Book & Song Titles Quotation Marks

Book, Song or Other Artistic Works Titles

References to songs, books, paintings and other works of an artistic nature are often enclosed in quotation marks, but may instead be typed in italic text. The generally accepted rule of thumb is that short works are quoted, while titles of longer works are usually italicized:

George Orwell’s “1984” was once considered prophetic.
My Drama class performed A Midsummer Night’s Dream last year.

Chapters of books are usually enclosed in quotes, while book titles are usually italicized:

Chapter VI: “The Street”, Moby Dick

Magazine articles are usually enclosed in quotes, while magazine titles should be italicized:

I’ve just read John Smith’s article, “Summer Vacation” in Motor Home.

The same holds true for newspaper articles and titles.

These are loose conventions and highly subject to change according to the purpose of the text being written. If several titles are included in your text, it’s often preferable to use italics, for a less cluttered document. In general, writers should err on the side of neatness and readability.

Of course, it’s important to know that titles should neither be italicized nor enclosed by quotes at the top of manuscripts, essays or similar works. Quotes or italics are used only in referencing artistic works within the body of a text. It’s also worth noting here that some style applications prefer single quotes to double in the case of titles.

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