Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Italicize the following (or underline if writing by hand or using a typewriter):

  • The titles of books, plays, book-length poems, magazines, and newspapers:
War and Peace TIME magazine
Twelfth NightNational Geographic
BeowulfMiami Herald
  • The titles of movies and radio and television programs:
Finding NemoLaw & Order
Car TalkMasterpiece Theater
  • The titles of works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and major musical compositions:
    Mona Lisa (painting)
    The Thinker (sculpture)
    Swan Lake (ballet)
    Porgy and Bess (opera)

Do not italicize musical compositions named by number or key: Symphony No. 4; Quartet in E minor.

  • Words, letters, and numbers used as such:
    How do you spell ache?
    Does your name end with a c or a k?
    The 6 looked like a 0.
  • Foreign words and phrases that have not been assimilated into English:
    Alex's Weltanschauung was gloomy.
    Ed made a tarte au citron for dessert.
  • Words and phrases that are being emphasized:
    Paris was the place to be in the '20s.
  • The names of the plaintiff and defendant in legal citations: Johnson v. Smith.
  • The names of ships, aircraft, and space vehicles:
    USS Maine
    The Spirit of St. Louis
    space shuttle Challenger
  • The New Latin names of genera, species, subspecies, and varieties in botanical and zoological nomenclature: Quercus alba; Homo sapiens.

CapitalizationA Concise Guide to Grammar and StylePunctuation
A Concise Guide to Grammar and Style
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