The general rule is to use italics on book titles, album titles and publication names for a web document or when you are using a word processing tool. If it is something handwritten you should underline it instead of using italics.
Longer works are italicized while shorter works like song titles or an article from a magazine are put in quotes and are not italicized.
Here are some italics examples:
- Book Title: My favorite book is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Magazine Title: There was an interesting article in Time about health and aging.
- Newspaper Title: What does The Wall Street Journal say about the market today?
- Album and Song Title: My favorite song from Taylor Swift's Red is "All Too Well."
- Article Title: "City of Water" is one of the most fascinating articles every published by The New Yorker.
- Poem Title: Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" is one of his most popular poems.
- TV Show Title: I binge watched Stranger Things on Netflix over the weekend.
- Movie Title: Sam has memorized many lines from The Princess Bride.
Other works that are generally italicized include movies, television shows, plays, scientific species names, paintings and works of art. Shorter works that get quotation marks include chapter titles, television episode titles, chapter titles, short poems and short stories. An article Walden University lists a number of other things italics are appropriate for according to the APA Manual.
Websites and Italics
Should you italicize websites like Google or Twitter? You will find different approaches to using italics for websites in documents. We do not italicize websites on Writers Write. Websites are italicized in a citation (MLA style, 8th edition) with the webpage name in quotes. As the Purdue OWL notes it is important to be consistent with your use of italics and underlining.
Italics in Citations
There are also rules for using italics in citations. They can vary depending on whether you are using MLA, APA, Chicago, or another style. Here are a few resources for style guide italics rules as well as a link to our citation generators resource page:
- Citation Generators
- Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide
- MLA: USe of Italics
- APA Style Blog: Italics.
- How to Cite Titles in MLA 8