Remember the days when your manual typewriter didn’t have a key for the number 1, so you used a lowercase letter L instead? And to type an exclamation point, you typed an apostrophe first, backspaced, and then typed a period beneath it? Sure you do, punk.
Clarification: I’m not that old; my high school was poor. We pasted our newspaper dummies together with wax and made type changes with a dull razor.
Well, we don’t type that way anymore, because technology has blessed us with 1s and !s on our keyboards. Likewise, because we are capable of rendering type in italics, you underline titles only when writing them by hand or using software that doesn’t italicize. As long as you remember that underlining equals italics and to never underline when you can italicize, you’re good.
You can get pretty far by following the “Big/heavy equals italics” (like books) and “Small/light equals quotes” (like poems) generalizations.
As for enclosing titles in quotation marks or italicizing them, you can get pretty far by following the “Big/heavy equals italics” (like books) and “Small/light equals quotes” (like poems) generalizations, but Associated Press style doesn’t italicize nothin’ and Chicago style has layers of specificity and if-then statements. Fun!
Because the Associated Press stylebook is not indexed and the manual for Chicago style covers title style in several sections (intermixed with name style and capitalization style), some title styles may have been inadvertently omitted due to oblivion on my part. Please send me a note if any oversight makes you twitch.
It’s all arbitrary, so go for clarity and sustainability.
Following is the breakdown between AP style and Chicago style. This is intended as a quick rundown or cheat sheet; for examples of each, please refer to the pages and sections indicated. “Neither” means that the usual headline-style (or title-style) caps still apply, but the title/name is naked as far as quotes and italics are concerned. (Capitalization for titles will be covered in a future blog entry.)
Note: Use Command-F or Ctrl-F to perform searches.
|Titles for . . .||AP||Chicago|
|Albums||Quotes (p. 62)||Italics (8.192)|
|Almanacs||Neither (p. 62)|
|Apps||Neither (p. 62), e.g., Facebook, Foursquare||Italics (8.193)|
|Art||Quotes (p. 62)||Italics (8.193)|
|Bible||Neither (p. 62)|
|Blog entries||Quotes (8.187)|
|Books||Quotes (p. 62)—but the Bible and catalogs of reference material use neither||Italics (8.166)—but book series and editions use neither (8.174)|
|Catalogs||Neither (p. 62)|
|Classical music, nicknames||Quotes (p. 63)|
|Classical music, identified by sequence||Neither (p. 63)|
|Columns (in periodicals)||Neither (8.175, 14.205)|
|Comic strips||Italics (8.194)|
|Computer games and computer-game apps||Quotes (p. 62), e.g., “Farmville”||Italics (Chicago Style Q&A)|
|Computer software||Neither for software such as WordPerfect or Windows (p. 62)|
|Conferences||Neither (8.69)—unless it has “status,” then use quotes|
|Departments (in periodicals)||Neither (8.175, 14.202)|
|Dictionaries||Neither (p. 62)|
|Directories||Neither (p. 62)|
|Encyclopedias||Neither (p. 62)|
|Exhibitions (large)||Neither (8.195)|
|Exhibitions (small)||Italics (8.195)|
|Fairs (large)||Neither (8.195)|
|Fairs (small)||Italics (8.195)|
|Gazetteers||Neither (p. 62)|
|Handbooks||Neither (p. 62)|
|Journals||Italics (8.166)—unless part of name of award, organization, etc. (8.170)|
|Lecture series||Neither (8.86)|
|Lectures (individual)||Quotes (p. 62)||Quotes (8.86)|
|Magazines||Neither (p. 159)||Italics (8.166)—unless part of name of award, organization, etc. (8.170)|
|Meetings||Neither (8.69)—unless it has “status,” then use quotes|
|Movies||Quotes (p. 62)||Italics (8.185)|
|Newspapers||Italics (8.166)—unless part of name of award, organization, etc. (8.170)|
|Operas||Quotes (p. 62)||Italics (8.189)—for long musical compositions or instrumental works, see 8.189-8.190|
|Periodicals||Italics (8.166), unless part of name of award, organization, etc. (8.170)|
|Plays||Quotes (p. 62)||Italics (8.181)|
|Podcast episodes||Quotes (8.187)|
|Poems||Quotes (p. 62)||Quotes (8.179)—unless book length, then treated as book (italics)|
|Radio episodes (in series)||Quotes (8.185)|
|Radio programs and series||Quotes (p. 62)||Italics (8.185)|
|Short stories||Quotes (8.175)|
|Songs||Quotes (p. 62)||Quotes (8.189)|
|Speeches||Quotes (p. 62)||Neither (8.75)—unless it has “status,” then use quotes.|
|Television episodes (in series)||Quotes (8.185)|
|Television programs and series||Quotes (p. 62)||Italics (8.185)|
|Unpublished works||Quotes (8.184)|
|Video blogs||Italics (8.187)|
|Video-blog episodes||Quotes (8.187)|
|Web pages and sections||Quotes (8.186)|
When it gets confusing, just remember these golden rules of copyediting:
- Whatever you choose, be consistent.
- But beware of having a tin ear.
- It’s all arbitrary, so go for clarity and sustainability.
1.4: Italics and Underlining
Last edited by Elizabeth Angeli, Allen Brizee on April 3, 2013 .
This resource deals with italics and underlining.
Italics and Underlining
Italics and underlining generally serve similar purposes. However, the context for their use is different. When handwriting a document--or in other situations where italics aren't an option--use underlining. When you are word processing a document on a computer, use italics. The important thing is to stay consistent in how you use italics and underlining.
Italicize the titles of magazines, books, newspapers, academic journals, films, television shows, long poems, plays, operas, musical albums, works of art, websites.
- I read a really interesting article in Newsweek while I was waiting at the doctor’s office.
- My cousin is reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer for two different classes.
- I have every album from Dave Matthews Band, except for Crash.
Quotation Marks and Italics/Underlining Exercise
In the following sentences put in quotation marks wherever they are needed, and underline words where italics are needed.
1. Mary is trying hard in school this semester, her father said.
2. No, the taxi driver said curtly, I cannot get you to the airport in fifteen minutes.
3. I believe, Jack remarked, that the best time of year to visit Europe is in the spring. At least that's what I read in a book entitled Guide to Europe.
4. My French professor told me that my accent is abominable.
5. She asked, Is Time a magazine you read regularly?
6. Flannery O'Connor probably got the title of one of her stories from the words of the old popular song, A Good Man Is Hard to Find.
7. When did Roosevelt say, We have nothing to fear but fear itself?
8. It seems to me that hip and cool are words that are going out of style.
9. Yesterday, John said, This afternoon I'll bring back your book Conflict in the Middle East; however, he did not return it.
10. Can you believe, Dot asked me, that it has been almost five years since we've seen each other?
11. A Perfect Day for Bananafish is, I believe, J. D. Salinger's best short story.
12. Certainly, Mr. Martin said, I shall explain the whole situation to him. I know that he will understand.
Click here for exercise answers.
Put in semicolons, colons, dashes, quotation marks, Italics (use an underline), and parentheses where ever they are needed in the following sentences.
1. The men in question Harold Keene, Jim Peterson, and Gerald Greene deserve awards.
2. Several countries participated in the airlift Italy, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg.
3. Only one course was open to us surrender, said the ex-major, and we did.
4. Judge Carswell later to be nominated for the Supreme Court had ruled against civil rights.
5. In last week's New Yorker, one of my favorite magazines, I enjoyed reading Leland's article How Not to Go Camping.
6. Yes, Jim said, I'll be home by ten.
7. There was only one thing to do study till dawn.
8. Montaigne wrote the following A wise man never loses anything, if he has himself.
9. The following are the primary colors red, blue, and yellow.
10. Arriving on the 8 10 plane were Liz Brooks, my old roommate her husband and Tim, their son.
11. When the teacher commented that her spelling was poor, Lynn replied All the members of my family are poor spellers. Why not me?
12. He used the phrase you know so often that I finally said No, I don't know.
13. The automobile dealer handled three makes of cars Volkswagens, Porsches, and Mercedes Benz.
14. Though Phil said he would arrive on the 9 19 flight, he came instead on the 10 36 flight.
15. Whoever thought said Helen that Jack would be elected class president?
16. In baseball a show boat is a man who shows off.
17. The minister quoted Isaiah 5 21 in last Sunday's sermon.
18. There was a very interesting article entitled The New Rage for Folk Singing in last Sunday's New York Times newspaper.
19. Whoever is elected secretary of the club Ashley, or Chandra, or Aisha must be prepared to do a great deal of work, said Jumita, the previous secretary.
20. Darwin's On the Origin of Species 1859 caused a great controversy when it appeared.
Click here for exercise answers.