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Use of Italics in Text

Italics are used to distinguish certain words from others within the text. Below are some rules for when to use italics while writing.


Generally, italics are used for the titles of things that can stand by themselves. Thus, the titles of novels and journals must be differentiated from, 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, ‘the’ is not italicized, even when it is part of the title (the New York Times), and the same goes for name of the city in which the newspaper is published unless that name is part of the title: the Hartford Courant, but the London Times.

Other titles that we would italicize include the following:

· Journals and Magazines: Time, U.S. News and World Report, Crazyhorse, Georgia Review

· Plays: Waiting for Godot, Long Day's Journey Into Night

· Long Musical Pieces: Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite (but ‘Waltz of the Flowers’), Schubert's Winterreise (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: Slingblade, Shine, The Invisible Man

· Television and Radio Programs: Dateline, Seinfeld, Fresh Air, Car Talk

· Artworks: the Venus de Milo, Whistler's The Artist's Mother

· Famous Speeches: Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Washington's Second Inaugural Address (when that is the actual title of the speech)

· Long Poems (that are extensive enough to appear in a book by themselves): Longfellow's Evangeline, Milton's Paradise Lost, Whitman's Leaves of Grass

· Pamphlets: New Developments in AIDS Research


The titles of long sacred works are not italicized: the Bible, the Koran. Nor are the tiles of the books in the Bible italicized: Genesis, Revelation, 1 Corinthians. When an exclamation mark or question mark is part of a title, it is important to make sure that that mark is italicized along with the title,

· My favorite book is Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

· I love Dr. Suess's Oh, the Places You'll Go!

(Do not add an additional period to end such sentences.) If the end mark is not part of the title, but is added to indicate a question or exclamation, do not italicize that mark.

· Did you enjoy Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain?

Date: 2015-01-11; view: 1094

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