a quote appears inside another quote), you should use the opposite style of quotation marks for the nested quotation.

US and UK English also differ on where to place punctuation within quotation marks.

  • In US English,  commas and periods that follow a quote are placed within the quotation marks.
  • In UK English, all punctuation marks are placed outside the quotation marks, except when they are part of the original quotation.

In all variants of English, a question mark appears inside the quotation marks when the person quoted was asking a question, but outside when it’s you asking the question.

  • Smith asks, “How long can this situation continue?”
  • How many participants reported their satisfaction as “high”?

Note that when you include a parenthetical citation after a quote, the punctuation mark always comes after the citation (except with block quotes ).

  • Solis described the situation as “precarious” (2022, p. 16).

Some source titles (e.g., the title of a journal article) should be presented in quotation marks in your text. Others are italicized instead (or occasionally written in plain text).

The rules for how to format different source titles are largely the same across citation styles, though some details differ. The key principles apply in all the main styles:

  • Use italics for sources that stand alone
  • Use quotation marks for sources that are part of another source

Some examples are shown below, with the proper formatting:

  • The Routledge Companion to Critical Theory [book]
  • “Poststructuralism” [book chapter]
  • Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology [journal]
  • “What Is Personality Disorder?” [journal article]
  • Friends [TV series]
  • “The One Where Rachel Quits” [TV episode]

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Indirect quotation means reporting what someone said without using exactly the same words they did.

It’s a lot like paraphrasing , except that you’re only changing the words you need to in order to fit the statement into your new sentence grammatically. For example, changing the pronouns or the verb tense .

Indirect quotation is more common in everyday speech, but it can occur in academic writing too. When it does, keep in mind that you should only use quotation marks around words taken directly from the original speaker or author.

  • One participant stated that “he found the exercises frustrating.”
  • One participant stated that he found the exercises frustrating.
  • One participant described the exercises as “frustrating.”

“Scare quotes” are quotation marks used around words that are not a direct quotation from a specific source. They are used to signal that a term is being used in an unusual or ironic way, that it is borrowed from someone else, or that the writer is skeptical about the term.

  • Many politicians have blamed recent electoral trends on the rise of “fake news.”

While scare quotes have their uses in academic writing (e.g., when referring to controversial terms), they should only be used with good reason. Inappropriate use of scare quotes creates ambiguity.

  • The institution organized a fundraiser in support of “underprivileged children.”
  • Scientists argue that “global warming” is accelerating due to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The “Brexit” negotiations are still ongoing.

In these examples, the words within scare quotes are widely accepted terms with clear meanings that can’t be attributed to a specific person or source. Using quotation marks implies skepticism about the concepts in question.

The use of single and double quotation marks when quoting differs between US and UK English . In US English, you must use double quotation marks. Single quotation marks are used for quotes within quotes.

In UK English, it’s most common to use single quotation marks, with double quotation marks for quotes within quotes, although the other way around is acceptable too.

A quote is an exact copy of someone else’s words, usually enclosed in quotation marks and credited to the original author or speaker.

If you’re quoting from a text that paraphrases or summarizes other sources and cites them in parentheses , APA and Chicago both recommend retaining the citations as part of the quote. However, MLA recommends omitting citations within a quote:

  • APA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic (Jones, 2015; Sill, 2019; Paulson, 2020) shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).
  • MLA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).

Footnote or endnote numbers that appear within quoted text should be omitted in all styles.

If you want to cite an indirect source (one you’ve only seen quoted in another source), either locate the original source or use the phrase “as cited in” in your citation.

Quotes within quotes are punctuated differently to distinguish them from the surrounding quote .

  • If you use double quotation marks for quotes, use single quotation marks for quotes within quotes.
  • If you use single quotation marks for quotes (e.g., in UK English ), use double quotation marks for quotes within quotes.

Make sure to close both sets of quotes!

Indirect quotation means reporting what someone said (or wrote) but not using their exact words. It’s similar to paraphrasing , but it only involves changing enough words to fit the statement into your sentence grammatically (e.g., changing the tense or the pronouns ).

Since some of the words have changed, indirect quotations are not enclosed in quotation marks .

Sources in this article

We strongly encourage students to use sources in their work. You can cite our article (APA Style) or take a deep dive into the articles below.

McCombes, S. (2022, November 29). When to Use Quotation Marks ("") | Rules & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 15, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/language-rules/quotation-marks/
Butterfield, J. (Ed.). (2015).  Fowler’s dictionary of modern English usage  (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.
Garner, B. A. (2016).  Garner’s modern English usage (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Is this article helpful?

Shona McCombes

Shona McCombes

Other students also liked, how to quote | citing quotes in apa, mla & chicago, how to block quote | length, format and examples, what is your plagiarism score.

Patrick's Place

Quotes or Italics? Citing Titles of Books, Movies & TV Shows

book titles quotation marks

When citing titles of songs, books, movies or tv shows, should you place them in italics or quotation marks? The answer is, ‘It depends.’

There are certain things you need to know if you’re writing about your favorite song, novel, film or television series. Some people insist that when citing titles, you should use italics. Others get bent out of shape and insist that’s wrong and that you should put quotes around them instead. There’s an easy way to know which to use when you cite book, movie and TV show titles.

But the fact that there’s an easy way doesn’t mean it’s one you’ll like.

In fact, it all boils down to the style guide you use. If you’re in school, there’s almost certainly a style guide your school prefers. Professionally, you don’t necessarily have to be a journalist to face the quirks of a style guide.

Unfortunately, different style guides offer different rules. So here’s a sampling of how a few of them differ.

I’m going to start with the Associated Press Style Book because that’s the one I use in my professional job. It’s also the one I mostly rely on for this blog, although here I may deviate occasionally.

AP makes everything simple when it comes to citing such titles. But you may not agree with their simplicity.

Don’t feel bad: A lot of us who use AP Style don’t always agree with everything they come up with. I could make a list.

The Perdue Writing Lab says you use quotation marks in AP Style. You’ll note in that last sentence I listed that source in bold. That’s not AP Style, but I think for a blog, it’s nice when you make bold a source that you’re actually hyperlinking to. So if you follow AP Style and can’t deviate, don’t use bold, either.

AP Style dictates that you should put quotation marks around books, songs, television shows, computer games, articles, poems, lectures, speeches and works of art. Don’t put quotation marks around titles of magazines, newspapers, books that are catalogs of reference materials or the Bible.

AP’s dislike of italics dates back to the old printing presses. It was impractical to stock more letters for italics. I doubt that any newspapers still rely on old-fashioned linotype machines. In this computer age, why can’t we just italicize?

Hey, that’s not up to me. So until AP changes that rule, stick with quotes: forget you even have the option of italics… if AP Style is your style guide.

If you’re in academia, you probably rely on the Modern Language Association’s style guide, which you’ve probably only ever heard of as “MLA Style.”

Like most guides other than AP, MLA mixes it up a bit. Northern Arizona University sums it up nicely in their MLA resource page.

But let me give you a snapshot: Book, movie and TV show titles go in italics. Individual episodes of TV shows go in quotation marks:

  • My favorite episode of The Andy Griffith Show is “Man in a Hurry.”

Newspaper and magazine names go in italics. But names of broadcast networks are merely capitalized.

Albums and musicals are set in italics. Individual song titles go in quotes.

The one I find most curious is the style guide of the American Psychological Association. Since I doubt most of you have to deal with this one, which is more often used in academic medical papers, I won’t spend a lot of time on this one.

If you do use APA Style, I appreciate you. You make me realize that my gripes with AP Style may not be so bad after all.

What bothers me about APA Style is its rule of using sentence case for show titles in citations . AP Style would call Rod Serling’s famous program “The Twilight Zone.” MLA would style it as The Twilight Zone . But in citations, APA styles it as The twilight zone . Only the first word is capitalized.

Your mileage (and style guide) may vary.

The best advice I can give you here is to check the style guide that you use.

If you don’t use a style guide, the one that makes the most sense to me in the 21st century would be MLA, in which you italicize book, newspaper, magazine, album, movie and TV shows and put episode and song titles in quotes.

That practice, I think, makes the most sense to most readers without being distracting. I don’t think AP’s rule about putting everything in quotes confuses anyone, but I think italics look better.

As for APA, well, if the sentence case TV show titles rule makes sense to you, more power to you. I can’t see that as anything but a mistake!

But again, you should either consult the style guide you’re required to use or codify your own policy for such instances. That way, you remain consistent whenever you write.

That’s always a good thing.

You Might Also Like

book titles quotation marks

Have You Heard of These New Dating Terms?

book titles quotation marks

Embarrassing Pizza Restaurant Typo Goes Viral

book titles quotation marks

‘Peanuts’ Special Will Serve Justice for Franklin

book titles quotation marks

Use the Term ‘People of Color’ Carefully, AP Style Says

book titles quotation marks

Amazon Prime to Charge Extra to Avoid Streaming Commercials

book titles quotation marks

Inalienable or Unalienable? Which Human Rights Do We Claim?

Copyright ©MMXXIV Patrick's Place LLC. All rights reserved.

book titles quotation marks

Patrick is a longtime television producer and digital journalist.

Patrick’s Place is a blog that focuses on multiple topics...from blogging to grammar to faith to life in general.

You'll find new content at least four days a week.

Read more about the blog here .

Follow Me on Social Media

book titles quotation marks

Search the Site

Try my email newsletter.

Once a week, I'll send you an email with the previous week's posts so you never miss what's new. I post once a day Mondays through Thursdays on a variety of topics.

I've made it easy with help from the folks at FeedBlitz!

Just click the "Subscribe" button to sign up!

book titles quotation marks

Copyright ©2004-2024 Patrick's Place LLC All rights reserved. Stock Photos licensed from their respective sources. Other photos used by permission as described.

  • Start Here!
  • Guest Post Policy
  • Privacy Statement
  • Cookie Policy

Self Publishing Resources

How To Write Book Titles The Proper Way: A Complete Guide For Writers

  • February 10, 2022

Book titles within essays or papers can be tricky. There are specific rules that are given for how to include a book title in a way that sets it apart from the content of your writing given by the Modern Language Association. However, as with many other things in life, there are exceptions to the rules. This article will guide you through the rules of the writing style guides so that you can include a book’s title in your paper or essay correctly.

How to write book titles:

Style guides and book titles.

When it comes to book titles within text, there are a few different style guides that have rules you can follow, depending on your writing type. The three types that you will encounter most often are; MLA style, Chicago manual of style, and APA. A writing instructor will usually tell you what style guide you are expected to use for a particular essay or paper.

MLA Style Guide

The MLA handbook states that you should always italicize book titles when styling book titles within your text. The exception to this rule are religious texts. You would not italicize the Holy Bible or the sacred books or titles of other religions. Note the following example.

Pam had stayed most of the summer indoors, re-reading her favorite book series. She was already up to  Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone , and she didn’t regret not being more active or going outside.

In the above example, the book title is italicized. Fiction titles and nonfiction titles alike must be in italics when within the text.

Series Titles in MLA

In the above example, a book from a series was used. But what if the text had not specified which book from the series Pam was reading? Would it still need to be in italics? The answer is: in this case, yes. In other cases, sometimes.

It’s really not as confusing as it seems. When you are talking about a book series but don’t want or need to include the complete series titles for the purposes of your work, you only have to put words in italics that also appear in the book titles. So, because  Harry Potter  is part of the title of all of the books in the series, you would italicize his name every time you mention the book.

However, if you were talking about Katniss Everdeen, you would not have to do this, as the book series she is featured in doesn’t use her name in the titles of  The Hunger Games  series. The same would be true of books like the Nancy Drew books.

Quotation Marks

There are instances in which titles should be placed inside of quotation marks within a paper or essay. This is done when you cite the titles of poems , a chapter title, short stories, articles, or blogs.

How To Write Book Titles

So, for example, if you were to write a paper that featured a poem from a book, you would put the book title in italics and the poems cited in quotation marks.

An example of an enduring love poem is “Annabel Lee” from  The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. 

Chapter Title

Another time that quotation marks should be used is when using the title of a chapter. If you are citing a specific chapter of a book, you would enclose the title of the chapter in quotation marks, and the title of the book should be in italics.

The desperation and sadness of a man on death row can be seen in the “Wild Wind Blowing” chapter of Norman Mailer’s  The Executioner’s Song. 

Short Stories

Short stories are another case. Much like the title of a chapter or poem, in which the title is placed in quotation marks, while the title of the book or collection it is found in is italics. The same can be said for sections, stories, or chapters cited within a literary journal.

Stepping away from his norm of horror and gore, Stephen King writes of trust, love, and regret in his story “The Last Rung on the Ladder,” which can be found in his short story collection  Night Shift. 

Punctuation Marks

If you are citing a story or title that includes question marks, you need to make sure to italicize the question mark when citing. Keep all punctuation, such as a question mark, comma, ellipses, colon, or exclamation mark, as it is in the original individual books.

If you want a funny and irreverent read, you’ve got to try  Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea.  Chelsea Handler has done a phenomenal job of being vulgar, relatable, and explaining life from her viewpoint in this hilarious and memorable book.

The Digital Age: Are Book Titles Underlined Anymore?

MLA style used to dictate that a book title should either be in italics or underlined. However, that is no longer the case. As computers started to take over as the major tool used in writing, it became unpopular to underline book titles. Therefore, this rule was dropped from the style guides.

However, it should be mentioned that when handwriting an essay or research paper, many instructors prefer that you underline book titles, as it’s relatively difficult to handwrite italics. If you are in a writing course or a class that is heavy on handwritten work, be sure to ask your instructor or teacher which method they prefer for citing a book title.

How To Write Book Titles

How to Come Up with Book Title Ideas

Now that quotation marks, italics, and style guides have been discussed, let’s move on to how you can come up with your own book title. If you’d like a title for your book that sounds interesting and will get a reader’s attention, you may find this article helpful.

Coming up with a good title for your book is a challenging yet essential marketing decision . The right title can make your target audience choose your new book off of the shelf instead of another writer’s work. Your book cover and your book title are quite possibly the most important marketing decisions you will make.

How to Choose a Good Book Title

Certain criteria should be met if you want to have a good book title , and there are specific steps involved in getting there. You may have assumed up until now that titles of books were just spur of the moment decisions made by authors or publishers, but a lot of work goes into writing good titles.

Grab the Reader’s Attention

As a general rule, you want your reader to remember your title and to sound interesting, even without the reader having seen the cover. There are several ways to do this. You can be a little dark with your title, be controversial, provoke the reader, or even be funny.

There are many examples of such works that use memorable and attention-seeking titles. The following are some different titles that are effective and would most likely provoke a reader to grab them from a shelf for closer inspection.

  • Burn After Writing (Sharon Jones)
  • Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (Mindy Kaling)
  • Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea (Chelsea Handler)
  • The Devil Wears Prada (Lauren Weisberger)
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul (various authors)
  • God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian (Kurt Vonnegut)

Shorter Titles

If your full title for your book is long, you may end up boring a reader or creating a situation where a reader tries to remember the title of your book, but it’s too long and ends up getting it confused with another book. Although you should always do your best to make sure that there aren’t books by other authors that share a title or have a title similar to your book (more on that in a minute), you don’t want a person to get confused and get the wrong book instead.

Research Your Title Ideas

It’s a good idea to take the titles you have considered for your book and make a list. Then, do your homework. You can use tools like Google Adwords to test out your title to see if there are others like it, or you can simply use any search engine and plug your title ideas into the search bar and see what similar or exact titles of the same words pop up.

Readers are generally busy people. They don’t have the time or the energy to ensure that writers get a title right. They’ll look for the book they are interested in, and if it proves to be too difficult, or if there are other books written that have the same title, they’ll move on to something else.

A writer really has to make sure that they have a title that isn’t going to be ignored, is interesting, isn’t too long, and isn’t too similar to other works.

The same goes for titles of short works within a larger body of work. Short works, like poems or stories, need to have unique titles as well when included in a larger body of work, such as a collection. If stories are similar in nature, be sure to title them differently so that readers will be able to tell them apart, as well.

Leave a Comment Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Sign up to our newsletter!

Related articles

Motivational Quotes About Writing

120 Motivational Quotes About Writing To Inspire A New Writer Like You

How To Register A Kindle On Amazon

How To Register A Kindle On Amazon To Enjoy Your Ebooks In 4 Easy Ways

How To Market A Self-Published Book

How To Market A Self-Published Book And Be Profitable In 9 Easy Ways

Creative Writing Prompts

Do You Use Quotation Marks When Writing a Book Title? Learn How

Photo of author

My name is Debbie, and I am passionate about developing a love for the written word and planting a seed that will grow into a powerful voice that can inspire many.

Do You Use Quotation Marks When Writing a Book Title? Learn How

Do You Use Quotation Marks When Writing a Book Title?

Understanding the basics of quotation marks in book titles, quotation marks and book titles, the proper usage of quotation marks for different types of book titles, when to use quotation marks and when to avoid them in book titles, unveiling the common mistakes regarding quotation marks in book titles, expert tips for correctly formatting book titles with quotation marks, a step-by-step guide to using quotation marks in book titles, frequently asked questions, to wrap it up.

When it comes to writing a book title, many writers find themselves unsure of whether to use quotation marks or not. The use of quotation marks can vary depending on the style guide followed or the type of publication. Here are a few guidelines to help you navigate this punctuation conundrum:

  • Fiction and Non-Fiction Books: In most cases, it is customary to italicize book titles in both fiction and non-fiction works. This applies to novels, short story collections, biographies, academic books, and even poetry collections.
  • Magazines and Newspapers: Titles of magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals are typically italicized or underlined. However, if you are writing for an online publication or blog, it is common to use quotation marks instead of italics.
  • Chapters and Essays: When referring to a chapter or essay within a book, use quotation marks around the title. For example, “The Catcher in the Rye” is a novel by J.D. Salinger, but its fifth chapter is titled “The Lagoon.”

Remember, consistency is key. Whichever style you choose, make sure to apply it consistently throughout your entire work. The use of quotation marks or italics helps readers distinguish between a book’s title and the surrounding text, making it easier to identify and reference the book. So, keep these guidelines in mind and confidently give your book titles the formatting they deserve!

Understanding the Basics of Quotation Marks in Book Titles

Quotation marks play a crucial role in book titles, helping to distinguish them from the text and signaling their significance. Understanding the proper usage of quotation marks in book titles is essential for writers, editors, and readers alike. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Book titles within the main text: When referencing a book title within a sentence, it should be enclosed in quotation marks. For example: “In ‘The Great Gatsby,’ F. Scott Fitzgerald explores the decadence of the Jazz Age.”
  • Italicized book titles: It is customary to italicize book titles when they appear independently, such as on a book cover or in a bibliography. Quotes should not be used in these cases. For instance: The Catcher in the Rye
  • Quotation marks for short stories, poems, and articles: While books are italicized, shorter works like short stories, poems, and articles are typically enclosed in quotation marks. For instance: “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost.

Mastering the correct usage of quotation marks in book titles helps maintain consistency and clarity throughout your writing. Keep in mind that these rules may vary slightly based on style guides, so it’s always a good idea to consult the appropriate guidelines for the specific writing context. By paying attention to quotation marks, you can ensure that book titles are correctly punctuated, enhancing the overall professionalism and readability of your work.

The Proper Usage of Quotation Marks for Different Types of Book Titles

One of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of punctuation is the usage of quotation marks for different types of book titles. To help clarify this confusion, let’s delve into the proper usage of quotation marks for various types of book titles.

1. Quoting individual works: When referring to a specific book, such as “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, use quotation marks around the entire title. This applies to both fiction and non-fiction works.

2. Quoting collections or anthologies: If you are mentioning a collection of writings or an anthology, such as “The Best American Short Stories,” it’s important to italicize, rather than use quotation marks. This format highlights that you are referring to a collection of multiple works.

3. Quoting titles within titles: Sometimes, a book title may include the title of another work within it. In these cases, you should use double quotation marks to set apart the nested title. For example, “Romeo and Juliet” contains the play “Much Ado About Nothing” within its storyline.

4. Quoting articles or chapters: When discussing a specific article or chapter within a larger book, use single quotation marks. For instance, if you are referencing a particular chapter called “The Catcher in the Rye” from J.D. Salinger’s book, use single quotation marks around the chapter title.

When to Use Quotation Marks and When to Avoid Them in Book Titles

Knowing when to use quotation marks in book titles can be a bit tricky, but by understanding the general guidelines, you can ensure your titles are properly formatted. Quotation marks are used in book titles to distinguish them from other types of titles, such as article titles or chapter titles. Here are some instances when you should use quotation marks:

  • When including a short story or poem within a larger collection or anthology. For example, “The Raven” within the book “Dark Tales: A Collection of Horror Stories”.
  • When referencing a specific piece of work, such as a book or a play, within your title. For instance, “The Catcher in the Rye: A Study on Adolescence”.
  • When using a direct quote or a phrase that is not the actual title of the book. For instance, “In Search of Lost Time: A Journey through ‘The Remembrance of Things Past'”.

While there are situations that call for quotation marks, it’s important to know when to avoid using them as well. Here are a few instances:

  • When writing the title of your own book, it is generally not necessary to use quotation marks. For example, “Secrets Unveiled: A Memoir of My Journey”.
  • When referring to a series of books, it is best to avoid quotation marks. Instead, use italics to indicate the series title. For example, “The Harry Potter Series: A Magical Adventure”.
  • If the title itself is a quote or dialogue from a book, do not use quotation marks. Instead, emphasize it using italics. For instance, “The Road Less Traveled: Exploring Life’s Journey”.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your book titles are correctly formatted, making them visually appealing and easy to understand for your readers.

Unveiling the Common Mistakes Regarding Quotation Marks in Book Titles

Quotation marks are a powerful tool in writing, especially when it comes to book titles. However, they can be tricky to use correctly and are often misunderstood. In this section, we will uncover some of the most common mistakes writers make when it comes to quotation marks in book titles.

First and foremost, it is essential to differentiate between the use of quotation marks for shorter works, such as articles or short stories, and for longer works, like books or films. Book titles should always be italicized or underlined, not enclosed in quotation marks. Many writers mistakenly believe that using quotation marks for book titles is the correct way, which can create confusion for readers.

A second common error is the inconsistent use of quotation marks within a book title. It is important to use a consistent style throughout the title, either by enclosing the entire title in quotation marks or by using italics for the entire title. Mixing and matching the use of quotation marks and italics within a single title can make it difficult for readers to understand which part is the actual title of the book.

Expert Tips for Correctly Formatting Book Titles with Quotation Marks

When it comes to formatting book titles with quotation marks, following the correct rules can enhance the professional look of your writing. Whether you’re an aspiring author or a seasoned writer, here are some expert tips to ensure you get it right:

1. **Use quotation marks for shorter works**: Shorter works, such as poems, short stories, and articles, should be enclosed in quotation marks. For example: “The Raven” or “The Catcher in the Rye”.

2. **Italicize longer works**: Longer works, such as novels, plays, and movie titles, should be italicized to differentiate them from shorter works. For instance, use *To Kill a Mockingbird* or *Romeo and Juliet*.

3. **Punctuate correctly**: Place all punctuation marks, such as commas and periods, inside the quotation marks. However, colons and semicolons should be placed outside the quotation marks.

4. **Collaborative works**: If a book has multiple authors, use the first author’s surname followed by et al. in both the citations and reference list. For example: Johnson et al. suggest that “The Power of Collaboration” is essential.

Remember, these guidelines may slightly vary depending on the style guide you are following, such as APA or MLA. Be sure to consult the specific requirements of your chosen style guide to ensure your book titles are formatted accurately. Following these expert tips will help you create polished and visually appealing content , making your book titles stand out in a professional manner.

Using quotation marks in book titles may seem like a small detail, but it can make a big difference in how your titles are perceived by readers. Whether you’re an aspiring author or a seasoned writer, understanding how to use quotation marks correctly is essential. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through the world of book titles effectively.

1. Choose the appropriate quotation marks: When it comes to book titles, double quotation marks are the standard choice. They provide clear visual separation for the title and make it easily distinguishable from the rest of the text. However, it’s important to note that different style guides may have specific preferences, so be sure to check the guidelines that apply in your particular writing context.

2. Include punctuation within the quotation marks: When a book title includes punctuation marks such as commas, question marks, or exclamation points, these should always be included within the quotation marks. For example, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “Who Moved My Cheese?”, or “To Kill a Mockingbird!” This helps keep the title cohesive and ensures that readers understand the intended meaning.

3. Use italics for longer works: If you’re referencing a longer work within your book title, such as a play, a novel, or a film, it is customary to use italics instead of quotation marks. This distinction helps readers differentiate between the title of your book and the titles of other prominent works mentioned within it. For instance, if you’re writing a book review and discussing “Romeo and Juliet,” make sure to italicize it.

4. Exceptions for smaller works: Shorter works, such as individual poems, short stories, or articles, should be enclosed within quotation marks. This practice highlights their standalone nature within your book title, distinguishing them from longer works. For instance, “The Raven” or “The Gift of the Magi” would be correctly formatted.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your book titles are properly formatted, visually appealing, and convey your intended message to readers. Remember, quotation marks play a significant role in creating an engaging and professional presentation of your work, so don’t underestimate their importance. Happy writing!

Q: Do you use quotation marks when writing a book title? A: Yes, quotation marks are commonly used when writing a book title in most cases.

Q: When should I use quotation marks for book titles? A: Quotation marks are used for shorter works, such as chapters within a book or individual articles. However, for book titles, it is generally preferred to use italics or underlining.

Q: Why should I use italics or underlining instead of quotation marks for book titles? A: Book titles are typically italicized or underlined to provide visual emphasis and differentiate them from regular text. This convention has become widely accepted in the publishing industry.

Q: Which style guide should I follow when formatting book titles? A: The choice of style guide largely depends on your target audience and the purpose of your writing. Commonly used style guides such as the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), Modern Language Association (MLA), and American Psychological Association (APA) provide specific guidelines on how to format book titles.

Q: How should I format book titles using italics? A: When using italics, simply italicize the entire book title. For example, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Q: Can I use underlining instead of italics for book titles? A: Yes, if you are unable to use italics (e.g., when writing by hand), you can underline book titles instead. However, in most modern writing, italics are preferred due to their clarity and ease of reading.

Q: Are there any exceptions to using italics or underlining for book titles? A: Yes, there are a few exceptions. Title case capitalization, where the first and last words of the title and all other important words are capitalized, is generally used for book titles. However, conjunctions, articles, and short prepositions are usually not capitalized unless they are the first or last word of the title.

Q: What about quotation marks within book titles? A: If a book title includes a quotation or a reference that requires quotation marks, you should still use italics or underlining for the overall book title and include the quotation or reference within it, without using additional quotation marks.

Q: Are there any variations in formatting book titles for different mediums? A: Yes, different mediums may have specific formatting rules for book titles. For instance, when citing book titles in academic papers, MLA typically uses italics while APA uses sentence case and quotation marks. It’s important to follow the appropriate style guide for the medium you are working with.

Q: What should I do if I’m not sure about the formatting of a specific book title? A: If you’re unsure about the correct formatting of a book title, referencing a reliable style guide or consulting an editor or writing professional can help you ensure consistent and accurate formatting for your work.

In conclusion, remembering to use quotation marks around book titles is essential for clear and consistent writing. Don’t overlook this simple yet important detail!

Security Report Writing Software: Secure Your Reports Efficiently

If I Were President Writing Prompt: Explore Political Imagination

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Reach out to us for sponsorship opportunities.

Welcome to Creative Writing Prompts

At Creative Writing Prompts, we believe in the power of words to shape worlds. Our platform is a sanctuary for aspiring writers, seasoned wordsmiths, and everyone. Here, storytelling finds its home, and your creative journey begins its captivating voyage.

© 2024 Creativewriting-prompts.com

  • How to Cite
  • Language & Lit
  • Rhyme & Rhythm
  • The Rewrite
  • Search Glass

How to Use Quotations for Book Titles

When we reference the title of a book in our writing, the book’s title should appear in italics. If italic is not a formatting option, then the book’s title should be underlined. In some circumstances quotation marks can be used instead of underlining or italics.

Enclose the book title in quotation marks if you believe it is more appropriate to the overall appearance of your document. This would not apply to reference books. Book titles from books that are part of a collection would need to be underlined or in italics.

Be consistent in your style. Do not underline book titles in one section of your document, and enclose them in quotation marks in other sections of the same document.

Enclose the chapter title of a book in quotation marks. For example: My favorite chapter in the book was “Learn to Laugh.”

Use single quotation marks if the book title is contained in a quotation, and you have chosen not to use underlining or italics. For example: She said, “I loved the book ‘Where the Red Fern Grows.’"

Do not use quotation marks to enclose the Bible or other books that are considered sacred.

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.

  • Access My STLCC Email
  • Access Banner Self Service
  • Access Canvas
  • Access the Course Schedule
  • Register for a Continuing Education Class
  • View Our Campuses

Italics vs Quotation Marks in Titles

Explanation.

Generally and grammatically speaking, put titles of shorter works in quotation marks but italicize titles of longer works. For example, put a “song title” in quotation marks but italicize the title of the album it appears on.

Titles in Italics

( source type : example)

Books : On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous Magazines/Journals : Newsweek or Cave Canem Newspapers : St. Louis Post-Dispatch Pamphlets : How to Take Your Own Blood Pressure Movies/Plays/Musicals : The Producers or Two Trains Running or Hamilton Long Poems : The Odyssey or The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Radio/TV Program : This American Life or Game of Thrones Ballet/Dance : Les Sylphides or Rodeo Operas/Musical Pieces : La Traviata or Rhapsody in Blue Paintings/Sculptures : Mona Lisa or The Burghers of Calais Ships/Planes/Trains : Titanic or Air Force One or the Mistral Musical Albums : A Hard Day’s Night Computer/Video Games : Minecraft , Fortnite Web Sites : Facebook , Wikipedia

Titles in Quotation Marks

Articles/Essays : “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Book Chapters : “Legal Issues and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome” Short Stories : “Fly Already” Short Poem s: “At Black River” Songs : “Can’t Buy Me Love” Radio/TV Episodes : “Rookie” from Queen Sono

Works Needing Capitals But Not Italics or Quotation Marks

Music in Number or Key : Prelude and Fugue in E flat Major Sacred Writings : Bible or Koran or Bhagavadgita Editions or Societies : Kittredge’s Shakespeare or Anglo-Norman Text Society Diseases : Tay-Sachs disease (but not cancer, polio, leukemia, etc.) Acronyms : FBI, NAACP, GIF Conventional Titles : U.S. Constitution or Declaration of Independence Student’s Paper Title : Role of the Djinns in Islamic Belief

book titles quotation marks

  • Accessibility
  • Staff search
  • External website
  • Schools & services
  • Sussex Direct
  • Professional services

Quotation Marks in Titles

  • Guide to Punctuation
  • Introduction
  • Why Learn to Punctuate?
  • The Full Stop, the Question Mark and the Exclamation Mark
  • The Colon and the Semicolon
  • The Apostrophe
  • The Hyphen and the Dash
  • Capital Letters and Abbreviations
  • Quotation Marks and Direct Quotations
  • Scare Quotes
  • Talking About Words
  • Miscellaneous
  • Punctuating Essays and Letters
  • Bibliography

Maintained by the Department of Informatics , University of Sussex

Copyright © 2024, University of Sussex

Writing Style Guide

Punctuation: quotation marks.

Double quotation marks are used for direct quotations and titles of compositions such as books, plays, movies, songs, lectures and TV shows. They also can be used to indicate irony and introduce an unfamiliar term or nickname.

Single quotation marks are used for a quote within a quote. ("I knew I wanted to come to WMU when President Dunn said, 'We're committed to your success.'") Although they are usually unnecessary, single quotation marks also can be used in headlines that contain a quote or composition title.

Do not place in quotation marks : names of newspapers, magazines, central texts of a religion (Bible, Koran), dictionaries, handbooks and reference books. Names of concertos, operas, overtures, sonatas, suites and symphonies, such as Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, are not placed in quotes, but if the work also has a title, the title is placed in quotes. (Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, "Pathetique.")

Do not place in quotation marks names of events (tailgate party, retirement reception), even if it is a unique event with a proper name (Bronco Bash). The title of a lecture is placed in quotes, the name of a lecture series is not (Sichel Lecture Series).

Running quotations : If a full paragraph of quoted material is followed by a paragraph that continues the quotation, do not use closing quotation marks at the end of the first paragraph, but do use opening quotation marks at the start the second paragraph. Continue this pattern, using closing quotation marks only at the very end of the quoted material.

Placement with other punctuation : A period or comma always go inside closing quotation marks. ("We hope to win the game," he said.) A dash, semicolon, question mark and exclamation point go inside closing quotation marks when the punctuation applies to the quotation itself and outside when it applies to the whole sentence.

Who said "Ask not what your country can do for you"? He asked, "What time is it?"

You are using an outdated browser. Upgrade your browser today or install Google Chrome Frame to better experience this site.

  • Ragan Training
  • Writing Center
  • Leadership Council
  • PR Daily Pro

How to use quotation marks, according to AP style

You should probably be using them both more, and less, than you think.

Headshot of Allison Carter

Quotation marks seem straightforward. If you’re recounting exactly what someone else said, it should be in quotation marks. Easy, right?

That part is simple enough. But where does the punctuation mark go in a quote? What if it’s a quote within a quote? Do you ever use single quotes? What if it’s an unfamiliar word? Are there exceptions?

There are a lot of rules for quotation marks in AP style, but overall, they are enforced consistently. If you can remember a few rules of thumb, you’ll be a quotation pro in no time.

How to quote people

Double quotation marks – “that’s these guys” – go around words that are being reproduced exactly as they were spoken or written. Each speaker gets their own set of quotation marks.

Most punctuation goes within the quotation marks if it applies to the quote. For example:

  • “What time is the parade?”
  • “The parade is soon!”
  • “I do not like parades.”
  • “You’re no fun,” he said.

However, if you have a punctuation mark that applies to the broader sentence and not the quote specifically, it goes outside the marks, like so: Did he say, “I don’t love you”? In this example, “I don’t love you” is a statement, not a question, so the question mark goes outside the quotation to show that the entire sentence is interrogatory.

If a single quote spans more than a paragraph, don’t use quotation marks at the end of the first paragraph, but do add them to the second paragraph:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure,” Abraham Lincoln said in the Gettysburg Address.

However, if you’re quoting a very long passage like an excerpt or a complete work, no quotation marks are necessary if it’s set off as a block quote.

When to use single quotation marks

The quotation mark’s skinnier sister, the single quote, is more commonly known as the apostrophe (‘these guys’). It isn’t used very often in AP style, but there are some times when using it is necessary.

Single quotation marks should be used for quotes in headlines as a space-saving measure.

If you’re quoting someone who’s quoting someone, switching to single quotes for the secondary quote avoids confusion: “As a wise man once said, ‘ain’t that a kick in the head?’” You’ll also use the single quote when quoting someone who’s using a composition title:  “I’m watching ‘The Great Pottery Throwdown,’” she said.

If you have a quote within a quote within a quote, keep alternating between double and single quotes.

Composition titles

You may be tempted to put books, movies, TV shows and other media names in italics. This is likely a holdover habit of using APA or Chicago Style on school papers. However, AP style very rarely uses italics, as old-style wire machines couldn’t process them. While you’re generally fine using italics for emphasis, quotation marks are still the correct choice for titles of most works of art, including books, movies, computer games, operas, plays, poems, radio, TV and podcast programs, speeches and visual art.

Exceptions include holy books such as the Bible or Quran, reference books like dictionaries or encyclopedias, and, weirdly, software titles like Microsoft Office.

Other times to use quotation marks

Some people love sprinkling in quotation marks for emphasis, or in business writing, sometimes to highlight a word that seems casual. You don’t need to do this. There are a few other times to use quotation marks:

  • Nicknames: When introducing someone by both a proper name and a nickname, put the nickname in quotes: Jake “The Snake” Smith. You don’t need to use quotes if it’s a common shortening of a name, like Jake instead of Jacob. Just use the name they prefer to be called.
  • Foreign or unfamiliar words : Some foreign words have become so integrated into the English lexicon that we don’t even think of them as foreign: tsunami, bon appetit. But when a word is unfamiliar to a general audience of English speakers, you may use quotation marks to identify the word before defining it: “pamplemousse,” the French word for “grapefruit…” You may also consider doing the same with slang or technical words that your audience might not be familiar with. However, some are urging a move away from calling attention to foreign words by framing them in quotes.
  • Irony: Just like air quotes in real life, you’re fine with using quotation marks for sarcasm: “Did you have fun at the party?” “’Party.’ More like a wake.”

As you’re working on your communications strategy, remember that you can tweak AP style to meet your needs. As long as your style remains consistent enough to continue reaching your intended audience, you’re just fine.

COMMENT 5 Responses to “How to use quotation marks, according to AP style”

Please remember that an apostrophe does not look like a single open quotation mark.

(I blame the introduction of “curly quotes” in word-processing software for distorting and diluting this distinction.)

Should you quote what someone writes exactly, even when the content does not follow AP Style?

Absolutely. From APStylebook Twitter, May 7, 2019: “When quoting written words, our guidance is to retain the style used by the writer; do not alter the written words even if they don’t match AP style. “

does ap style use quotations marks here: I believe the important question to ask is what else is going on? Or is it I believe the important question to ask is, “What else is going on?” https://prisonwriters.com/

Are quotation marks used for slogans or taglines?

Mail (will not be published)

Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.

RECOMMENDED READING

Comms Etymology: The finer points of punctuation

Comms Etymology: The finer points of punctuation

How to master thought leadership writing

How to master thought leadership writing

The top 10 communications words of the year

The top 10 communications words of the year

4 guides for ethical use of AI in PR

4 guides for ethical use of AI in PR

Writing to showcase your skills, create value and stand out

Writing to showcase your skills, create value and stand out

Ragan Communications Logo

Enter the email you used in your Ragan store purchase.

Not a member? Join now.

Create Account

Setup password.

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Associated Press Style

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

These resources provide an overview of journalistic writing with explanations of the most important and most often used elements of journalism and the Associated Press style. This resource, revised according to The Associated Press Stylebook 2012 , offers examples for the general format of AP style. For more information, please consult The Associated Press Stylebook 2012 , 47 th edition.

Introduction

Associated Press style provides guidelines for news writing. Many newspapers, magazines and public relations offices across the United States use AP style. Although some publications such as the New York Times have developed their own style guidelines, a basic knowledge of AP style is considered essential to those who want to work in print journalism.

This Web page is intended to provide an introduction to AP style and a summary of some AP style rules; however, the Associated Press Stylebook includes more than 5,000 entries – far more than can be covered here. For a complete guide to AP style, writers should consult the most recent edition of the Associated Press Stylebook or visit the AP Stylebook website .

The content of newspapers and other mass media is typically the result of many different writers and editors working together. AP style provides consistent guidelines for such publications in terms of grammar, spelling, punctuation and language usage. Some guiding principles behind AP style are:

  • Consistency

AP style also aims to avoid stereotypes and unintentionally offensive language.

Common Style Guidelines

The Associated Press Stylebook provides an A-Z guide to issues such as capitalization, abbreviation, punctuation, spelling, numerals and many other questions of language usage. What follows are summaries of some of the most common style rules.

Abbreviations and Acronyms

Some widely known abbreviations are required in certain situations, while others are acceptable but not required in some contexts. For example, Dr., Gov., Lt. Gov., Rep., the Rev. and Sen. are required before a person’s full name when they occur outside a direct quotation. Please note, that medical and political titles only need to be used on first reference when they appear outside of a direct quote. For courtesy titles, use these on second reference or when specifically requested. Other acronyms and abbreviations are acceptable but not required (i.e. FBI, CIA, GOP). The context should govern such decisions.

As a general rule, though, you should avoid what the Associated Press Stylebook calls “alphabet soup.” Consult the Associated Press Stylebook for specific cases.

For numbered addresses, always use figures. Abbreviate Ave., Blvd., and St. and directional cues when used with a numbered address. Always spell out other words such as alley, drive and road . If the street name or directional cue is used without a numbered address, it should be capitalized and spelled out. If a street name is a number, spell out First through Ninth and use figures for 10th and higher. Here are some examples of correctly formatted addresses: 101 N. Grant St., Northwestern Avenue, South Ninth Street, 102 S. 10th St., 605 Woodside Drive.

For ages, always use figures. If the age is used as an adjective or as a substitute for a noun, then it should be hyphenated. Don’t use apostrophes when describing an age range. Examples: A 21-year-old student. The student is 21 years old. The girl, 8, has a brother, 11. The contest is for 18-year-olds. He is in his 20s.

Books, Periodicals, Reference Works, and Other Types of Compositions

Use quotation marks around the titles of books, songs, television shows, computer games, poems, lectures, speeches and works of art. Examples: Author Porter Shreve read from his new book, “When the White House Was Ours.” They sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the game.

Do not use quotations around the names of magazine, newspapers, the Bible or books that are catalogues of reference materials. Examples: The Washington Post first reported the story. He reads the Bible every morning.

Do not underline or italicize any of the above.

Dates, Months, Years, Days of the Week

For dates and years, use figures. Do not use st, nd, rd, or th with dates, and use Arabic figures. Always capitalize months. Spell out the month unless it is used with a date. When used with a date, abbreviate only the following months: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec.

Commas are not necessary if only a year and month are given, but commas should be used to set off a year if the date, month and year are given. Use the letter s but not an apostrophe after the figures when expressing decades or centuries. Do, however, use an apostrophe before figures expressing a decade if numerals are left out. Examples: Classes begin Aug. 25. Purdue University was founded May 6, 1869. The semester begins in January. The 1800s. The ’90s.

If you refer to an event that occurred the day prior to when the article will appear, do not use the word yesterday. Instead, use the day of the week. Capitalize days of the week, but do not abbreviate. If an event occurs more than seven days before or after the current date, use the month and a figure.

Newspapers use datelines when the information for a story is obtained outside the paper’s hometown or general area of service. Datelines appear at the beginning of stories and include the name of the city in all capital letters, usually followed the state or territory in which the city is located. The Associated Press Stylebook lists 30 U.S. cities that do not need to be followed by the name of a state. See states and cities below. Examples:

  • DENVER – The Democratic National Convention began...
  • ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Republican National Convention began...
  • YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – President Bush spoke to a group...

When writing about height, weight or other dimensions, use figures and spell out words such as feet, miles, etc. Examples: She is 5-foot-3. He wrote with a 2-inch pencil.

Use figures for any distances over 10. For any distances below 10, spell out the distance. Examples: My flight covered 1,113 miles. The airport runway is three miles long.

Always use a person’s first and last name the first time they are mentioned in a story. Only use last names on second reference. Do not use courtesy titles such as Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms. unless they are part of a direct quotation or are needed to differentiate between people who have the same last name.

Never begin a sentence with a figure, except for sentences that begin with a year. Examples: Two hundred freshmen attended. Five actors took the stage. 1776 was an important year.

Use roman numerals to describe wars and to show sequences for people. Examples: World War II, Pope John Paul II, Elizabeth II.

For ordinal numbers, spell out first through ninth and use figures for 10th and above when describing order in time or location. Examples: second base, 10th in a row. Some ordinal numbers, such as those indicating political or geographic order, should use figures in all cases. Examples: 3rd District Court, 9th ward.

For cardinal numbers, consult individual entries in the Associated Press Stylebook. If no usage is specified, spell out numbers below 10 and use figures for numbers 10 and above. Example: The man had five children and 11 grandchildren.

When referring to money, use numerals. For cents or amounts of $1 million or more, spell the words cents, million, billion, trillion etc. Examples: $26.52, $100,200, $8 million, 6 cents.

Punctuation

Use a single space after a period.

Do not use commas before a conjunction in a simple series. Example: In art class, they learned that red, yellow and blue are primary colors. His brothers are Tom, Joe, Frank and Pete. However, a comma should be used before the terminal conjunction in a complex series, if part of that series also contains a conjunction. Example: Purdue University's English Department offers doctoral majors in Literature, Second Language Studies, English Language and Linguistics, and Rhetoric and Composition.

Commas and periods go within quotation marks. Example: “I did nothing wrong,” he said. She said, “Let’s go to the Purdue game.”

States and Cities

When the name of a state name appears in the body of a text, spell it out. State abbreviations should also be avoided in headlines where possible. States should be abbreviated when used as part of a short-form political affiliation. Examples: He was travelling to Nashville, Tenn. The peace accord was signed in Dayton, Ohio. The storm began in Indiana and moved west toward Peoria, Ill. Updated guidance to AP style notes that state names can also be abbreviated for the following purposes:

  • Naming states in dateline text
  • Naming states in photo captions
  • Naming states in lists or tables
  • Naming states in in editor's notes and credit lines

Here is how each state is abbreviated in AP style (with the postal code abbreviations in parentheses):

You will notice that eight states are missing from this list. That is because Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah are never abbreviated.

AP style does not require the name of a state to accompany the names of the following 30 cities:

The exact time when an event has occurred or will occur is unnecessary for most stories. Of course, there are occasions when the time of day is important. In such cases, use figures, but spell out noon and midnight . Use a colon to separate hours from minutes, but do not use :00 . Examples: 1 p.m., 3:30 a.m.

Generally, capitalize formal titles when they appear before a person’s name, but lowercase titles if they are informal, appear without a person’s name, follow a person’s name or are set off before a name by commas. Also, lowercase adjectives that designate the status of a title. If a title is long, place it after the person’s name, or set it off with commas before the person’s name. Examples: President Bush; President-elect Obama; Sen. Harry Reid; Evan Bayh, a senator from Indiana; the senior senator from Indiana, Dick Lugar; former President George H.W. Bush; Paul Schneider, deputy secretary of homeland security.

Technological Terms

Here are the correct spelling and capitalization rules for some common technological terms:

  • BlackBerry, BlackBerrys
  • eBay Inc. (use EBay Inc. when the word begins a sentence)
  • e-book reader
  • Google, Googling, Googled
  • IM ( IMed, IMing ; for first reference, use instant messenger )
  • iPad, iPhone, iPod (use IPad, IPhone, or IPod when the word begins a sentence)
  • social media
  • Twitter, tweet, tweeted, retweet
  • World Wide Web, website (see the AP's tweet about the change) , Web page

Subscribe to Grammar Underground

Italics or quotation marks for movie and book titles?

When you’re writing titles of movies, books and other compositions, you usually have a choice between using italics and putting them in quotation marks.

Associated Press style says to put movie and book titles in quotation marks. “Star Wars.” “Slaughterhouse Five.” That makes sense when you consider that AP is a news writing style and early printing presses could not make italics.

The Chicago Manual of Style, which is followed by book and magazine publishers, says to use italics for book and movie titles. Star Wars . Slaughterhouse Five .

Neither style says to underline titles, which throws off a lot of writers who remember doing so in school. But that convention of some academic styles isn’t really followed in professional publishing.

As for those ALL-CAPITAL TITLES THAT SEEM TO SCREAM AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS, those are common in marketing writing. But you won’t find titles written that way in newspapers or books. In fact, even proper names that are supposed to be in all caps, like the entertainment complex L.A. LIVE, don’t stay all caps in many newspapers. This one, for example, becomes L.A. Live.

Both AP and Chicago have special rules for song titles, magazine titles, composition titles, poem titles, and just about anything else that a writer has given a name to. There are too many to commit to memory. If you absolutely need to get them right, consult a style guide. Otherwise, don’t sweat these too much. It’s probably fine to just choose one style — quotation marks or italics — for all. No one will think less of you for not knowing every little rule. After all, even editors often have to double-check.

Tags: COPY EDITING , HOW TO WRITE BOOK TITLES , ITALICS VS. QUOTATION MARKS

This entry was posted on Monday, May 2nd, 2022 at 4:18 pm and is filed under Blog . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response , or trackback from your own site.

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  • #SpellCheckCannotSaveYou
  • A AAA VS. AN AAA
  • A HISTORIC VS AN HISTORIC
  • A WHILE VS. AWHILE
  • ABBREVIATIONS
  • ACRONYM VS ABBREVIATION
  • Acronym vs Initialism
  • ACTION VERBS
  • ACTIVE VERBS
  • ACTIVE VOICE
  • ADDRESS STYLE
  • ADRENALINE VS ADRENALIN
  • ADVERBS VS. ADJECTIVES
  • ADVERBS VS. ADVERBIALS
  • ADVERSE AND AVERSE
  • ADVERSE VS AVERSE
  • ADVISOR vs. ADVISER
  • AESTHETIC AND ESTHETIC
  • AFFECT AND EFFECT
  • AFFECT VS EFFECT
  • AGGRAVATE AND IRRITATE
  • AGGRAVATE VS IRRITATE
  • ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES
  • ALL RIGHT VS ALRIGHT
  • ALRIGHT ALL RIGHT
  • an historic
  • AND AT THE BEGINNING OF A SENTENCE
  • AND I VS AND ME
  • AND I VS. AND ME
  • anxious vs eager
  • ANYMORE ANY MORE
  • ANYMORE VS ANY MORE
  • apostrophe abuse
  • APOSTROPHE IN LETTER GRADES
  • Apostrophe in Mothers Day
  • Apostrophe in Presidents Day
  • APOSTROPHE IN SEASON'S GREETINGS
  • Apostrophe in Veterans Day
  • APOSTROPHE PROTECTION SOCIETY
  • APOSTROPHE VS SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
  • APOSTROPHES
  • apostrophes for form plurals
  • APOSTROPHES IN PLURALS
  • APPEARANCE SAKE
  • ATTRIBUTIVE NOUN
  • ATTRIBUTIVE NOUNS
  • AUXILIARY VERB
  • AUXILIARY VERBS
  • AVOID ADVERBS
  • AWHILE VS. A WHILE
  • BAITED BREATH
  • BARBECUE BARBEQUE
  • BEACH GOER OR BEACHGOER
  • beg the question
  • beginning a sentence with and
  • beginning a sentence with but
  • BEGINNING SENTENCE WITH AND
  • BEGINNING SENTENCE WITH CONJUNCTION
  • BEGINNING SENTENCE WITH PRONOUN
  • BENJAMIN DREYER
  • BETWEEN SENTENCES
  • BETWEEN VS AMONG
  • BETWEEN YOU AND I
  • BETWEEN YOU AND ME
  • BOOK TITLES
  • BOOK TITLES IN ITALICS
  • BOOK TITLES IN QUOTATION MARKS
  • BORED BY OR BORED OF OR BORED WITH
  • BRING AND TAKE
  • Bristol Punctuation Vigilante
  • BRYAN GARNER
  • BULLETED LISTS
  • BURIED VERB
  • CACTUSES OR CACTI
  • CANNABUSINESS
  • CAPITAL LETTER AFTER A COLON
  • capitalization
  • CAPITALIZE CITY NAMES
  • CAPITALIZE DISHES
  • CAPITALIZE JOB TITLES
  • CAPITALIZE MENU ITEMS
  • CHAISE LONGUE
  • CHAISE LONGUE VS CHAISE LOUNGE
  • CHAISE LOUNGE VS CHAISE LONGUE
  • CHAMPING AT THE BIT
  • CHICAGO AP STYLE DIFFERENCES
  • CHOMPING AT THE BIT
  • CHOOSING SPECIFIC NOUNS AND VERBS
  • CITE and SIGHT
  • COLLECTIVE NOUNS
  • COLON TO INRODUCE QUOTATION
  • COLON VS. SEMICOLON
  • COMMA AFTER INC
  • COMMA AFTER STATE
  • COMMA AFTER YEAR
  • COMMA BEFORE A TITLE
  • COMMA BEFORE TOO
  • COMMA IN IS IS
  • COMMA SPLICE
  • commas around inc.
  • COMMAS BETWEEN ADJECTIVES
  • commas between coordinate adjectives
  • COMMAS INSIDE QUOTATION MARKS
  • COMMAS TO SET OFF INFORMATION
  • COMMON SPELLING ERRORS
  • COMMONLY CONFUSED EXPRESSIONS
  • COMMONLY CONFUSED VERBS
  • COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS
  • COMPARATIVE
  • COMPARATIVES
  • comparatives and superlatives
  • COMPARE TO VS COMPARE WITH
  • COMPARED TO COMPARED WITH
  • COMPLETE SENTENCE
  • COMPLIMENT AND COMPLEMENT
  • COMPLIMENT VS. COMPLEMENT
  • COMPOSE AND COMPRISE
  • COMPOSE VS COMPRISE
  • compound adjectives
  • COMPOUND MODIFIER
  • compound modifiers
  • COMPOUND NOUN
  • CONCISE WRITING
  • conjunctions
  • CONJUNCTIVE LIKE
  • CONTINUAL AND CONTINUOUS
  • COORDINATE ADJECTIVES
  • COORDINATION
  • COPULAR VERBS
  • copy editin
  • COPY EDITING
  • CORONAVIRUS SLANG
  • COULD CARE LESS VS COULDN'T CARE LESS
  • COULD OF and COULD HAVE
  • COUPLE IS OR COUPLE ARE
  • COUPLE IS VS. COUPLE ARE
  • COURTESY TITLES
  • CRINGE AS AN ADJECTIVE
  • DANGLING MODIFIER
  • DANGLING PARTICIPLE
  • DASH VS HYPHEN
  • DASH VS SEMICOLON
  • DASH VS. COLON
  • decimate usage
  • DECLARATIVE
  • DECLARATIVE QUESTION
  • DEFINITE ARTICLE
  • DEPENDENT CLAUSE VS. SUBORDINATE CLAUSE
  • DICTIONARIES
  • DIFFERENT FROM VS DIFFERENT THAN
  • DIFFERENT SPELLINGS FOR SAME WORD
  • DIRECT OBJECTS
  • DISINTERESTED UNINTERESTED
  • DISJUNCTS CONJUNCTS ADJUNCTS
  • DISSATISFIED VS. UNSATISFIED
  • DO'S AND DON'TS
  • done vs finished
  • DOS AND DONTS
  • DOUBLE NEGATIVE
  • DOUBLE POSSESSIVE
  • DOUBLE SPACE AFTER A PERIOD
  • DOUBLE SPACING
  • DREAMED VS DREAMT
  • DUMMY OPERATOR
  • EASILY CONFUSED WORDS
  • ECONOMY OF WORDS
  • EDITING NOTES
  • EDITING YOUR OWN WRITING
  • EFFECTIVE WRITING
  • EM DASH VS EN DASH
  • EMAIL E-MAIL
  • EMAIL GREETINGS
  • EMIGRATE AND IMMIGRATE
  • EN DASH VS EM DASH
  • ENSURE INSURE
  • ERRANT APOSTROPHES
  • EVERY DAY VS. EVERYDAY
  • EXCLAMATION POINT
  • EXCLAMATION POINTS
  • EXCLAMATORY
  • EXISTENTIAL THERE
  • FALSE RANGES
  • father's day
  • faulty parallel
  • FAULTY SENTENCE STRUCTURE
  • FAZE and PHASE
  • FICTION WRITING
  • FIVE BASIC SENTENCE STRUCTURES
  • FLAT ADVERBS
  • FLESH OUT AND FLUSH OUT
  • FLOUNDER VS FOUNDER
  • FLUSH OUT VS. FLESH OUT
  • FOR CONSCIENCE SAKE
  • FOR GOODNESS SAKE
  • FORGO AND FORGO
  • FORGO FOREGO
  • FORGONE FOREGONE
  • FORM TYPES OF VERBS
  • FORWENT FOREWENT
  • FOUNDER VS. FLOUNDER
  • FRAUGHT VS FRAUGHT WITH
  • Fused Participle
  • GAUNTLET GANTLET
  • GENERIC PRONOUN ONE
  • GOOD AND WELL
  • GOOD SENTENCES
  • GOOD VS WELL
  • GOODNESS SAKE
  • GOT VS. HAVE
  • GOT VS. HAVE GOT
  • GRADUATE COLLEGE OR GRADUATE FROM COLLEGE
  • GRAMMAR BOOKS
  • GRAMMAR CHECKER
  • GRAMMAR MYTH
  • grammar peeves
  • grammar phobia
  • GRAMMAR TERMS
  • GRAMMATICAL MOOD
  • GRAY VS GREY
  • GREAT AND WELL
  • HANGED VS HUNG
  • HARSH WRITING ADVICE
  • HAVE GOT VS HAVE
  • HEADQUARTER AS A VERB
  • HEADQUARTERED
  • HEALTH CARE HYPHENATED
  • HEALTHCARE VS HEALTH CARE
  • HELTER SKELTER
  • HERE'S BEFORE A PLURAL
  • HERE'S VS HERE ARE
  • HISTORIC VS HISTORICAL
  • HOME IN VS HONE IN
  • HOMO SAPIEN VS. HOMO SAPIENS
  • HOMOPHONES AND HOMOGRAPHS
  • HOW TO CAPITALIZE HEADLINES
  • HOW TO PRONOUNCE FORTE
  • HOW TO PRONOUNCE KYIV
  • HOW TO PUNCTUATE CHRISTMAS CARDS
  • HOW TO WRITE
  • HOW TO WRITE BOOK TITLES
  • how to write holidays
  • HOW TO WRITE MOVIE TITLES
  • Human writers
  • HYPHEN WITH MAKER
  • HYPHENATING NOUNS
  • HYPHENATING PREFIXES AND SUFFIXES
  • HYPHENATING SUFFIXES
  • HYPHENATING VERBS
  • hyphenation
  • I FEEL BAD VS I FEEL BADLY
  • I FEEL BADLY
  • I LAY DOWN OR I LAID DOWN
  • I-N-G VERBS
  • if and whether
  • IF VS WHETHER
  • immigrate emigrate migrate
  • imperatives
  • IMPORTANTLY
  • IN REGARDS TO
  • INCOMPLETE SENTENCES
  • INDEFINITE ARTICLES
  • INDEFINITE PRONOUNS
  • INDEXES INDICES
  • INDIRECT OBJECT
  • INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUN
  • insure vs ensure
  • INTENSIFIER
  • INTERROGATIVE
  • INTO VS IN TO
  • INTRANSITIVE VERBS
  • INTRODUCTORY PHRASE
  • INTRUSIVE OF
  • IRREGARDLESS
  • IRREGARDLESS AND REGARDLESS
  • IRREGULAR NOUNS
  • IS TEAM PLURAL OR SINGULAR
  • IS WRONG AN ADVERB
  • IT IS I WHO AM VS IT IS I WHO ARE
  • IT'S VS ITS
  • ITALICS VS. QUOTATION MARKS
  • ITS AND IT'S
  • ITS VS IT'S
  • JACOB REES-MOGG
  • JANUARY 6 INSURRECTION
  • John Le Carre
  • JOHN MCINTYRE
  • JONATHON OWEN
  • Journalism Standards
  • JUDGEMENT VS JUDGMENT
  • KORY STAMPER
  • LAY AND LIE
  • LAY IN STATE
  • LEAD VS. LED
  • less vs fewer
  • LET'S AND LETS
  • LET'S EAT GRANDMA
  • LET'S VS. LETS
  • LEXICOGRAPHY
  • LIE IN STATE
  • lighted vs lit
  • LIGHTED VS. LIT
  • LIKE AND AS
  • LIKE AND SUCH AS
  • LINKING VERBS
  • LOAN VS LEND
  • LOG IN VS LOGIN
  • LONG SENTENCES
  • LOWERCASE AFTER A COLON
  • MAIN CLAUSES
  • MAMA VS MOMMA
  • MANIKIN MANNEQUIN
  • MANNER ADVERBS
  • MARY NORRIS
  • MASS NOUNS VS COUNT NOUNS
  • MAY VS. MIGHT
  • METACONCEPTS
  • MIKE POMPEO
  • MISCHIEVOUS VS. MISCHIEVIOUS
  • MISLEADING CONNECTIVES
  • MODAL AUXILIARIES
  • MODAL AUXILIARY
  • modifying phrases
  • MORE CLEAR VS CLEARER
  • MOST COMMON APOSTROPHE ERRORS
  • MOST COMMON GRAMMAR ERRORS
  • Most common grammar mistakes
  • mother's day
  • MOVIE TITLES
  • MYRIAD VS A MYRIAD OF
  • MYRIAD VS. MYRIAD OF
  • MYSELF VS. ME
  • NATIONAL GRAMMAR DAY
  • NEEDLESS WORDS
  • Neil Gaiman
  • NEVER MIND / NEVERMIND
  • NEXT VS. THIS
  • NOMINALIZATION
  • NOMINALIZATIONS
  • NONBINARY THEY
  • NONE IS VS NONE ARE
  • NONRESTRICTIVE CLAUSES
  • NOUNS AS ADJECTIVES
  • NOUNS ENDING IN S
  • object complement
  • OBJECT PRONOUN
  • OBJECT PRONOUNS
  • OBJECT VS SUBJECT PRONOUNS
  • OBJECTS AND SUBJECTS
  • OCTOPUSES OR OCTOPI
  • OLDER OF TWO VS OLDEST OF TWO
  • OLIVER TWIST
  • OMIT NEEDLESS WORDS
  • ONE SPACE AFTER A PERIOD
  • ONE SPACE OR TWO BETWEEN SENTENCES
  • ONTO VS ON TO
  • OVER AND UNDER
  • oxford comma
  • OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY
  • PALATE VS PALETTE
  • PALETTE PALATE PALLET
  • PALETTE VS. PALLET
  • PALM OFF VS PAWN OFF
  • PALM OFF VS. PAWN OFF
  • PARALLEL STRUCTURE
  • PARENTHESES
  • PARTICIPIAL PHRASES
  • PARTICIPLE VS. PARTICLE
  • PARTS OF SPEECH
  • PASSIVE VOICE
  • past participles
  • PAST TENSE OF LAY
  • PAST TENSE OF LIGHT
  • PAST TENSE OF SLAY
  • period before a quotation mark
  • PERIODS IN INITIALS
  • PERIODS IN PHD
  • PERIODS INSIDE QUOTATION MARKS
  • PERSONAL PRONOUNS
  • PETER SOKOLOWSKI
  • PHRASAL VERBS
  • PIRATE TALK
  • PLACEMENT OF OBJECT
  • placement of only
  • PLACEMENT OF PREPOSITION
  • PLURAL NAMES
  • PLURAL OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL
  • PLURAL OF MEDIA
  • PLURAL POSSESSIVE
  • PLURAL POSSESSIVES
  • PLURAL POSSESSIVES OF PROPER NOUNS
  • PLURAL VERB
  • PLURAL VERB WITH AS WELL AS
  • PLURAL VERBS
  • PLURALS OF LATIN WORDS
  • PLURALS OF LETTERS
  • PLURALS OF MOVIE TITLES
  • Possessive with Gerund
  • possessives
  • POSSESSIVES OF LAST NAMES
  • POSSESSIVES OF MOVIE TITLES
  • POSSESSIVES OF PROPER NAMES
  • PREDICATE NOMINATIVE
  • PREPOSITIONS
  • PRESCRIPTIVISM
  • PREVENTATIVE
  • PREVENTIVE VS PREVENTATIVE
  • PRINCIPAL AND PRINCIPLE
  • PRINCIPLE and PRINCIPAL
  • PRONONCIATION
  • PRONOUN ANTECEDENT AGREEMENT
  • PRONOUNS IN SHARED POSSESSIVES
  • PRONOUNS INDEFINITE PRONOUNS
  • pronunciation of often
  • proofreading
  • PUNCTUATION
  • PUT A COMMA BEFORE TOO
  • QUASI COORDINATOR
  • QUASI POSSESSIVES
  • QUESTION MARK
  • QUOTATION ATTRIBUTION
  • quotation marks
  • raise the question
  • READER FRIENDLY LANGUAGE
  • REDUPLICATIVE COPULA
  • REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS
  • REIGN VS REIN
  • REIN vs REIGN
  • RELATIVE PRONOUN ANTECEDENT AGREEMENT
  • RELATIVE PRONOUNS
  • RESTRICTIVE CLAUSES
  • ROB AND BURGLARIZE
  • ROCK N ROLL
  • RUN-ON SENTENCES
  • RUTH BADER GINSBURG
  • SAYS VS. SAID
  • SCARE QUOTES
  • SEMICOLON ABUSE
  • semimonthly
  • SENTENCE ADVERBS
  • sentence diagramming
  • SENTENCE ENDING PREPOSITION
  • SENTENCE ENDING PREPOSITIONS
  • SENTENCE FRAGMENT
  • SENTENCE FRAGMENTS
  • SENTENCE STRUCTURE
  • SENTENCE STRUCTURES
  • SENTENCE WRITING
  • serial comma
  • SHARED POSSESSIVE
  • SHARED POSSESSIVES
  • SHORT SENTENCES
  • SIMPLE COMPOUND AND COMPLEX SENTENCES
  • SINCE VS BECAUSE
  • SINCE VS. BECAUSE
  • SINGLE QUOTATION MARK
  • SINGULAR AUSPICE
  • SINGULAR VERB
  • SINGULAR VERB WITH EVERY
  • SINGULAR VS PLURAL
  • SKUNKED TERMS
  • SLAVA UKRAINI
  • SLEIGHT VS SLIGHT
  • SLOW VS. SLOWLY
  • SNEAK PEAK VS SNEAK PEEK
  • SNEAK VS. SNUCK VS. SNEAKED
  • SO AT THE BEGINNING OF A SENTENCE
  • SO HELP ME GOD
  • SPACE AROUND DASHES
  • spaces around ellipses
  • SPACES BEFORE AN ELLIPSIS
  • SPACING BETWEEN SENTENCES
  • SPEECH TAGS
  • spell check fail
  • SPELL-CHECKER
  • SPIT AND IMAGE
  • SPITTING IMAGE
  • split infinitive
  • SQUINTING MODIFIER
  • STARTING A SENTENCE WITH AND
  • STEPHEN CALK
  • STREAMLINING SENTENCES
  • STYLE GUIDES
  • SUBJECT PRONOUNS
  • SUBJECT VERB AGREEMENT
  • SUBJECT-COMPLEMENT AGREEMENT
  • SUBJECT-OBJECT AGREEMENT
  • SUBJUNCTIVE
  • SUBORDINATE CLAUSES
  • SUBORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS
  • SUPERLATIVES AND COMPARATIVES
  • SWAM VS. SWUM
  • TENSE SHIFTS
  • terminal punctuation
  • THAN I VS THAN ME
  • THANKSGIVING DAY
  • THAT AND WHICH
  • THAT VS. WHICH
  • THAT VS. WHO
  • THE JOY OF SYNTAX
  • The Possessive of Jr.
  • THE REASON IS BECAUSE
  • THE REASON WHY
  • THE REASON WHY VS. THE REASON THAT
  • THE TEAM IS VS THE TEAM ARE
  • THERE'S VS. THEIRS
  • THEY'RE AND THEIR
  • THIS IS HER
  • THIS IS SHE
  • THRU THROUGH
  • THRU VS THROUGH
  • TILL TIL UNTIL
  • TITLED VS ENTITLED
  • TITLES IN ITALICS
  • TITLES IN QUOTATION MARKS
  • TO BOLDLY GO
  • TOO BIG A DEAL
  • TOO BIG OF A
  • TOO BIG OF A DEAL
  • TOWARD VS. TOWARDS
  • TRANSITIVE VERBS
  • TRANSITIVE VS. INTRANSITIVE VERBS
  • TRUMP SPELLING
  • TRUMP TWEET
  • UNCLEAR ANTECEDENTS
  • UNDERLIE PAST TENSE
  • UNDERWAY / UNDER WAY
  • UNNECESSARY ADVERBS
  • UPSIDE DOWN SUBORDINATION
  • VAGUE WORDS
  • VARIANT SPELLINGS
  • VERB AGREEMENT
  • VERB ASPECT
  • VERB CONJUGATION
  • VERB TENSES
  • veterans day
  • WAS VS WERE
  • WAVER VS. WAIVER
  • WEBSTER'S NEW WORLD
  • WEIRDEST LANGUAGES
  • WERE VS WAS
  • What Does Hoi Pollio Mean
  • WHAT'S AN APPOSITIVE
  • When to Capitalize After a Colon
  • WHEN TO HYPHENATE PREFIXES
  • WHILE VS ALTHOUGH
  • WHO AND WHOM
  • who vs whom
  • WHOA WOAH WHOAH
  • WHOMEVER VS. WHOEVER
  • WHOSE AND WHO'S
  • WHOSE VS WHO'S
  • WHOSE VS. WHO'S
  • WITH VS. OF
  • WOKE VS WAKED
  • WORD CHOICE
  • WORSE COMES TO WORST VS WORST COMES TO WORST
  • WRITING BOOKS
  • WRITING CRAFT
  • WRITING FOR CLARITY
  • WRITING SKILLS
  • WRITING STYLE
  • WRITING TIPS
  • WRONG VS WRONGLY
  • WRONG VS. WRONGLY
  • ZERO RELATIVE PRONOUN

Ad Podcast to your site

  • Podcast Archive
  • Snobservations

A Pearson product. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Permissions

Send me a message

In-text citation

  • Works Cited
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Audiovisual
  • Encyclopaedias and dictionaries
  • Government and organisation publications
  • Interviews / speeches
  • Journals / periodicals
  • Live performances
  • Music scores / recordings
  • Online communication / social media
  • Other sources
  • Print this page
  • Other styles AGLC4 APA 7th Chicago 17th (A) Notes Chicago 17th (B) Author-Date Harvard MLA 9th Vancouver
  • Referencing home

The MLA 9th style uses author-date in-text citations, used when quoting or paraphrasing people’s work. 

Two types of in-text citations

1. author prominent format .

Use this format if you want to emphasise the author. Their name becomes part of your sentence.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," wrote Charles Dickens of the eighteenth century (5).

2. Information prominent format

Use this format if you want to emphasise the information. It cites the author’s name, typically at the end of a sentence.

as demonstrated in the opening line, "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times" (Dickens 5).

Examples of in-text citations

Less than three lines of text.

If a prose quotation is no more than four lines and does not require special emphasis, put it in quotation marks and incorporate it into the text. Include the page number(s) in brackets.

"It was the best of times it was the worst of times" wrote Charles Dickens of the eighteenth century (5).

  • See Plays and Poetry sections below for how to cite these in-text.

More than three lines of text

If a quotation is longer than three lines, set it off from your text by beginning a new line, indenting half an inch from the left margin. Quotation marks around the text are not required. Introduce the quotation with a colon. Place the parenthetical reference after the last line. For example, the above discusses John Corner in his book, The Art of Record: A Critical Introduction to Documentary , which refers to Brian Winston's revaluation of the documentary tradition in the writings of John Grierson.

Winston's reassessment of Grierson finds the play-off between creativity and realness unconvincing: Grierson's taxonomic triumph was to make his particular species of non-fiction film, the non-fiction genre while at the same time allowing the films to use the significant fictionalising technique of dramatisation. (Winston 103)

This is a usefully provocative point, though agreement with it will largely rest on certain, contestable ideas about 'fictionalisation' and 'dramatisation'. The issue is dealt with directly in Chapter Two, as part of considering the debate around drama-documentary forms, and it occurs in relation to specific works throughout this book.

Two authors

In prose, the first time the two authors are mentioned, use both first and second names. In a parenthetical citation use 'and', not '&' to connect the two surnames.

Others, like Cheryl Brown and Laura Czerniewicz argue that the idea of a generation of ‘digital natives’ is flawed (359). The Brown and Czerniewicz article focuses on…

(Brown and Czerniewicz 359)

Three or more authors

When citing a source with three or more authors in prose you only refer to the first coauthor and can follow the additional authors by “and others“ or “and colleagues.” A parenthetical citation requires the first author's surname, followed by et al.

Laura Czerniewicz and colleagues argue…

(Czerniewicz et al. 53)

Different authors, same surname

If you use works from more than one author with the same last name, eliminate any ambiguity by including the author's first initial as well (or if the initial is also the same, the full first name).

(N. Palmer 45)

(N. Palmer 45; M. Palmer 102)

Citing more than one author

If you are citing more than one source at the same point, place them in the same parentheses, separated by a semi-colon.

(Jackson 41; Smith 150)

Same author, two or more works

If you cite multiple works by the same author, include a shortened title in each in-text citation to establish which work you are referring to. To avoid overly lengthy in-text citations, shorten the title to a simple noun phrase, or a few words.

The first example references Said's book, so the title is italicised. The second example references Said's journal article, so it is in quotation marks.

For more tips on how to abbreviate titles of sources, see 6.10 of the MLA Handbook .

..."the Orient was a scholar's word, signifying what modern Europe had recently made of the still peculiar East" (Said, Orientalism 92).

..."there is something basically unworkable or at least drastically changed about the traditional frameworks in which we study literature" (Said, "Globalizing Literary Study" 64).

Anonymous or no author

For works that are anonymously authored, or have no author, include a shortened version of the title in the in-text citation (do not list the author as "anonymous", nor as "anon.").

It has been argued that the hat symbolised freedom (Wandering Merchant 157).

Corporate author

Abbreviate terms that are commonly abbreviated (e.g. Department becomes Dept.), so as to not disrupt the flow of your text with overly long in-text citations.

If the corporate author is identified in the works-cited list by the names of administrative units separated by commas, give all the names in the parenthetical citation.

The Australian Research Council found that there are limited policies and procedures in place to manage foreign interference (4).

(Monash University 176)

Citing an author within another source

An indirect source is a source that is cited in another source. To quote this second-hand source, use “qtd. in” (quoted in), and then include the information of the source you actually consulted. Similarly, for the reference list use the source that you actually consulted (i.e. the indirect source). Keep in mind that it is good academic practice to seek out and use the original source, rather than the second-hand one, however this is not always possible.

For the below example, the student is using Petrarch's quote which is found in Hui. The page number refers to the source actually consulted (Hui), and the reference list would only list Hui, as shown below:

Hui, Andrew. The Poetics of Ruins in Renaissance Literature. Fordham UP, 2016.

For more information, see section 6.77 of the MLA Handbook .

Petrarch laments that Cicero’s manuscripts are “in such fragmentary and mutilated condition that it would perhaps have been better for them to have perished” (qtd. in Hui 4).

Author in a translation

If you think your audience would require a translation for your quoted material, then provide one. Give the source of the translation, as well as the source of the quote.

If you did the translation yourself, then insert my trans. where you would usually put the translation source, as shown in the example above.

If you're quoting in a language that does not use the Latin alphabet (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, etc.), then consistently use the original writing system for your quotes or romanisation. Note that proper nouns are usually romanised.

For more information, see 6.75 Translations of Quotations in the MLA Style Guide .

Mme d'Aulnoy's heroine is "la chatte blanche" ("the white cat"; my trans.; 56)

Poetry - Short quotations

Quotations from poetry from part of a line up to three lines in length, which do not need particular emphasis, may be added, placed in quotation marks, within your text as part of a sentence. Use a slash with a space on either side ( / ) to indicate a new line of poetry.

If the poem you are referencing has line numbers, then omit page numbers all-together and cite by line number instead. Do not use the abbreviation l. or ll. , but instead in your first citation, use the word line, or lines as shown in the example below. After the first citation, it can be assumed that the numbers refer to lines, so you can include the numbers alone.

More's distress that she had not written about the problems of the slave trade earlier are expressed in the poem: "Whene'er to Afric's shores I turn my eyes, / Horrors of deepest, deadliest guilt arise" (line 5).

Poetry - Block quotations

When quoting a block of poetry, introduce it in the same manner as a prose block quotation, i.e. begin the quote on a new line and indent each line as below. There is no need to add quotation marks. A reference to the page or line number should be included in parenthesis at the end of the last line. If the original text is creatively spaced or indented, then try to replicate the original as best you can.

Judith Wright 's poetry explores the Australian environment:

And have we eaten in the heart of the yellow wheat the sullen unforgetting seed of fire? And now, set free by the climate of man's hate, that seed sets time ablaze (14)

If you quote the lines of more than one actor or if the piece you are quoting is long, the quotation should not be integrated into your text. The rules in MLA for presenting this text are:

  • Leave a line between your text and the quotation
  • Begin each part of the dialogue with the character's name, indented half an inch from the margin, in upper case and with a full-stop, e.g. BODYGUARDS.
  • Start dialogue after full-stop or match spacing shown in original source
  • Indent all dialogue an additional amount, as shown below
  • End each piece of dialogue with a full-stop
  • End the last line of the quotation with a full-stop and then add the section and line numbers in parentheses.

For more information, see section 6.40 of the MLA 9th Handbook .

TARTUFFE. Yes, my brother, I am a sinner, a guilty man. An unhappy sinner full of iniquity. (III. vi.)

In-text citation general checklist

  • << Previous: Getting started
  • Next: Works Cited >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 15, 2024 11:03 AM
  • URL: https://guides.lib.monash.edu/mla9

IMAGES

  1. Using Quotation Marks When Citing Information

    book titles quotation marks

  2. How to Use Quotation Marks: Rules and Examples

    book titles quotation marks

  3. Using Italics or Quotation Marks in Titles

    book titles quotation marks

  4. When and How To Use Quotation Marks ( “ ” )

    book titles quotation marks

  5. Titles: Italics or Quotation Marks? Tips for Writing Titles of Works

    book titles quotation marks

  6. Proper Punctuation: Quotation Marks vs. Italics in Titles

    book titles quotation marks

VIDEO

  1. The quotation marks were intentional. #anatomyalovestory #danaschwartz

  2. 14

  3. U+0022: Quotation Mark

  4. # easy book marks please subscribe 🙏😢

COMMENTS

  1. When to Use Quotation Marks for Titles

    The general rule is to use quotation marks for titles of short works such as articles, poems, songs, essays, or short stories. By contrast, use italics for larger works such as books, movies, and the names of periodicals. We provide a complete list below. When to use italics or quotation marks for titles

  2. Quotation Marks with Fiction, Poetry, and Titles

    However, do not use closing quotation marks until the end of the final paragraph where that character is speaking. Quotation Marks with Titles. Use quotations marks for: Titles of short or minor works; Songs; Short Stories; Essays; Short Poems; One Act Plays; Other literary works shorter than a three act play or complete book; Titles of ...

  3. Do You Underline Book Titles?

    So if you're writing for a publication that adheres to AP guidelines, reference books with friendly quotation marks: "Eat, Pray, Love," "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows" and "Bossypants" (have I ever mentioned how much I love Tina Fey?). Some publications also follow their own style guides.

  4. Quotation Marks or Italics In Titles?

    | Candace Osmond | Punctuation You've probably asked yourself while writing an essay: Should I italicize a play title or enclose it in quotation marks? What about a song title? Don't feel guilty for not knowing the rules for quotation marks or italics in titles. Even the most experienced writers have the same problem.

  5. When to Use Quotation Marks ("")

    Published on May 21, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on November 29, 2022 by Jack Caulfield. Quotation marks (also known as quotes or inverted commas) are used to indicate direct speech and quotations. In academic writing, you need to use quotation marks when you quote a source.

  6. Titles: Italics or Quotation Marks? Tips for Writing Titles of Works

    by Tom Corson-Knowles As a writer, you know that titles are distinguished from surrounding text with italics and quotation marks. What you may not know, however, is when to use which one. Let's clear up the mystery. Italics Titles of large, stand-alone works such as books, plays, newspapers, magazines, movies, and epic poems are italicized.

  7. Quotation Marks

    Rule 6. Quotation marks are used for components, such as chapter titles in a book, individual episodes of a TV series, songs from a Broadway show or a music album, titles of articles or essays in print or online, and shorter works such as short stories and poems.

  8. Italics and quotation marks

    Quotation marks are used to present linguistic examples and titles of book chapters and articles in the text. When writers follow guidelines for the use of italics and quotation marks, their papers become more consistent and readable. Note that this category addresses the use of quotation marks other than in the presentation of direct quotations.

  9. Quotes or Italics? Citing Titles of Books, Movies & TV Shows

    AP Style dictates that you should put quotation marks around books, songs, television shows, computer games, articles, poems, lectures, speeches and works of art. Don't put quotation marks around titles of magazines, newspapers, books that are catalogs of reference materials or the Bible. AP's dislike of italics dates back to the old ...

  10. How To Write Book Titles The Proper Way: A Complete Guide For Writers

    MLA Style Guide The MLA handbook states that you should always italicize book titles when styling book titles within your text. The exception to this rule are religious texts. You would not italicize the Holy Bible or the sacred books or titles of other religions. Note the following example. Example:

  11. Do You Use Quotation Marks When Writing a Book Title? Learn How

    Chapters and Essays: When referring to a chapter or essay within a book, use quotation marks around the title. For example, "The Catcher in the Rye" is a novel by J.D. Salinger, but its fifth chapter is titled "The Lagoon." Remember, consistency is key. Whichever style you choose, make sure to apply it consistently throughout your entire work.

  12. When to Put Titles in Quotation Marks

    Stories Essays Songs Chapter titles Magazine or newspaper articles Individual episodes of a television series Page of a Web site Use italic or underlining for the titles of Collections of poetry, stories, or essays Titles of books Titles of CDs or tapes or records (Do they still make records?) Magazines or newspapers Television and radio shows

  13. How to Use Quotations for Book Titles

    Ann Johnson Home » How to Cite When we reference the title of a book in our writing, the book's title should appear in italics. If italic is not a formatting option, then the book's title should be underlined. In some circumstances quotation marks can be used instead of underlining or italics.

  14. Italics vs Quotation Marks in Titles

    Italics vs Quotation Marks in Titles. Explanation. Generally and grammatically speaking, put titles of shorter works in quotation marks but italicize titles of longer works. For example, put a "song title" in quotation marks but italicize the title of the album it appears on.

  15. Quotation Marks in Titles : Quotations

    A couple of generations ago, it was the custom to enclose all titles in quotation marks: titles of books, titles of poems, titles of films, titles of newspapers, and so on. This usage, however, has now largely disappeared, and the modern custom is to write most titles in italics.

  16. Use of quotation marks

    In APA Style papers, use double quotation marks in the following cases: Learn more Quotation marks are covered in the seventh edition APA Style manuals in the Publication Manual Section 6.7 and the Concise Guide Section 4.7 This guidance has been revised from the 6th edition. When not to use quotation marks

  17. Punctuation: Quotation Marks

    Punctuation: Quotation Marks. Double quotation marks are used for direct quotations and titles of compositions such as books, plays, movies, songs, lectures and TV shows. They also can be used to indicate irony and introduce an unfamiliar term or nickname. Single quotation marks are used for a quote within a quote. ("I knew I wanted to come to ...

  18. Italics vs. Quotation Marks

    Quotation marks are customary for components, such as chapter titles in a book, individual episodes of a TV series, songs on a music album, and titles of articles or essays in print or online. Titles of plays, long and short, are generally italicized. Titles of poems and shorter works of fiction are generally in quotation marks.

  19. How to use quotation marks, according to AP style

    Exceptions include holy books such as the Bible or Quran, reference books like dictionaries or encyclopedias, and, weirdly, software titles like Microsoft Office. Other times to use quotation marks. Some people love sprinkling in quotation marks for emphasis, or in business writing, sometimes to highlight a word that seems casual.

  20. AP Style

    Books, Periodicals, Reference Works, and Other Types of Compositions. Use quotation marks around the titles of books, songs, television shows, computer games, poems, lectures, speeches and works of art. Examples: Author Porter Shreve read from his new book, "When the White House Was Ours." They sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the ...

  21. Italics or quotation marks for movie and book titles?

    Associated Press style says to put movie and book titles in quotation marks. "Star Wars." "Slaughterhouse Five.". That makes sense when you consider that AP is a news writing style and early printing presses could not make italics. The Chicago Manual of Style, which is followed by book and magazine publishers, says to use italics for ...

  22. In-text citation

    The first example references Said's book, so the title is italicised. The second example references Said's journal article, so it is in quotation marks. ... There is no need to add quotation marks. A reference to the page or line number should be included in parenthesis at the end of the last line. If the original text is creatively spaced or ...