How To Incorporate Titles Within Your Copy

When writing, you will occasionally need to include titles of works (e.g. movies, books) into your copy.  I’ve read plenty of written work and, for the most part, a lot of people don’t follow standard conventions.

Why Bother?

If you simply write a title in the middle of a text, it can lead to confusion.  Take this very simple sentence, for instance:  “I know Lolita.”  Now, Lolita can be your cousin or the title of that book from Nabokov.  Which is which?  Even the best English writing software will have a difficult time trying to figure out what you actually mean.  Integrating titles properly into your text makes sure your readers don’t end up with any of the same confusion.

Guidelines

There are some generally-accepted guidelines when it comes to incorporating titles into your text.

1. Capitalize main words.  All words in the title that aren’t prepositions and conjunctions will need to be capitalized.

2. Capitalize all words that are at least four letters long (including prepositions and conjunctions).

3. Capitalize the first and last words of each title (including prepositions and conjunctions).

4. If necessary, you can further make the titles clearer by either enclosing them in quotes or italicizing them.

5. If a work’s title is in a foreign language, always use its English version instead.