Essay Title Underlined Mla

Formatting Titles

A lot of people have trouble formatting titles correctly.  In an English class, how you format the title of a work (a book, an article, a poem, a television show, etc.) can affect the clarity of what you are trying to communicate in your paper.  Please use this reference to make sure you are formatting your titles correctly.

NOTE:  Be sure to capitalize the first letter in ALL of the words of your title except for prepositions (in, of, to, about, toward, between, with, etc.), conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, so, etc.) and articles (a, an, the), UNLESS the word is the first one in the title or comes after a colon.  Capitalize EVEN IF the words are not capitalized in your source.  NEVER use bold type, all caps or extra large fonts in titles.


Type of Source / Document
Title Format
Examples

A book or a play
Underline or Italicize 
(Do one or the other and
 be consistent throughout the paper)
The Price of a Child or The Price of a Child
Uncle Tom's Cabin: Or, Life among the Lowly or Uncle Tom's Cabin: Or, Life among the Lowly
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Death of a Salesman or Death of a Salesman
Othello: The Moor of Venice or Othello: The Moor of Venice


A periodical
(scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers)

Underline or Italicize
The New England Journal of Medicine or The New England Journal of Medicine
Essence or Essence
The Philadelphia Inquirer or The Philadelphia Inquirer


An article from a periodical  

Quotation Marks
"HIV Awareness in African American Fraternities"
"Referee Linked to Alleged Area Bookmaker"

A article from an anthology
(a book of articles by different authors)
Quotation Marks
"Teen Pregnancy: A Different Perspective"

A short story


Quotation Marks
"The Cask of Amontillado"
"Sweat"
"Bloodchild"


A film

Underline or Italicize
The Matrix or The Matrix
Hustle & Flow or Hustle & Flow
Bowling for Columbine or Bowling for Columbine


A CD or album

Underline or Italicize
Hairspray: The Motion Picture Soundtrack or Hairspray: The Motion Picture Soundtrack
The White Album or The White Album


A single song from a CD or album

Quotation Marks
"Revolution"
"The Light of My Life"
"Pimp & Circumstance"


A poem

Quotation Marks
"If We Must Die"
"Phenomenal Woman"
"Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?"


A reference book

Underline or Italicize
The Oxford English Dictionary or The Oxford English Dictionary
Encyclopedia Britannica or Encyclopedia Britannica


A television show

Underline or Italicize
Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Buffy the Vampire Slayer
American Idol or American Idol


A single episode of a television show

Quotation Marks
"Never Kill a Boy on the First Date"
"Once More with Feeling"

A web page

NOTE:You should check with me before using information from  ANY web page in your paper.

Plain text
If you are just mentioning the name of a web page, use the url: www.cnn.com
If you are using an article, poem, etc., from a web page, format it according to its type: "Dogfighting Co-Defendant Flips; Vick Speaks"

Your own title (the title of your paper)
Plain text
(no bold, no quotation marks, no all caps, no underline)

An Eating Disordered Nation: How the Obsession with Thinness Hurts Everyone
Banning Specific Dog Breeds Is Unfair
Responses to Global Warming
 A title within the title of your paper
Format any title within your title according to this chart.
Women and Skin Color in Uncle Tom's Cabin
Images of Flowers in "Sweat"
Why American Idol Is Destroying the United States


Formatting

Summary:

This handout provides examples and description about writing papers in literature. It discusses research topics, how to begin to research, how to use information, and formatting.

Contributors:Mark Dollar, Purdue OWL
Last Edited: 2017-10-25 10:18:45

What about MLA format?

All research papers on literature use MLA format, as it is the universal citation method for the field of literary studies. Whenever you use a primary or secondary source, whether you are quoting or paraphrasing, you will make parenthetical citations in the MLA format [Ex. (Smith 67).] Your Works Cited list will be the last page of your essay. Consult the OWL handout on MLA for further instructions.

Note, however, the following minor things about MLA format:

  • Titles of books, plays, or works published singularly (not anthologized) should be italicised unless it is a handwritten document, in which case underlining is acceptable. (Ex. Hamlet, Great Expectations)
  • Titles of poems, short stories, or works published in an anthology will have quotation marks around them. (Ex. "Ode to a Nightingale," "The Cask of Amontillado")
  • All pages in your essay should have your last name the page number in the top right hand corner. (Ex. Jones 12)
    Tip

    If you're using Microsoft Word, you can easily include your name and page number on each page by following the these steps:

    1. Open "View" (on the top menu).
    2. Open "Header and Footer." (A box will appear at the top of the page you're on. And a "Header and Footer" menu box will also appear).
    3. Click on the "align right" button at the top of the screen. (If you're not sure which button it is, hold the mouse over the buttons and a small window should pop up telling you which button you're on.)
    4. Type in your last name and a space.
    5. Click on the "#" button which is located on the "Header and Footer" menu box. It will insert the appropriate page number.
    6. Click "Close" on the "Header and Footer" window.

    That's all you need to do. Word will automatically insert your name and the page number on every page of your document.

What else should I remember?

  • Don't leave a quote or paraphrase by itself-you must introduce it, explain it, and show how it relates to your thesis.
  • Block format all quotations of more than four lines.
  • When you quote brief passages of poetry, line and stanza divisions are shown as a slash (Ex. "Roses are red, / Violets are blue / You love me / And I like you").
  • For more help, see the OWL handout on using quotes.
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