Italicizing Book Titles, or Should you?

I do. And I have done so for some time now. But it isn’t universal. It really depends on your personal preference and the style guide you learned from.

In college and I think also in high school I was taught MLA style. And they have you italicize book titles. But the AP Stylebook would have you place quotation marks around book titles in your writing. To me, italics are just easier to read and less confusing. When I come across quotation marks in written text I’m immediately thinking that I’m about to read some dialogue. Maybe that’s just me? No idea. I think you can also underline book titles if you want? But I believe the practice has been largely replaced by italicizing.

There may not be only one way to identify book titles in written text, but there is one thing that you shouldn’t do. You shouldn’t just write the title as if it were any other group of words without properly identifying it in some way. Why? Because how is your reader, whomever it may be, supposed to know that they’re reading the title of a book if the text looks no different from the rest?

The message is that italics, quotation marks, and underlines really don’t matter as long as you use one.

PS: I’m leaving on my trip I announced a little while back this week! I’d said I wouldn’t be blogging, but maybe I’ll post quick 100-125 word posts during my travels. I think.

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