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Editorial Style Guide

General Style Preferences: Names

Titles of Works
In keeping with the Chicago Manual of Style, italicize and capitalize titles of full-length, freestanding works: books, periodicals (magazines, journals, etc.) and named blogs, newspapers, museum and gallery art exhibitions and catalogs, individual works of art (paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, etc.), movies, musicals, operas and other long musical compositions, long poetic works, plays, album-length recordings, TV and radio shows, and regularly appearing cartoons or comic strips. Also see Capitalization.

Exceptions:

  • The Bible, its books and sections, and the Quran are not italicized.
  • Large-scale exhibitions and fairs (e.g., world’s fairs) are capitalized, but not italicized.
  • The names of works of antiquity, whose creators are often unknown, are usually not italicized.
  • Headlines and course titles are not italicized.

Note: When writing specifically for the news media, follow AP style (no italics) and use quotation marks to enclose the titles of books, plays, etc. in running text. For readability, do not italicize when hyperlinking these titles in an online publication.

In running text, use roman type, capitalize, and use quotation marks around the titles of lectures, book chapters, articles, papers and other conference presentations, blog entries, most poems, speeches, songs and other shorter musical compositions, and TV or radio show episodes. Do not enclose headlines or course titles in quotation marks. The names of broadcast networks and channels are set in roman.

Examples:

  • Blue Moon III, a 2011 piece in the exhibition Visionary Sugar: Works by Kiki Smith
  • the Venus de Milo; Michelangelo’s David
  • the “Made in America” episode of The Sopranos on HBO
  • Handel’s Messiah
  • “All You Need Is Love” from the Beatles’ album Yellow Submarine
  • The Miles Davis composition “All Blues” is included on Kind of Blue, released in 1959.
  • “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess
  • According to Proverbs 17:22, a merry heart does good like medicine; the Gospel according to John
  • “Life history traits of lianas during tropical forest succession” was published in the journal Biotropica.
  • Dante’s Inferno
  • Carolyn Forché’s powerful poem “The Colonel” appeared in her 1981 book The Country between Us.
  • In May 1975, Doonesbury won Gary Trudeau a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning.

In all titles, lowercase articles (a, an, the); the word to; conjunctions of three or fewer letters (and, but, for, or, nor, etc.), unless they are the first word of the title; and prepositions of any length, except when they are used adverbially or adjectivally. Also see Capitalization.

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