How to Write a Book Title in an Essay MLA – Questions Answered

How to Write a Book Title in an Essay MLA: Easy Tips 

Writing great essays is often considered one of the most challenging tasks by college students. Like all formal projects at this level, professors expect essays to adhere to the standard formatting and citation rules. Unfortunately, most students don’t know how to write book titles in their papers, meaning they risk getting bad grades. On the other hand, maybe you need to cite a book as a class reading to inform your argument, or you want to include a book title as part of your review. Whatever the case, here are useful ways and tips to help you write a book title in your essay. 

Writing a Book Title in an Essay: General Rules

When it comes to writing great academic essays, students are expected to follow strict rules for formatting and citing documents. For example, most styles require that writers give the author’s name and the book’s title in italics or quotation marks. This italicization rule ensures that readers can distinguish the book name from the rest of the text, aiding comprehension and preventing confusion. However, in cases where the title is part of a more extensive work or when referring to an article, most styles recommend quotation marks as a way of marking the source. 

Another essential thing to identify is that the formatting approach your choose for writing the full title of books in your paper has nothing to do with grammar and syntax guidelines. Of course, you need to ensure that your final draft is free from typos and mistakes. However, what determines how you format a full title has all to do with the regulations set out by the style guide for writing essays in your department. Such standards aim to ensure consistency and professionalism in academic essay writing. 

Writing Various Types of Titles

When it comes to writing great essays, titles of books should be formatted in the same manner as other significant works like publications and newspapers. The general requirement is to have the book title placed in italics or quotation marks to distinguish it from the rest of the text. 

However, smaller materials like a chapter title, short stories, or an article don’t have to be italicized. Instead, you should use quotation marks to emphasize and distinguish them from the rest of the text. If you are unsure how to tackle your assignment, consider working with a professional essay service

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

The Modern Language Association has very clear guidelines for formatting book titles. Students must properly capitalize nouns, principal words, pronouns, and adverbs. Understand that the book’s title should be taken from an authoritative source location, like the title page. Make sure to cite all your sources using the latest MLA style guidelines. 

Another dilemma college students face is whether there are strict rules for punctuating a book title or short stories in MLA or whether there is room for creativity. Other than making sure to place the full title in italics or quotation marks, you need to double-check the accuracy of your punctuation. If the marks form part of the title, they should be italicized or placed within the quotation marks. Do not capitalize coordinating conjunctions and articles when using the MLA style for the title page of a book. 

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

Mostly used in the behavioral and social sciences, the APA (American Psychological Association) style offers very specific guidelines for writing book tiles and short stories in essays. Here, we must repeat that different formatting approaches have different rules for using quotation marks and italics in writing. As such, you must be clear on the style you intend to use for your paper and remain consistent throughout the text. For the APA style, each full title in an essay should be placed in italics.

APA also offers specific instructions for the capitalization of titles. The student is expected to capitalize proper names, the first word, and all major words in the title. As is the case with Chicago and MLA, do not capitalize subordinating conjunctions. Most importantly, always capitalize the first word and the last word of the title when using the APA style to format your essay. 

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

Consistency is critical if you want to achieve good results in formatting a title in your essay using the Chicago style. It means the rules should apply to each case throughout your writing. Choosing to emphasize anything you want haphazardly diminishes the readability and appeal of your document. 

Also, remember that the Chicago style of formatting follows most of the rules developed by the APA approach, including the one on using italics to identify titles of books. For this style, however, ensure to place the title close to the beginning of your sentence. You also need to ensure that the title is properly capitalized and punctuated. If punctuation marks form a part of the main title, they should also be placed in italics. 

Should We Underline or Italicize Book Titles?

It is one of the most common dilemmas college students face. When it comes to whether one ought to underline, use quotation marks, or italicize titles of books, the answer is it depends. How you handle titles in your paper is a matter of style, meaning that grammar rules do not cover it. 

Certain publications don’t follow any standard guidelines and adhere to their own rules, sometimes requiring the underlining of titles of books. So using italics, quotation marks, or underlining shouldn’t worry you too much. Instead, focus on choosing an appropriate style and sticking with it. 

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

For instance, according to the Chicago, APA, and MLA styles, titles of books and other complete works should be italicized. On the other hand, the Associated Press guidelines require the use of quotation marks around the titles of books. Please note that each academic project comes with strict guidelines for formatting titles of books. 

In other words, how you write a book’s title in your paper will depend on the style used to write and organize the rest of the essay. A general rule, whether for Chicago, APA, or modern language association, is to use capitalization and italicization when writing titles of books. For the AP style, use quotation marks. 

Why Is Using the Correct Format So Important?

Proper formatting is important in academic writing as it facilitates clear communication, signals to the reader that you are knowledgeable about the writing and communication standards in the field, and conveys a degree of professionalism. Also, students need to understand that properly formatting documents makes them readable and easily comprehensible, ensuring consistency and coherence. Also, using established guidelines to format your paper makes your work easier and allows you to focus on generating quality content for your essay. 

A Final Word 

The main goal of effective academic writing is to persuade readers to embrace certain perspectives based on evidence. In other words, a good academic essay should respond to a question task, have a thesis statement, present or discuss an idea, and include relevant examples and evidence. When writing a book title, make sure to follow the right formatting and capitalization conventions. 



Writing has always been a big part of who I am. I love expressing my opinions in the form of written words and even though I may not be an expert in certain topics, I believe that I can form my words in ways that make the topic understandable to others. Conatct:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *