Usage of Book Titles in Essays

Writing an appealing book title gives the book an organized look and the title can serve as the major selling point of a book.

According to William pollard—information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed and available to the right people in a format or decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.

In this article, you are going to learn the core principles of title writing, the best technique of title writing, different ways of quoting a book, how to quote a title, ways of writing a book title for an essay and story title and MLA formatting.

What is Formatting?

This is the act of positioning a text, according to the stipulations of the publisher. It deals more with the changing of text size, styles, margins and layout. Your method of writing a title is highly dependent on your instructor’s style and your means of writing, whether it is by typing or handwriting.

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What about MLA format?

When writing a research paper on literature, the recommended format is the MLA format. Universally, MLA is used for literary studies and it is the best method for citing. On using a primary or secondary source, be it for paraphrasing or quoting; you would have to cite the MLA format parenthetically. The list of your citations will come at the last page of your essay.

Guidelines for proper formatting

Gone are those days when extensive formatting options were non-existent in typed documents. In the past, writers laid emphasis on some certain words by underlining but nowadays, that method is no longer in use. These days, newer methods are being adopted in the laying of emphasis. Unlike ancient methods, the new methods adopt italics, bold text, and quotation marks, as better means of emphasizing some set of words.

Words like– names of ships or planes, words used as themselves, foreign words, and titles of books, movies, songs, and other titled works—are oftentimes emphasized in the process of writing a text. There are types of book titles and there are many ways to write book titles, depending on the aim and style of the writer. It is not enough to type a book title; one must do so according to the rules stipulated by the publisher.

The manners, in which titles are formatted aren’t ruled by grammar rules. Rather than the dependency on grammar rules, it’s a thing of style. However, if anyone can just emphasize books in any form, the text or paper work would be unreadable and organized. In emphasizing a book, regardless of the style used, consistency really matter, which is the obvious reason for the need for businesses, institutions, and publications to stipulate their particular style guides.

Most times, book titles are categorized side by side with other large, outstanding and well recommended works like newspapers, symphonies, or publications. Therefore, the same guides –such as The Chicago Manual of Style or the AMA Manual of Style— that recommend the use of italics, also stipulates that such words should be italicized when put into words. However, when the title of the book appears on a cover, italicizing is quite unnecessary.

There are various approaches to writing guides and these guides largely depend on the choice of the writer. These guidelines have different rules or italicizing and underlining book titles and these rules apply to many literary works such as— short stories, books, poems, and articles.

Below are the rules for formatting:

  • Never ignore a quote or paraphrase by it; that is, you ought to firstly, introduce it. Then explain and present it in a way that is related to your original thesis.
  • Italicize titles of longer works: Italicize longer works titles for longer works unless the book is a handwritten document.  Long work titles—such as novels, plays, movies, epic poems, and textbooks—should always be italicized.
  • Put the titles of shorter works in quotation marks: Titles of shorter works – such as poems, short stories, or works, which are published in an anthology — should always, have quotation marks around them.
  • Italicize punctuations marks only when they are part of the book title: Punctuating Titles often cause a lot of confusion amongst writer, however, the tenet guiding this part of formatting is quite easy: peradventure the punctuation is an element of the title, place it in the quotation marks/italics but If it’s not part of the elements in the title, make sure it’s placed outside the quotation marks/italics.

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Example 1

For instance in the first title – Cathy’s favorite book is who has seen the Wind? — The title is a question, which demands that the question mark is italicized as part of the title.

Example 2

However in the second title— have you been to the theater to see Romeo and Juliet? – The title is not a question in itself; rather, it is regarded as a question, in its entirety. Therefore, the question mark is not italicized.

  • Whenever you cite summarized passages of poetry, verses and stanza divisions, they are presented as a slash (” / Violet is blue /Rose is red / and I love you / you hate me “).
  • Make sure you use block format to every quotation that exceeds our lines: the usage of block letters is typically adopted in business letters. In a block format, the whole text is aligned leftward and the words are single spaced. The only exclusion to the single spacing is a double space in between paragraphs. In order to protect the readability of your text, ensure that you apply block format to all quotations that exceeds four lines.

Special Exceptions for Emphasizing Titles

Even though, the title writing guides given in this article are quite perfect, there are a few exceptions. Peradventure the book has more than one title in a collection, for example, a collection of novels in a book (the harry potter series). In this case, the title of the collection should be italicized and the titles of the other books would then be put in quotation marks.

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