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We use i (characters set in type that slants to the right) and u to distinguish certain words from others within the text. These typographical devices mean the same thing; therefore, it would be unusual to use both within the same text and it would certainly be unwise to italicize an underlined word. As word-processors and printers become more sophisticated and their published products more professional looking, italics are accepted by more and more instructors. Still, some instructors insist on underlines (probably because they went to school when italics were either technically difficult or practically unreadable). It is still a good idea to ask your instructor before using italics. (The APA P continues to insist on underlining.) In this section, we will use italics only, but they should be considered interchangeable with underlined text.
These rules and suggestions do not apply to newspaper writing, which has its own set of regulations in this matter.
Italics do not include punctuation marks (end marks or parentheses, for instance) next to the words being italicized unless those punctuation marks are meant to be considered as part of what is being italicized: “Have you read Stephen King’s P? (The question mark is not italicize here.) Also, do not italicize the apostrophe-s which creates the possessive of a title: “What is the C ‘s position on this issue?” You’ll have to watch your word-processor on this, as most word-processors will try to italicize the entire word that you double-click on.
Watch more videos on the same topic : Using Quotation Marks, Underlining, and Italicizing in Titles
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Generally, we italicize the titles of things that can stand by themselves. Thus we differentiate between the titles of novels and journals, say, and the titles of poems, short stories, articles, and episodes (for television shows). The titles of these shorter pieces would be surrounded with double quotation marks.
In writing the titles of newspapers, do not italicize the word t, even when it is part of the title (the N), and do not italicize the name of the city in which the newspaper is published unless that name is part of the title: the H, but the London T.
- Journals and Magazines: T
- Plays: W
- Long Musical Pieces: Puccini’s M, Tchaikovsky’s N (but “Waltz of the Flowers”), Schubert’s W (but “Ave Maria”). For musical pieces named by type, number and key — Mozart’s Divertimento in D major, Barber’s Cello Sonata Op. 6 — we use neither italics nor quotation marks.
- Cinema: S
- Television and Radio Programs: D
- Artworks: the V, Whistler’s T
- Famous Speeches: Lincoln’s G, Washington’s S
- Long Poems (that are extensive enough to appear in a book by themselves): Longfellow’s E, Milton’s P, Whitman’s L
- Pamphlets: N
We do not italicize the titles of long sacred works: the Bible, the Koran. Nor do we italicize the titles of books of the Bible: Genesis, Revelation, 1 Corinthians.
When an exclamation mark or question mark is part of a title, make sure that that mark is italicized along with the title,
- My favorite book is W
- I love Dr. Seuss’s O
(Do not add an additional period to end such sentences.) If the end mark is n part of the title, but is added to indicate a question or exclamation, do not italicize that mark.
- Did you enjoy Charles Frazier’s C?
Watch more videos on the same topic : 2-Minute Writer: Underlining (Italics) vs. Quotation Marks
If you’ve ever been confused about how to punctuate book titles or poems, this is the video for you. I give helpful tips on remembering whether to use italics or quotation marks.nnNote: underlining = italics (You just underline longhand and italicize while typing)nnBe sure to shoot me any questions you have, and subscribe to English nerd for more tips!nnn____________________nnWant to connect? nnOfficial website: https://carly-stevens.comnInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/carlystevensbooks/nPinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/carlyastevensenglishnerd/nnSign up for my author newsletter and you’ll get the first two chapters of my upcoming fantasy novel Firian Rising!
Names of Vehicles
- U.S.S. E
- H.M.S. P (Don’t italicize the H.M.S. when you’re talking about the ship. If you’re talking about the light opera, then it’s part of the title, H.
We don’t italicize names of vehicles that are brand names: Ford Explorer, Corvette, Nissan Pathfinder, Boeing 747.
Foreign Words or Phrases
- If a word or phrase has become so widely used and understood that it has become part of the English language — such as the French “bon voyage” or the abbreviation for the latin e, “etc.” — we would not italicize it. Often this becomes a matter of private judgment and context. For instance, whether you italicize the Italian s
Words as Words
- The word b
- There were four a‘s and one t in that last sentence. (Notice that the apostrophe-s, used to create the plural of the word-as-word a, is not italicized. See the section on Plurals
- She defines a in a positive way, as the ability of a word to mean more than one thing at the same time.
Note: It is important not to overdo the use of italics to emphasize words. After a while, it loses its effect and the language starts to sound like something out of a comic book.
- I really don’t care what y think! (Notice that just about any word in that sentence could have been italicized, depending on how the person said the sentence.)
- These rules do n
Words as Reproduced Sounds
- G went the bear. (But you would say “the bear growled” because g reports the nature of the sound but doesn’t try to reproduce it. Thus the bees buzz but go b and dogs bark w)
- His head hit the stairs, k
Frequently, mimetically produced sounds are also accompanied by exclamation marks.