Writing A Title Of A Book In An Essay

How to Reference Books and Articles in Text


Before computers, we used typewriters to underline book titles, and we placed quotation marks around article titles. However, many current style manuals recommend italicizing book titles and magazine names (impossible to do on a typewriter) and using quotation marks around articles.

Example: I read Lord of the Flies in high school.

Example: I enjoyed reading “Become Your Own Best Friend” in Newsweek.

 

Pop Quiz
Choose the correct sentence.

1A. My brother thought the “New York Times” article Homeless Team Roots for a New Life Through Soccer was fascinating.
1B. My brother thought the New York Times article “Homeless Team Roots for a New Life Through Soccer” was fascinating.

2A. “Light Meals for Nibblers” is a chapter in The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks.
2B. Light Meals for Nibblers is a chapter in “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest,” one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks.

3A. I remember reading “The Catcher in the Rye” when I was a teenager.
3B. I remember reading The Catcher in the Rye when I was a teenager.

 

Pop Quiz Answers
1B. My brother thought the New York Times article “Homeless Team Roots for a New Life Through Soccer” was fascinating.
2A. “Light Meals for Nibblers” is a chapter in The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks.
3B. I remember reading The Catcher in the Rye when I was a teenager.

Posted on Sunday, May 3, 2009, at 11:41 pm

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37 Comments on How to Reference Books and Articles in Text

Underline? Quotation marks? Punctuation? Something else? What is the proper solution for writing title of a book in an essay? Does it really exist? And what rule should we stick to? We’re going to answer these and many more questions in the following article. So, make yourself comfortable and keep reading!

Proper Ways to Write Book Titles in The Essays

As time goes by the rules of writing are gradually changing. Things, which were acceptable and correct many years ago, are considered to be outdated today. The rules of writing and formatting have also changed a lot. For example, book titles. We can’t simply write a book title in our college essay if we don’t know principle rules and standards. This can be new to students, but not to their teachers, instructors, or any professional coursework writing service. So, let’s dip into the secrets and grammar rules of writing the titles of the books in your papers properly.

Italics

Professional educational associations and organizations recommend students to use italics to write the titles of the books. This rule applies to magazines and newspapers as well. For example, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, etc.

Quotation Marks

Other style guides allow using double quotation marks for the title of the books. For example, “The House of the Seven Gables” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Stranger” by Albert Camus, “The Great Gatsby” by Francis Scott Fitzgerald, etc. In this case, we do not use italics anymore. Only quotation marks.

Though there are different thoughts on how to write the title of the books properly, the main thing is to be consistent with one style through the whole essay. You can’t change italics in the first paragraph to double quotation marks in the second paragraph in the same essay. Just pick one of them.

Capitalization

Each word in the title of the book should be written with a capitalized letter, except prepositions like at, of, in, on, etc. For example, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote, “To the Lighthouse” by Virginia Woolf, “A River Runs Through It and Other Stories” by Norman Maclean, “Lord of the Flies” by William Gerald Golding, etc.

Generally, the capitalization rule is a must. But italics and double quotation marks depend on your personal or your teachers’ personal preference. However, some sources recommend using double quotation marks instead of italics if the book is a part of a larger work (story or poem collection). At the same time, they recommend using italics for independent works.

As we can see, each style guide (for example, craftresumes.com review) has its own preference and advice depending on the type and style of writing. It is always better to consult with your instructor or professor to make the right decision and to get the best possible result.

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