Your book’s title is important for many reasons. It appears on the cover, after all. But when you’re writing about your book online, you might wonder whether to put the title in quotes, italics, or leave it as plain text.
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When to use quotes for book titles
The general rule is that self-contained works, like books, movies, or songs, are put in quotes, while larger works, like chapters or articles, are italicized. So if you’re unsure whether to use quotes or italics for a book title, go with quotes.
But there are always exceptions. For example, the Chicago Manual of Style recommends italicizing all titles of self-contained works, regardless of length. And MLA style doesn’t use quotation marks for book titles at all—it italicizes them instead. So if you’re following a specific style guide, make sure to check its rules before making a final decision.
How to format book titles in quotes
When writing a paper, you may find that you need to format your book title in quotes. Here are a few tips on how to do that:
If you are using MLA style, the book title should be in italics.
If you are using APA style, the book title should be in quotes.
If you are using Chicago style, the book title should be in italics.
What punctuation to use with book titles in quotes
One of the most common questions about book titles is whether or not to use quotation marks. The answer is simple: if the title is part of a larger work (like a chapter or section), then it should be in quotes. If the title is a standalone work (like an article or book), then it should not be in quotes.
Here are some examples:
The chapter “Introduction” in the book Windows for Dummies
The article “How to Tie a Bowtie” in the magazine GQ
The movie Titanic
The play Romeo and Juliet
In each of these examples, the titles are either part of a larger work or they are standalone works, so they are either in quotes or they are not. It’s that simple!
How to cite book titles in quotes
When you are writing a paper, you may want to include a quote from a book you are reading. The proper way to cite the book title will depend on which style guide you are using. For example, the MLA style guide requires that book titles be in italics, while the APA style guide requires that they be in quotes.
Titles of books vs. titles of chapters
No, the title of the book should not be in quotes. However, the titles of chapters within the book should be in quotes.
Titles of short stories, essays, and poems
According to The Chicago Manual of Style, titles of short stories, essays, and poems should be put in quotation marks. However, the titles of books and magazines should be italicized.
Titles of movies, television shows, and video games
The titles of movies, television shows, and video games should be in italics. For example:
I really enjoyed watching The Simpsons last night.
I can’t wait to play the new Call of Duty game.
Titles of works that are part of a larger work
In general, we italicize the titles of things that can stand by themselves. Thus we differentiate between the titles of novels and journals from the titles of poems, short stories, articles, and episodes (for television shows). The titles of these shorter pieces would be surrounded by quotation marks. Here are some examples:
He read “The Raven” and other poems by Edgar Allan Poe.
He read The Raven and other poems by Edgar Allan Poe.
Miscellaneous considerations for book titles in quotes
There are a few different schools of thought on this one. Some people believe that if a book title is part of a larger work (like a chapter in a textbook), the book title should be in quotes, but if the book is being referenced on its own, it shouldn’t be in quotes. So, for example, you might write “I’m reading ‘The Great Gatsby,'” but if you’re writing an essay about The Great Gatsby, you would just write “I’m reading The Great Gatsby.”
Other people believe that all book titles should be in quotes, no matter what. And still others believe that only certain kinds of books should be in quotes (like novels, but not non-fiction).
There is no one right answer to this question. You should use your best judgment and consult your instructor if you’re unsure which approach to take.
After doing some research, it seems that there is no definitive answer to this question. It depends on which style guide you consult, and even then, there is often room for interpretation. In general, however, if the title of the book is not a proper noun or part of a quotation, it should not be in quotes.