A couple of generations ago, it was the custom to enclose all titles in quotation marks: titles of books, titles of poems, titles of films, titles of newspapers, and so on.
This usage, however, has now largely disappeared, and the modern custom is to write most titles in italics.
Remember that people used to type their work or write it longhand.
When titles needed to be italicized, italics were represented by underlining. Do NOT use quotation marks, underline, or italics together.
When you’re quoting a source, use quotation marks to indicate a character’s thoughts, and make it clear in your prose that you are quoting thoughts, not speech: Walking home alone one night, Julie seems less concerned about the possibility of real danger and more concerned with the likelihood that her mother will be angry, thinking to herself, “Mother will be furious if she finds out I walked home instead of calling for a ride.” .
But, as you can see if you peruse this issue, we break from it on this topic and italicize book titles. Your goal is to turn in a professional-looking manuscript, and consistency in your style is one key way to do that.
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.
Example: His article, “Death by Dessert,” appeared in If you wish to respond to another reader's question or comment, please click its corresponding "REPLY" button.
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