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How to Write a Book Title in an Essay MLA Accurately



How to Write a Book Title in an Essay MLA Accurately

Wondering how to write a book title in an essay MLA properly? We’ve prepared a guide on crucial pointers like capitalization and when to apply italics.

How to Write a Book Title in an Essay MLA: An Ultimate Guide

Among the various categories of compositions you face in college, you will likely find one where you need to mention books. Facing this task can be nerve-wracking, and some individuals tend to get stuck before they even start.

One has to deal with questions like, “How do I reference this book?” Or “How do I cite the author?” While you can always buy essay online instead of letting the task get the better of you, grasping how to reference publications in an essay can serve you in the future, and that’s why we have provided this resource.

This expertly-prepared guide should provide enough information about referencing a publication’s full title properly. It delves deeper into how to apply elements such as quotation marks and when to employ italics when incorporating books’ names in academic compositions.

Writing a Book Title in an Essay: General Rules

Writers should consider the various formatting styles when they write a book title. Nevertheless, these writing styles agree on some directions. What are some of the resemblances in rules?

  • Employing italics on names of independent publications such as short stories and poems.
  • Putting quotation marks when inserting the names of complete publications, such as different book parts.
  • When another title mentions another publication – if you apply italics when presenting the first title, you also do the same to the other publication. If the publication mentions another work in double quotation marks, put the work mentioned in single quotation marks.
  • Using title case when mentioning stand-alone publications and parts of complete books.

Various formatting styles take different approaches to capitalization. Some will capitalize the full title, while others will target specific words. So be keen on the style the professor instructs.

Writing Various Types of Titles

There exist different kinds of publications out there, and referencing a publication or chapter title is contingent on the type of work and where it appears in the publication. For books like novels, you have to write the full title in caps, whether in the body or title page.

Apply italics on the author’s name and caps when mentioning their other publications in the title. When inserting names of stories and short poems, enclose them in quotation marks. Also, employ italics on published religious books mentioned in the essay’s body.

Existing format approaches have varying rules concerning mentioning different types of publications, such as short stories. So adhering to the instructed formatting specification is imperative to avoid penalties.

How to Write a Book Title in an Essay: MLA Style

The specifications suggested by Modern Language Association are mainly used for literature and linguistics courses. So, it’s common for literature publications such as short stories.

MLA style dictates that you should employ capitalization on the:

  • Proper names
  • The first word and the final word of the publication’s name
  • Principal words such as nouns
  • Conjunctions that subordinate a clause

Unlike principal words, prepositions, infinitives, conjunctions, and articles shouldn’t be capitalized. Articles can only be capitalized if they appear as the first word or the last word. If they appear in the middle, don’t capitalize.

How to Write a Book Title in an Essay: APA Style

Even though APA is mainly created for social sciences, you’ll still encounter essays in other subjects requiring it. Where do you apply capitalization when using this style?

  • APA requires you to apply capitalization on the first word and major words in a title, just like MLA style
  • Major words
  • Proper names
  • Words comprising more than four letters
  • Words that immediately come after colons, em dashes, or semicolons
  • Hyphenated words

Minor words such as prepositions and articles shouldn’t be capitalized when they appear in the internal sections of the title.

How to Write a Title of a Book in an Essay: Chicago Style

Chicago is more straightforward than other styles. For instance, in terms of capitalization, you apply capitalization on the full title, excluding articles, conjunctions, and prepositions.

 Should We Underline or Italicize Book Titles?

The choice depends on the style you’re using. MLA encourages the application of italics, while APA prefers quotation marks. Thus, the style you are instructed to use should dictate how you write a book title. Applying capitalization and underlining the title when handling a handwritten essay is best.

How to Put a Book Title in an Essay According to Citation Styles

Are you wondering, “Who will do my essay review to ensure book titles are properly written?” The good news is that you can write it all by yourself correctly, and you would not need to pay someone to review the essay.

So how should you write a book title according to various citation methods? You put the publication’s title in quote marks for an APA composition. For an MLA composition and Chicago papers, put it in italics.

For handwritten essays, it’s recommended that you present the book title according to the instructor’s specified instructions. Noteworthy, switch to underlining or quotation marks if you encounter the requirement to apply italics.

Why Is Using the Correct Format So Important?

Now that we have covered everything you need to know about formatting titles of books, short stories, and other works, the question we aim to address is why? Why should you go through the trouble of italicizing or inserting quotation marks?

Because you want to score good marks on your essay. You will be penalized and score lower marks when you fail to use the specified format for your main title.

Here’re other reasons.


The referencing formats are there to provide consistency in learning. If every student were free to format titles as they saw fit, it would be difficult to understand when they were presenting publications on the title page or body of their essays. So it helps avoid confusion.

Makes It Easy for Readers

Sticking to a uniform format makes it stress-free for essay reviewers to pinpoint citations in italics or quotation marks or even conduct their research. It also makes it easier for instructors to grade essays.

Shows Your Level of Understanding

Abiding by the directions of the different writing styles showcases that you comprehend the book title writing rules of your field and can follow them.

Useful for the Future

Understanding these rules early on prepares you for any future writing you will do at the undergraduate or postgraduate level. You’ll know when to capitalize, italicize, and use quotation marks, which makes writing easier.


Turning in a faultless essay is the key ingredient to scoring high marks. And inserting a publication’s title correctly is one way to perfect your essay. Presenting a book title in MLA style or other formats is not complicated.

Existing formats have handbooks you can refer to and ensure you follow the right book title writing rules. The above text should be useful, but remember, format styles evolve, and each edition presents some changes made to the previous.

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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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