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Title Of Books In Mla Essay

Simply put: no.

APA's Publication Manual (2010) indicates that, in the body of your paper, you should use italics for the titles of:

  • books
  • periodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers)
  • films
  • videos
  • TV shows
  • Microfilm publications

Beyond APA's specific examples, know that certain types of titles are almost always written in italics. 

Use italics in a word-processed document for the types of titles you'd underline if you were writing by hand.  A general rule of thumb is that within the text of a paper, italicize the title of complete works but put quotation marks around titles of parts within a complete work. 

The table below isn't comprehensive, but it's a good starting point

Titles in ItalicsTitles Placed in "Quotation Marks"
Title of a periodical (magazine, journal, newspaper)              Title of article in a periodical
Title of a book   Title of a chapter in a book
Title of a movie or playName of an act or scene in a movie or a play
Title of a television or radio series   Title of an episode within a tv or radio series
Title of a musical album or CDTitle of a song
Title of a long poemTitle of a short poem
Names of operas or long musical composition
Names of paintings and sculptures

Title of a short story

On an APA-style reference page, the rules for titles are a little different.  In short, a title you would italicize within the body of a paper will also be italicized on a reference page.  However, a title you'd place in quotation marks within the body of the paper (such as the title of an article within a journal) will be written in normal lettering and will not be in quotation marks.

Here are some examples:

Smith (2001) research is fully described in the Journal of Higher Education.

Smith's (2001) article "College Admissions See Increase" was published in the Journal of Higher Education after his pivotal study on the admissions process.

The title of source is the second core element in the Works Cited entry. In general, the title of a work is taken from the title page of the publication.

  • List the full title as it is written on the source. Exceptions to this rule are for standardization of capitalization and subtitle punctuation. 
    • Capitalize all principal words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.). Do not capitalize articles, prepositions, or conjunctions when they fall in the middle of a title.
    • Separate a subtitle with a colon and a space.
  • Italicize titles if the source is self-contained and independent. Titles of books, periodicals, databases, and Web sites are italicized.
  • Place titles in quotation marks if the source is part of a larger work. Articles, essays, chapters, poems, Web pages, songs, and speeches are placed in quotation marks.
  • Sometimes titles will contain other titles. For example, a journal article about a novel, short story, play, film, etc. may mention the title of the work the article is about in the article's title.
    • If the title mentioned is usually indicated by italics, use italics for the title. Examples of these titles are films, novels, entire books, journals, and entire websites.
      • Example of a journal article title which includes the title of a book: "Unbearable Weight of Authenticity: Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and Theory of 'Touristic Reading'."
    • If the title mentioned is usually indicated by double quotation marks, enclose the title in single quotations marks. Examples of these titles are poems, short stories, book chapters, and journal articles. 
      • Example of a journal article title which includes the title of a short story: "Individualism in O'Connor's 'A Good Man is Hard to Find'."

Books:

Danticat, Edwidge. Brother, I'm Dying. Knopf, 2007.  

Chapter title in a book or anthology: 

Howard, Rebecca Moore. “Avoiding Sentence Fragments.” Writing Matters: A Handbook for Writing and Research, 2nd ed., McGraw Hill, 2014, pp. 600-10.

Journals, Magazines, and Newspapers:

Houtman, Eveline. “Mind-Blowing: Fostering Self-Regulated Learning in Information Literacy Instruction.” Communications in Information Literacy, vol. 9, no. 1, 2015, pp. 6-18. www.comminfolit.org/index.php?journal=cil&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=v9i1p6&path%5B%5D=203​.

Web page:

Meade, Rita. "It's Not Too Late to Advocate." Screwy Decimal, 1 June 2016, www.screwydecimal.com/2016/06/its-not-too-late-to-advocate.html.

Entire Website:

Meade, Rita. Screwy Decimal. 2010-16, www.screwydecimal.com/.

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