Titles of Books, Plays, Articles, etc.: Underline? Italics? Quotation Marks?



Prior to computers, people were taught to underline titles of books and plays and to surround chapters, articles, songs, and other shorter works in quotation marks. However, here is what The Chicago Manual of Style says: When quoted in text or listed in a bibliography, titles of books, journals, plays, and other freestanding works are italicized; titles of articles, chapters, and other shorter works are set in roman and enclosed in quotation marks.

Below are some examples to help you:

Example: We read A Separate Peace in class. (title of a book)

Example: That Time magazine article, “Your Brain on Drugs,” was fascinating.
Note that the word “magazine” was not italicized because that is not part of the actual name of the publication.

Example: His article, “Death by Dessert,” appeared in The New York Times Magazine.

Note that the and magazine are both capitalized and set off because the name of the publication is The New York Times Magazine.

Newspapers, which follow The Associated Press Stylebook, have their own sets of rules because italics cannot be sent through AP computers.

Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at 11:34 am

6 Comments on Titles of Books, Plays, Articles, etc.: Underline? Italics? Quotation Marks?

6 responses to “Titles of Books, Plays, Articles, etc.: Underline? Italics? Quotation Marks?”

  1. Gwen Schnell says:

    Let’s say in a writing, for example,
    “I am going to the store,” Sally said. “Ok, I will see you later.” Said Billy

    Should Billy’s comment be on the line with what Sally said or under what Sally said?
    And should it be Sally said or said Sally and the same with Said Billy?

    • When a new speaker speaks, you should start a new paragraph. The word said can come either before or after the name. In your second sentence there should be a comma after the word later and a period after the word Billy. The word said should not be capitalized.
      “I am going to the store,” Sally said.
      “OK, I will see you later,” said Billy.

  2. Ptaps says:

    What is the AP style preference for mentioning an article in text? I’ve looked everywhere and I can’t seem to find a straight answer. I understand that publications are in initial caps but what about individual articles?

    For example: In his article titled, “The Cookie Monster’s Favorite Cookie,” he mentions that the Cookie Monster does not like peanut butter.

    Are the quotes around the article title in line with AP style?

  3. Ora says:

    Are quotation marks necessary around the title of an Oracle?
    As in: There is an ancient prophecy called, The Oracle of Blah Blah Blah.

    If so, are quotes necessary whenever the Oracle of Blah Blah Blah is mentioned in the document? Or, are first letter caps okay?
    Finally, Is it necessary to also capitalize the “T” in the Oracle of Blah Blah Blah?
    Thank you.

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