MLA Format: Do You Quote Book Titles?

In this post, we’ll answer the question, “Do you quote book titles in MLA format?” and offer some helpful tips for writing great MLA citations.

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MLA Format: How to Quote Book Titles

In MLA style, book titles are not underlined or put in quotation marks. Instead, they are either italicized or placed in regular type.

Here are some examples:

The Great Gatsby is a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee.

MLA Format: When to Quote Book Titles

According to the MLA Handbook (8th edition), published by the Modern Language Association in 2016, you should “quote” book titles when you are referring to them in a paper. This means that you should put quotation marks around the titles of short stories, essays, poems, chapter titles, and other short works. However, you do not need to put quotation marks around the titles of books, movies, or TV shows; nor do you need to put quotation marks around the titles of magazine articles or newspaper articles.

MLA Format: Why Quote Book Titles

It is common practice to quote book titles when you are referring to them in academic writing. There are a few reasons for this:

1. It shows that you are engaging with the material and gives your reader a sense of your understanding of it.
2. Quoting book titles also allows you to more easily discuss specific passages from the text with your professor or peers.
3. It can be helpful to frame your own argument in relation to the larger conversation that is happening in the text.

To quote a book title in MLA format, enclose the title of the work in double quotation marks. For example, if you were writing an essay about Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, you might write: ” Scout Finch’s coming of age story in To Kill a Mockingbird raises important questions about race and justice.”

MLA Format: What Happens if You Don’t Quote Book Titles

If you’re not sure whether or not to quote a book title in your paper, it’s probably best to ask your teacher or professor. Failing to quote a book title when you’re supposed to can result in a lower grade, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

MLA Format: Tips for Quoting Book Titles

In MLA format, do you quote book titles? The answer may surprise you – book titles are not always enclosed in quotation marks. In fact, there are a number of different formatting options for book titles, and the one you choose will often depend on the style guide you’re following.

Here are some tips for quoting book titles in MLA format:

If your book title is short (less than four words), you can typically just include it in your paper without enclosing it in quotation marks. For example, if you were writing a paper about J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, you could just include the title in your paper without quotation marks.

If your book title is longer (more than four words) or contains a subtitle, you should enclose it in quotation marks when you include it in your paper. For example, if you were writing a paper about Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, you would want to enclose the title in quotation marks because it is longer than four words and has a subtitle.

Some style guides also recommend including additional information about the book (such as the author or publication date) in parentheses after the title. For example, if you were writing a paper about J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (1951), you would want to include the publication date in parentheses after the title because it is relevant to your paper.

Ultimately, whether or not you quote book titles in MLA format will depend on the style guide you’re using and your instructor’s preference. If you’re unsure about how to format book titles in MLA format, be sure to ask your instructor for guidance.

MLA Format: Examples of Quoting Book Titles

According to the MLA Handbook (8th edition), titles of books should be italicized. However, if you are quoting a portion of the book, you may choose to put the title in quotation marks.

For example:

In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield says, “I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life” (Salinger 221).
OR
In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield says that he is “the most terrific liar” (Salinger 221).

MLA Format: Do’s and Don’ts for Quoting Book Titles

Do you italicize book titles? Underline them? Put book titles in quotes? Here’s the real scoop on how to handle styling book titles in your writing.

What’s the correct way to show book titles when you’re writing? It depends on the type of work:

1. Titles of short works like poems, articles, short stories, or chapters should be put in quotation marks. You should only underline or italicize these titles if your teacher has asked you to do so as part of a specific assignment.
2. Titles of longer works such as books, magazines, newspapers, movies, and databases should be italicized or underlined. (Some style guides prefer that only longer works be italicized/underlined while shorter works like poems remain in quotation marks.)
3. Always check with your instructor, though—some instructors prefer that you use quotation marks all the time instead of underlining/italicizing at all!

MLA Format: Quoting Book Titles in Practice

Book titles are usually put in quotation marks when they are referred to in the text of an essay or article. When writing about other works, it’s hard to decide whether to underline or italicize the title or put it in quotation marks. MLA format generally treats works with no defined author (like works of literature) as having been written by an anonymous author, and thus the titling rules for these works are different from those for works with a known author.

As a general rule, longer works such as books (as opposed to shorter works like poems) are put in italics when referred to in the text of an essay or article. shorter works such as poems are put in quotation marks.

Here are some examples of how book titles might be put in practice:

In her acclaimed novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” J.D. Salinger tells the story of Holden Caulfield, a teenager who is kicked out of boarding school and becomes a wanderer in New York City.
In his poem “Ode to a Nightingale,” John Keats compares the singer of the nightingale to a poet: “Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! / No hungry generations tread thee down . . . ”

MLA Format: Troubleshooting Quoting Book Titles

It can be confusing trying to figure out whether you should quote a book title or not. However, there are some general rules that can help you figure it out. In MLA format, you never put quotation marks around the title of your own paper. This is because the title is part of the main text and should blend in. If you are unsure about whether or not to quote a book title, consult your professor or a trusted editing service.

MLA Format: Further Reading on Quoting Book Titles

As you dive into MLA format and begin to brainstorm ideas for your paper, you may find yourself wondering what the proper format is for quoting book titles. After all, there are a number of ways that you could go about doing it, and the rules may not be entirely clear.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to quoting book titles in MLA format:

-Titles of full-length works should be italicized. This includes books, plays, movies, television shows, and so on.
-Titles of shorter works should be enclosed in double quotation marks. This includes articles, chapter titles, poems, and so on.
-When quoting a title that appears within another title (such as an article title that appears within a book), enclose the title being quoted in single quotation marks.

With these guidelines in mind, you should have no trouble quoting book titles in your MLA paper.

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