Italics

Mark titles of major works, and other terms

italics
 

 

 

Major Work Titles

STYLE MANUAL GUIDELINES EXAMPLE

Major works are placed in italics.  These include the title of a book, play, poem (published as book), pamphlet, newspaper, magazine, journal, Web site, online database, film, television broadcast, radio broadcast, album, dance performance, opera, long musical composition, painting, sculpture, ship, aircraft, spacecraft, and court cases. Formerly, major works were underlined. Presently, underlining is reserved for hypertext links in Web and word-processing environments.  Underlining is still used in handwritten papers.

Style manuals may vary using italics or quotation marks.  It is a good idea to find out which style manual is selected for your business or academic institution.  Note that the AP Stylebook (Associated Press) uses quotation marks in place of italics because Italic type face cannot be sent through AP computers.

1. BOOK TITLES TITLE EXAMPLES

Italicize the title of a book

(Enclose chapter names in quotation marks.)

(MLA 3.6.2) 

But not scriptural writings: Bible, Gospels, Talmud, Koran, Upanishads (MLA 3.6.5) 

 

We have to read Grapes of Wrath.

Look in The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language for a diagram

Huddleston, Rodney and Geoffrey K. Pullum. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Print.

 

2. PERIODICAL TITLES PERIODICAL EXAMPLES

Italicize the title of a magazine, newspaper, or journal.

Also italicize all publications archived on microfilm.

(Enclose article names in quotation marks.)

We read an interesting article in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Friedman, Thomas L. "The Earth is Full". Editorial. New York Times. 7 Jun 2011. Print.
The Wall Street Journal is available in print or online.

We saw the Second Census of the United States, 1800 in the library.

3. FILMS & VIDEO TITLES MOVIE EXAMPLES

Italicize the title of a film, video, television show or audio recording, album.

(Enclose the name of a music video, scene, or episode in quotation marks.)

A Television or Radio Broadcast (MLA 5.7.1) A Film or Video Recording (MLA 5.7.6)
Movies, Television, and Radio (CMOS 8.196-200 )

Both The King's Speech and The Black Swan won a lot of Oscar awards in 2010.

We rented the documentary Waiting for Superman.

Ashton Kutcher will replace Charlie Sheen's role in the television show Two and a Half Men.

Lady Gaga's Born This Way includes the song "Edge of Glory".

4. MUSIC, DANCE & PLAY TITLES PERFORMANCE EXAMPLES

Italicize the title of major works such as an opera, a symphony, a dance performance, an album.

(Enclose the name of a song, scene, or dance in quotation marks.)

A Sound Recording (MLA 5.7.2) A performance (MLA 5.7.4), A musical score (MLA 5.7.5)
Musical Works(CMOS 8.201-5 ), Poems and Plays (CMOS 8.191-5)

The ballet will add two additional performances of The Nutcracker.

The opera Rigoletto was written by Giuseppe Verdi.

Beethovan's Symphony No. 9 in D minor is also known as Ode to Joy.

They saw the musical Billy Elliot on Broadway.

5. VISUAL WORK OF ART TITLES PAINTING / PHOTOGRAPH EXAMPLES

Italicize the title of a painting, a sculpture, or a photograph.

 

A Work of Visual Art (MLA 3.6.6), A Cartoon or Comic Strip (MLA 5.7.9), A Map or Chart (MLA 5.7.8)

Paintings, Graphic Art, and Sculpture (CMOS 8.206-7) (APA

Pablo Picasso's most famous proto-Cubist works are Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907) and Guernica (1937)

The Thinker is a bronze and marble sculpture by Auguste Rodin.

Ansel Adams Monolith, The Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, 1927.

The comic strip, Dick Tracy, has been published in several languages in newspapers around the world.

6. WEB & ENTERTAINMENT TITLES WEB PAGE EXAMPLES

Italicize the name of a Web site, comic strip, computer or video game.

(Enclose the name of a Web page, or a Web post in quotation marks.)

Titles of software programs and computer language are capitalized but not put in quotations or italicized. (CMOS 7.81)

We use Wikipedia.com to find encyclopedic information.

The best known video game, Mario Bros. features two plumbers.

The Huffington Post is an American news website, which was sold to AOL in February of 2011.

Also see Quotation Marks.

Style Manual Abbreviations: AP (Associated Press), APA (American Psychological Association), CMOS (Chicago Manual of Style), GREGG (Gregg Reference Manual); MLA (Modern Language Association)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italics

Other uses

 

 

 

Word Examples, Technical Terms, Foreign Words, Unfamiliar Words

STYLE MANUAL GUIDELINES EXAMPLE

Most style manuals designate specific terms to be italicized. 

Note that if a plural can be formed, the suffix -s is not italicized.

7. A LETTER, WORD, OR PHRASE USED AS A LINGUISTIC EXAMPLE A WORD AS AN EXAMPLE

Place individual letters, words, or phrase in italics

(MLA 3.6.2) (CMOS 7.62) (APA 4.2.1)

The word vacuum has one c and two u's. the plural marked is not italicized

A good turn-out (rotation of the feet and legs outward) is necessary for ballet.

 

8. INTRODUCTION OF A NEW TECHNICAL TERM A TECHNICL TERM

Place a new, technical, key word, or label in italics

Thereafter, it can be written in without italics.

Italicize a word to distinguish it as a greater element than a bold element. (CMOS 7.79)

 

 

 

 

 

The ducking effect in the sound editor can be applied to a music track when a speech track is present.

The average tweeter checks his or her Twitter account more than twenty times a day. (APA 4.21)

She pocket dialed  him, a situation in which a phone is activated by the movement of one's pocket or purse and then accidentally sends a call. new terms (CMOS 7.62)

The blue team has to go to the other side of the field.

The file introduction.docx can be opened from the File menu.

9. UNFAMILIAR FOREIGN WORDS & PHRASE FOREIGN WORD (NOT IN ENGLISH DICTIONARY)

Place foreign words that are not found in an English dictionary in italics.

Common words such as hors d'oeuvre, in vitro and rendezvous found in an English dictionary should not be italicized. (They are italicized in this example because they are given as word examples.)

Use italics for words not found in Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 2005. (APA 4.21)
Set the foreign words in italics and translate the word using single quotes. (CMOS 7.52)   

Young Greeks talk of sweeping away the kleftes (thieves) in the parliament building.

Blake's joie de vivre makes him a favorite among friends.

His droit de seigneur  (the lord's right) manner caused his ruin.  (APA 4.21)
His "droit de seigneur" manner, meaning the lord of the land has first right to choose of his serfs' goods and daughters, caused his ruin.  (AP 99) 

 

10. BIOLOGY BIOLOGY TERMS (GREEK AND LATIN)

Italicize words in biology referring to species and varieties.  (genes, genera)

 

The botanical name for the Valley Oak is Quercus lobata.
Leprosy was caused by Mycobacterium leprae.

 

11. MATH VARIABLES MATH VARIABLE

Italicize math variables.

a/b = c/d, sinX, logX

 

12. MUSICAL TERMS MUSICAL TERMS (ITALIAN)

Italicize musical terms for dynamics.

piano, mezzoforte, andante 
 

13. SHIPS AND AIRCRAFT SHIPS, PLANES AND TRAINS

Italicize the name of a ship, aircraft, space craft, or trains.

 

The spacecraft Challenger will make its last flight in June 2011.

The USS Arizona lies at the bottom of Pearl Harbor as a memorial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Punctuation Notes

Italics or Underlining

 

 

 

TYPING ITALICS / UNDERLINES USAGE NOTES

Italic or underlined letters do not exist on a standard keyboard.  Instead, italics or underlining is an applied style. (Italic type is a cursive typeface based on a stylized form of alligraphic handriting. (Wikipedia)

Other modes of entering italics are as follows:

Windows  Selet text, then press CTRL I / CTRL U or set up styles.

Mac  Selet text, then press CMD I / CMD U or set up styles.

HTML Enclose text in tags <i>text </i> / <u>text</u> or set up styles sheets (CSS).

 

Alternatives:

In media where italicization is not possible, underlining is usually used.  Where underlining is not available, an underline precedes the phrase and another underline character follows the phrase. _The Name of the Rose_    (This is true for text fields or boxes that do not accept formatting or styles.)

Note that the AP Stylebook (Associated Press) uses quotation marks in place of italics because "Italic type face cannot be sent through AP computers.  "The Name of the Rose" (AP 55)

Since italic type (the counterpart of underlining or underscoring) is provided in word procesing and desktop pubishing software, it is the preferred means of giving special emphasis to words and phrases to to the titles of literary and artistic works. (Sabin 285)

What to do when a book title occurs within another book title:

Place titles of books in italics. However, "words within the title of a book in text that would normally be italicized should be set in Roman type (this is referred to as reverse italicization.)" (APA 4.21)

There are two common methods for identifying a normally italicized title when it appears within an italicized title. (MLA 3.6.4)

(1) reverse italicization—remove the italics from the title embedded within the title.

Eco, Umberto. Postscript to The Name of the Rose. Trans. William Weaver. New York: Harcourt, 1984. Print.

(2) place quotation marks around the title within  the italicized title.

Eco, Umberto. Postscript to "The Name of the Rose". Trans. William Weaver. New York: Harcourt, 1984. Print.

 

 

 

 

Resources 

 

Style Manual Abbreviations (used in this website)

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Identifying correct use of italics

Spider-manSpider-man the musical
 

 

 

Read for Errors

Fans finally were able to hear music from the Broadway play "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" on the early morning television show Good Morning America (10 Sept. 2010). The fourteen-song album, including "Boy Falling From the Sky", was released by Interscope Records.

Marvel Comics has featured Spider-Man in several comic book series, the first and longest-lasting of which is titled The Amazing Spider-Man.

Ben Brantley of the New York Times writes that Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark "is not only the most expensive musical ever to hit Broadway; it may also rank among the worst." 

The movie, Spider-Man (2002) starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, was translated into Greek as Spiderman, o Anthropos-Arachni. Comic book writer-editor and historian Paul Kupperberg, in The Creation of Spider-Man, calls the character's superpowers "nothing too original".  Rosen Publishing Group (July 2006)

Spider-Man was also an occasional character in the 1970s children's educational show "The Electric Company" which presented brief tales using a combination of animation and live action called the "Spidey Super Stories". Spider-Man also  appeared in the Spider-Woman series in the episodes "Pyramids of Terror" and "The Kongo Spider".

 

 

Correct or incorrect?

  1. Select your response. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the check button to the left  as you go.

Note:  formerly, major works were underlined. However, now word processors and HTML editors mark hypertext links with underlines, so major works are being distinguished by italics. In electronic environments that do not support formatting text with italics, it is common to place one underline before and after each word or group of words that would be italicized in print.   _The Godfather_ (MLA 3.3)

1.
Fans finally were able to hear music from the Broadway play "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" on the early morning television show Good Morning America (10 Sept. 2010).

   

2.
The fourteen-song album, including "Boy Falling From the Sky", was released by Interscope Records.

   

3.
Marvel Comics has featured Spider-Man in several comic book series, the first and longest-lasting of which is titled "The Amazing Spider-Man".

   

4.
Ben Brantley of the New York Times writes that Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark "is not only the most expensive musical ever to hit Broadway; it may also rank among the worst."

   

5.
The movie, Spider-Man (2002) starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, was translated into Greek as Spiderman, o Anthropos-Arachni.

   

6.
Comic book writer-editor and historian Paul Kupperberg, in The Creation of Spider-Man¹, calls the character's superpowers "nothing too original". 
¹ Rosen Publishing Group (July 2006)

   

7.
Spider-Man was also an occasional character in the 1970s children's educational show "The Electric Company" which presented brief tales using a combination of animation and live action called the "Spidey Super Stories".

   

8.
Spider-Man also  appeared in the Spider-Woman series in the episodes "Pyramids of Terror" and "The Kongo Spider".

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Puccini

Puccini

 

 

 

 

Complete the sentence.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 1-10" button at the bottom, or click the check button to the left  as you go.

Note:  formerly, major works were underlined. However, now word processors and HTML editors mark hypertext links with underlines, so major works are being distinguished by italics. In electronic environments that do not support formatting text with italics, it is common to place one underline before and after each word or group of words that would be italicized in print.   _The Godfather_ (MLA 3.3)

 

9.


See note above regarding how italics or _underlines_ are represented in this and other environments where their formatting is not supported.

10.

11.


pianoforte (adj.) – soft then immediately loud (song dynamics)

12.

13.

14.

15.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

Editing

kouros
 

 

 

Title

In Malcom Gladwell's book, Blink, he explains how we often know something in an instant without thinking.

In the chapter called The Statue Didn't Look Right, he details how the Getty Museum received an ancient Greek statue called a kouros.  Everyone's first impression was that it was a fake.

Mr. Getty called in a scientist from the University of California to examine the statue. He looked at it with a microscope and x-ray machines, and the statue passed all his tests. So Mr. Getty bought the kouros for his museum.

In fall of 1986, the statue went on display for the first time. The New York Times put the story on its front page, A Kouros at the Getty Museum.

 

There was just one problem. It didn't look right. It looked fresh (new). So Mr. Getty shipped it to the Acropolis Museum in Athens for more expert opinion. One expert after the other looked at it and had the same response, "Something is not right."

Everyone had a gut feeling that something was not right about it — the size, the color, the shape, the style.  Their internal computer was telling them something that scientific examination had missed.

In the first two seconds of looking — in a blink — they were able to understand more about the authenticity of the statue than Mr. Getty was able to learn in fourteen months.

  • Gladwell, Malcom. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. New York: Little, Brown and Company. 2005. Print.

authenticity (n.) – the quality of being real or true

fake (n.) - a copy, not real

gut feeling (expression) – an unthinking, internal feeling

 

 

 

 

 

Complete the sentence.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 1-10" button at the bottom, or click the check button to the left  as you go.

 

16.
In Malcom Gladwell's book, Blink, he explains how we often know something in an instant without thinking.


17.
In the chapter called The Statue Didn't Look Right, he details how the Getty Museum received an ancient Greek statue called a kouros.  Everyone's first impression was that it was a fake.


18.
Mr. Getty called in a scientist from the University of California to examine the statue. He looked at it with a microscope and x-ray machines, and the statue passed all his tests. So Mr. Getty bought the kouros for his museum.


19.
In fall of 1986, the statue went on display for the first time. The New York Times put the story on its front page, A Kouros at the Getty Museum.


20.
There was just one problem. It didn't look right. It looked fresh (new). So Mr. Getty shipped it to the Acropolis Museum in Athens for more expert opinion. One expert after the other looked at it and had the same response, "Something is not right."


21.
Everyone had a gut feeling that something was not right about it — the size, the color, the shape, the style.  Their internal computer was telling them something that scientific examination had missed.


22.
In the first two seconds of looking — in a blink — they were able to understand more about the authenticity of the statue than Mr. Getty was able to learn in fourteen months.