Remember the days when your manual typewriter didn’t have a key for the number 1, so you used a lowercase letter L instead? And to type an exclamation point, you typed an apostrophe first, backspaced, and then typed a period beneath it? Sure you do, punk.
Clarification: I’m not that old; my high school was poor. We pasted our newspaper dummies together with wax and made type changes with a dull razor.
Well, we don’t type that way anymore, because technology has blessed us with 1s and !s on our keyboards. Likewise, because we are capable of rendering type in italics, you underline titles only when writing them by hand or using software that doesn’t italicize. As long as you remember that underlining equals italics and to never underline when you can italicize, you’re good.
You can get pretty far by following the “Big/heavy equals italics” (like books) and “Small/light equals quotes” (like poems) generalizations.
As for enclosing titles in quotation marks or italicizing them, you can get pretty far by following the “Big/heavy equals italics” (like books) and “Small/light equals quotes” (like poems) generalizations, but Associated Press style doesn’t italicize nothin’ and Chicago style has layers of specificity and if-then statements. Fun!
Because the Associated Press stylebook is not indexed and the manual for Chicago style covers title style in several sections (intermixed with name style and capitalization style), some title styles may have been inadvertently omitted due to oblivion on my part. Please send me a note if any oversight makes you twitch.
It’s all arbitrary, so go for clarity and sustainability.
Following is the breakdown between AP style and Chicago style. This is intended as a quick rundown or cheat sheet; for examples of each, please refer to the pages and sections indicated. “Neither” means that the usual headline-style (or title-style) caps still apply, but the title/name is naked as far as quotes and italics are concerned. (Capitalization for titles will be covered in a future blog entry.)
Note: Use Command-F or Ctrl-F to perform searches.
|Titles for . . .||AP||Chicago|
|Albums||Quotes (p. 62)||Italics (8.192)|
|Almanacs||Neither (p. 62)|
|Apps||Neither (p. 62), e.g., Facebook, Foursquare||Italics (8.193)|
|Art||Quotes (p. 62)||Italics (8.193)|
|Bible||Neither (p. 62)|
|Blog entries||Quotes (8.187)|
|Books||Quotes (p. 62)—but the Bible and catalogs of reference material use neither||Italics (8.166)—but book series and editions use neither (8.174)|
|Catalogs||Neither (p. 62)|
|Classical music, nicknames||Quotes (p. 63)|
|Classical music, identified by sequence||Neither (p. 63)|
|Columns (in periodicals)||Neither (8.175, 14.205)|
|Comic strips||Italics (8.194)|
|Computer games and computer-game apps||Quotes (p. 62), e.g., “Farmville”||Italics (Chicago Style Q&A)|
|Computer software||Neither for software such as WordPerfect or Windows (p. 62)|
|Conferences||Neither (8.69)—unless it has “status,” then use quotes|
|Departments (in periodicals)||Neither (8.175, 14.202)|
|Dictionaries||Neither (p. 62)|
|Directories||Neither (p. 62)|
|Encyclopedias||Neither (p. 62)|
|Exhibitions (large)||Neither (8.195)|
|Exhibitions (small)||Italics (8.195)|
|Fairs (large)||Neither (8.195)|
|Fairs (small)||Italics (8.195)|
|Gazetteers||Neither (p. 62)|
|Handbooks||Neither (p. 62)|
|Journals||Italics (8.166)—unless part of name of award, organization, etc. (8.170)|
|Lecture series||Neither (8.86)|
|Lectures (individual)||Quotes (p. 62)||Quotes (8.86)|
|Magazines||Neither (p. 159)||Italics (8.166)—unless part of name of award, organization, etc. (8.170)|
|Meetings||Neither (8.69)—unless it has “status,” then use quotes|
|Movies||Quotes (p. 62)||Italics (8.185)|
|Newspapers||Italics (8.166)—unless part of name of award, organization, etc. (8.170)|
|Operas||Quotes (p. 62)||Italics (8.189)—for long musical compositions or instrumental works, see 8.189-8.190|
|Periodicals||Italics (8.166), unless part of name of award, organization, etc. (8.170)|
|Plays||Quotes (p. 62)||Italics (8.181)|
|Podcast episodes||Quotes (8.187)|
|Poems||Quotes (p. 62)||Quotes (8.179)—unless book length, then treated as book (italics)|
|Radio episodes (in series)||Quotes (8.185)|
|Radio programs and series||Quotes (p. 62)||Italics (8.185)|
|Short stories||Quotes (8.175)|
|Songs||Quotes (p. 62)||Quotes (8.189)|
|Speeches||Quotes (p. 62)||Neither (8.75)—unless it has “status,” then use quotes.|
|Television episodes (in series)||Quotes (8.185)|
|Television programs and series||Quotes (p. 62)||Italics (8.185)|
|Unpublished works||Quotes (8.184)|
|Video blogs||Italics (8.187)|
|Video-blog episodes||Quotes (8.187)|
|Web pages and sections||Quotes (8.186)|
When it gets confusing, just remember these golden rules of copyediting:
- Whatever you choose, be consistent.
- But beware of having a tin ear.
- It’s all arbitrary, so go for clarity and sustainability.
This handout provides examples and description about writing papers in literature. It discusses research topics, how to begin to research, how to use information, and formatting.
Contributors:Mark Dollar, Purdue OWL
Last Edited: 2017-10-25 10:18:45
What about MLA format?
All research papers on literature use MLA format, as it is the universal citation method for the field of literary studies. Whenever you use a primary or secondary source, whether you are quoting or paraphrasing, you will make parenthetical citations in the MLA format [Ex. (Smith 67).] Your Works Cited list will be the last page of your essay. Consult the OWL handout on MLA for further instructions.
Note, however, the following minor things about MLA format:
- Titles of books, plays, or works published singularly (not anthologized) should be italicised unless it is a handwritten document, in which case underlining is acceptable. (Ex. Hamlet, Great Expectations)
- Titles of poems, short stories, or works published in an anthology will have quotation marks around them. (Ex. "Ode to a Nightingale," "The Cask of Amontillado")
- All pages in your essay should have your last name the page number in the top right hand corner. (Ex. Jones 12)
If you're using Microsoft Word, you can easily include your name and page number on each page by following the these steps:
- Open "View" (on the top menu).
- Open "Header and Footer." (A box will appear at the top of the page you're on. And a "Header and Footer" menu box will also appear).
- Click on the "align right" button at the top of the screen. (If you're not sure which button it is, hold the mouse over the buttons and a small window should pop up telling you which button you're on.)
- Type in your last name and a space.
- Click on the "#" button which is located on the "Header and Footer" menu box. It will insert the appropriate page number.
- Click "Close" on the "Header and Footer" window.
That's all you need to do. Word will automatically insert your name and the page number on every page of your document.
What else should I remember?
- Don't leave a quote or paraphrase by itself-you must introduce it, explain it, and show how it relates to your thesis.
- Block format all quotations of more than four lines.
- When you quote brief passages of poetry, line and stanza divisions are shown as a slash (Ex. "Roses are red, / Violets are blue / You love me / And I like you").
- For more help, see the OWL handout on using quotes.