If you are writing an academic paper, blog, or article, special formatting is necessary for when you need to reference an outside work. There are specific rules associated with adding article names, published poems, or book titles to your writing and it is important to get them right. Title emphasis includes italicizing, underlining, and added quotation marks.
With at least three different choices, it may seem confusing initially as to what format is appropriate to use in your own work. Here are several common formatting styles that you can use to optimize your writing.
Do You Underline Article or Book Titles?
The underlining rule for book titles and other published works first became popular with typewriters. With much fewer formatting rules, underlining gave writers a simple technique for emphasizing the names of books or referencing magazine articles.
As most of the writing world has turned digital, formatting rules have become far more prevalent and complex. As a result, underlining is much less common. In most scenarios, italicizing is the up to date version of underlining. Underling is almost never necessary for referencing published works such as book titles.
As a general rule, this old method of emphasizing article or book titles are now out of date in favor of its alternative, which is italicizing.
Do You Italicize Book Titles?
In most situations, you should italicize book titles. Modern Language Association (or MLA) style, which academics and students in humanities commonly use, often requires italicization. In this particular format, writers must italicize the names or titles of major works and organizations such as books, newspapers, websites, magazines, music albums, and films.
Students and academics in education and social science frequently follow (American Psychological Association (APA) style. Although this style of writing differs from that of MLA in several important ways, the APA style shares the characteristic of formatting the titles of major works through italicizing.
If you write in either of these two popular styles, you should probably use italics to refer to book titles or articles that are independent of journals and newspaper organizations.
When To Use Quotation Marks
So when should you use quotation marks? As with italicization, both APA style and MLA style share similarities with when and where to use quotation marks.
For the most part, you should always italicize the titles of major organizations and publications including journals, music albums, books, and movies. However, if you are going to mention a part of a larger work, you must instead use quotation marks.
Small parts of major works include book chapters, songs from music albums, articles from a major news organization or journal, and poems that are part of a book collection. Whenever you need to cite a section of a larger publication, use quotation marks to emphasize your chosen reference.
Other Styling Formats
While APA and MLA styles are the most common writing formats, they are not the only ones.
As its name suggests, The American Medical Association (AMA) style applies to written medical papers. Chicago or Turabian style is another structure for academic essays and articles. There are two variations involved with the Chicago style including author-date formatting and notes as well as notes and bibliography.
Author-date formatting involves sciences, including social, physical, and natural science. Notes and bibliography are well-suited for art, literature, and history topics.
When In Doubt, Use Italics
The exact nuances of styles such as APA, MLA, and Chicago can vary considerably among sources. Frequent updates also change existing rules to something else entirely.
Titles Of Works: Italicizing? Underlining? Quotation Marks?
Whenever you are in doubt, it is usually fine to italicize the titles of books, articles, and other major works. Quotation marks are most appropriate when you are referencing poems, chapters, or articles from large publications such as journals or news organizations.
The most important rule is to remain consistent in your writing. If you vacillate between formatting styles, your writing will appear uncertain and less professional.
Proper formatting is important when you are creating a research paper or an article that includes the title of a book or other written work. Formatting requirements may vary according to what style you are writing in or what purpose your paper or article will serve Once you determine what type of article, blog, or essay style is most appropriate, the ideal formatting choice becomes much less complicating.