When to Use Quotation Marks for Titles

Matt Ellis

Do you know when to use quotation marks for titles? Knowing whether to use italics or quotation marks for titles is one of the most common problems students have, especially when it comes to academic writing where you discuss your sources. Luckily, there are consistent themes that can help you pick the right format for each title, no matter what style guide you’re following. 

Below, we explain exactly when to use quotation marks in titles (and when to use italics instead). We’ll cover the title rules for the three main style guides—APA, MLA, and Chicago—and give you some guidelines for figuring out which kinds of titles use which format. 

How to properly quote a title with quotation marks

Quotation marks (“ ”) are mostly for showing speech or copying passages verbatim from other works, but sometimes they’re used for more than just punctuation . For certain types of works, they’re used to set apart titles. 

The general rule is to use quotation marks for titles of short works such as articles, poems, songs, essays, or short stories. By contrast, use italics for larger works such as books, movies, and the names of periodicals. We provide a complete list below. 

When to use italics or quotation marks for titles

Some types of work italicize titles , and some use quotation marks, but how do you know which is which? Here’s a quick list of what kinds of works use each. 

Works that use quotation marks in titles

  • journal articles
  • newspaper and magazine articles
  • blog and online news articles
  • essay titles
  • poems (except epic poems)
  • short stories
  • episode titles of TV shows, podcasts, and other serial works
  • page titles for websites
  • section or part titles within a larger work
  • short-form videos, such as those on YouTube

Examples of titles with quotation marks

“A Policy Framework for the Growing Influence of Private Equity on Health Care Deliver”

( Journal of the American Medical Association )

“Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to consider sewer rate increase”

( The Press Democrat )

“E.U. Approves Microsoft’s $69 Billion Deal for Activision”

( The New York Times )

“A Dream Deferred” 

(Langston Hughes)

Short story:

“Everything that Rises Must Converge”

(Flannery O’Connor)

“A Lonely Coast”

(Annie Proulx)

“ (Sittin ’ On) The Dock of the Bay ”

(Otis Redding)

“Think About Things”

(Daoi Freyr)

“The Wolves”

( The Wild Robot Escapes )

“The First Tee”

( The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever )

“The Danger of a Single Story”

(Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

“ Creativity in Management ”

(John Cleese)

Podcast episodes:

“The Lives of Others”

( This American Life )

“Alone@Work: Miles To Go Before I’m Me”

( Rough Translation )

“Responsible AI”




Works that use italics in titles

  • anthologies
  • epic poems (not regular poems)
  • periodical names (magazines, newspapers, and news websites)
  • radio shows
  • TV shows (not individual episodes)
  • podcasts (not individual episodes)
  • music albums
  • video games
  • operas and long musical compositions
  • classic art like paintings and sculptures
  • dissertations
  • legal cases
  • large vehicles such as ships, aircrafts, and spacecrafts

When to use quotation marks for titles for each style guide

While the basics are the same—italics for the titles of long works and quotation marks for the titles of short works—some minor details may vary. Here’s a quick rundown of when to use quotation marks in titles for the APA, MLA, and Chicago styles. 

Quotations marks in titles for APA

The APA format follows the list above: It uses quotation marks for all types of work mentioned. The only particular rule they have about quotation marks in titles is that they are not used in the reference list for articles and chapters.  

In APA, the reference list is the name of the bibliography, like a works cited page . When writing a full citation that mentions an article or book chapter, simply write the title with neither quotation marks nor italics. However, if the same title is written within the text (or in a copyright attribution), use quotation marks. 

Quotations marks in titles for Chicago

In general, Chicago style follows the list above. It does, nevertheless, list a few extra types of works that the other style guides do not. 

Quotation marks for titles:

  • fairy tales and nursery rhymes

Italics for titles: 

  • serialized cartoons and comic strips

Quotations marks in titles for MLA

The use of quotation marks in titles for MLA format is very straightforward. Simply use the appropriate format for the type of work, as indicated in the large list above. 

When to use single or double quotation marks for titles

There are two types of quotation marks: single quotation marks (‘ ’) and double quotation marks (“ ”). 

In general, American English uses double quotation marks. The only time we use single quotation marks for titles is to replace quotation marks within another pair of quotation marks. 

For example, if you were writing an article about Langston Hughes’s poems—highlighting “Harlem” in particular—the title of your article might be something like this:

“Reflections on ‘Harlem’ and Other Poems” 

Notice how, when we talk about the poem “Harlem” on its own, we use the standard double quotation marks. However, when we mention it within another pair of quotation marks, we use single quotation marks instead. 

This is done simply for the sake of clarity. It would be confusing to use double quotation marks within double quotation marks, so this makes reading a bit easier. Let’s look at another example: 

EPISODE TITLE: “The Winds of Winter” (episode of Game of Thrones )

ESSAY TITLE: “Why ‘The Winds of Winter’ Is the Best Episode of Game of Thrones ”

Keep in mind that if a title in quotation marks is used within an italicized title, double quotation marks are used. For example, look at how we write the title of a full book that collects Roald Dahl’s short stories: 

“The Landlady” and Other Short Stories

It’s also worth noting that this is only the convention in American English. In British English, single quotes and double quotes are switched! That means titles and speech quotes use single quotation marks most of the time and double quotation marks are used only within single quotes. Keep that in mind if you’re ever reading a British piece of writing . 

Quotation marks for titles FAQs

Why use quotation marks for titles.

Quotation marks set apart the titles of short works like articles, poems, songs, essays, or short stories. Longer works like books or movies use italics instead. 

When do you use quotation marks for titles?

Use quotation marks for the titles of articles, essays, poems, short stories, songs, chapters, lectures, pages for websites, episodes of serial works (such as TV shows or podcasts), names of sections or parts in larger works, and short-form videos such as those on YouTube. 

When do you use italics?

Use italics for the titles of books, movies, plays, TV shows, podcasts, video games, apps, classic art (like paintings and sculptures), music albums, legal cases, dissertations, anthologies, reports, periodicals (like magazines or newspapers), operas and long musical compositions, and large vehicles (like ships or aircraft).

how to quote movie titles in an essay

How To Write A Movie Title In An Essay

Are you planning on referencing a movie in an essay you are writing? You’ll have to find out how to write the movie title down correctly, or you may lose points. It might seem like a no-brainer at first glance, but you’d be surprised about the variety of approaches different style guides take to writing movie titles.

With this guide, you’ll be able to get writing a movie title in an essay right.

How To Write a Movie Title In An Essay

How should you write a movie title in an essay — whether that essay is a movie analysis, or one not related to cinematography or creative writing at all, like one about history, psychology, or sociology? That depends, in short, on the context in which you’re writing your essay.

If you are hoping to reference a movie title in a high school essay, you may not have to use a particular style guide — a manual that instructs you on the correct way to incorporate particular elements into your essay. In this case, your best bet is to use title case and to italicize the movie title.

Title case capitalizes all major words in a title or headline, including nouns, pronouns, verbs, and adverbs. Minor words such as short prepositions and articles (the, a, an) remain in lower case. The first and last words of the title should always be capitalized, regardless of what they are. To make it easier for you, we’ll recommend that you also capitalize prepositions with more than four letters, such as “about” and “underneath”, though some style guides do not do this. Since you are using italics, there is absolutely no need to use quotation marks as well.

Have you got no clue what we’re talking about? Let’s see this in action. (Warning: Some of the links definitely contain spoilers if you haven’t watched any of these movies yet!)

  • The BBC refers to “Spider-Man: Far From Home” , without any italics.
  • Wikipedia follows the structure recommended above, as in, for instance, “ War of the Worlds “.
  • Popular movie review platform Screen Rant follows the structure described above as well, in the body of their texts. “ One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest ” is one example. To allow you to see as many example as possible, we’re linking to a post of theirs about the 15 movies with the longest titles .

If you are required to use a style guide, such as AP, APA, or MLA — common if you are writing a college essay — you will have less freedom. On the other hand, each writing style will also tell you exactly what to do, so you won’t be in the dark.

Do you not have the entire style manual lying around on your desk? No problem. We’ll make it easy for you.

Rules on Writing a Movie Title On An Essay

Whether you have been asked to use a particular style manual while citing and referencing movie titles in an essay, or you are committed to maintaining a consistent style yourself, style guides can be a little confusing. Here is a closer look at some of the most popular writing styles and their rules for writing movie titles.

You won’t just be writing the movie title in the body of your essay, of course, but also cite it in the references. Each style guide has specific guidelines on how to do this, as well.

In APA, you do this by:

  • Citing he director of the movie — last name, first initial.
  • Place the release year in brackets.
  • Follow this with the title.
  • Reference the medium used to watch it, for instance DVD.
  • Specify the location of the distributor, and the name of the distributor (for instance, California: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures).

In MLA, you:

  • List the director like this: Last name, First name.
  • Write the movie title.
  • Specify the name of the distributor.
  • Mention the release year.

In Harvard style, you would:

  • List the director by last name and first initial.
  • Follow with the location and name of the distributor.

Why Is Proper Formatting Important?

Style guides are conventions established to ensure consistency, which adds clarity to your essay. In practical terms, however, taking care to format the movie titles you may reference in any essays is important because not doing so will cause you to lose points, which will result in a lower grade.

You only have to familiarize yourself with the rules set out by a particular style manual once, and after that you will likely remember what they are. There is no good reason not to make sure that you get this right, and every reason to make the effort.

Is a movie title underlined in an essay?

That is actually a very interesting question. Nowadays, nearly everyone writing an essay will do so on a PC or laptop computer, using word-processing software. This trend has led the practice of underlining movie titles to go all but extinct, since it’s just as easy to italicize a movie title as to underline it.

Underlining the things we now italicize used to be more common, because people wrote things by hand or used typewriters. Especially when handwriting something in cursive, italics simply aren’t possible. That’s why underlining movie titles, book titles, and even scientific names used to be more common. Underlining movie titles remains the correct alternative to italicizing them if you are writing an essay by hand.

Do you also include the year of release with the movie title?

Yes, you should mention the release year as you cite a movie in your references. There is no need to do so in the body of your text, unless multiple movies exist by the same title. With remakes, this has become more common in recent times.

Do you quote a movie title in an essay?

Place quotation marks around a movie title in an essay only if you are using AP style.

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How to Write a Title of a Movie in a Paper

The formatting and capitalization of a movie title depends on the style guide you are using for your paper. The Modern Language Association, American Psychological Association and Chicago style place movie titles in italics, while Associated Press style uses quotes for such titles. When referring to a movie in the body of a paper, all of the major style guides use title case, which means all of the major words in the title are capitalized.

APA, MLA and Chicago style

Movie or film titles are formatted the same in APA, Chicago and MLA style. In each of these styles, the movie title is italicized in the body of the paper. For instance:

Pirates of the Caribbean broke from Disney's tradition of releasing more mature titles under alternate studio names.

Fritz Lang's M deals with the issues of suspicion and punishment in Weimar Germany.

In the body of a paper, APA, Chicago and MLA all use title case capitalization for titles of movies. All major words -- such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and pronouns -- are capitalized. Minor words -- such as prepositions, conjunctions and articles -- are lower case unless it is the first word of the title.

APA also specifies that all words more than four letters should be capitalized: Gone With the Wind . APA uses sentence case capitalization for movie titles in reference lists, which means only the first word of a title and proper nouns (names of specific people, places or things) are capitalized: For whom the bell tolls .

Associated Press Style

In AP style, movie titles are placed in quotes. Note that the normal rules for quotes within quotes still apply. Here are two examples:

"Star Wars" broke box office records when it was first released.

"I am excited to work on any film as complex as 'The Prestige,'" he said.

AP style uses title case capitalization for movie titles. However, the AP stylebook specifies that any word that is four or more letters as well as the first and last word of a title should always be capitalized.

  • Rasmussen College: When writing a paper, do I use italics for all titles?
  • Purdue University Online Writing Lab: MLA Formatting and Style Guide
  • The Chicago Manual of Style Online: Capitalization, Titles
  • RMIT University: Harvard Referencing Guide for Visual Material
  • Journalist's Resource: Associated Press Style Basics

Jon Zamboni began writing professionally in 2010. He has previously written for The Spiritual Herald, an urban health care and religious issues newspaper based in New York City, and online music magazine eBurban. Zamboni has a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from Wesleyan University.

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MLA Style Guide, 8th & 9th Editions: Title of source

  • Works Cited entries: What to Include
  • Title of source
  • Title of container
  • Contributors
  • Publication date
  • Supplemental Elements
  • Book with Personal Author(s)
  • Book with Organization as Author
  • Book with Editor(s)
  • Parts of Books
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  • Websites, Social Media, and Email
  • About In-text Citations
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  • MLA 9th Edition Quick Guide
  • Submit Your Paper for MLA Style Review

Title of source (Works Cited)

The title of source is the second core element in the Works Cited entry. In general, the title of a work is taken from the title page of the publication.

  • Capitalize all principal words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.). Do not capitalize articles, prepositions, or conjunctions when they fall in the middle of a title.
  • Separate a subtitle with a colon and a space.
  • Italicize titles if the source is self-contained and independent. Titles of books, plays, films, periodicals, databases, and websites are italicized.
  • Place titles in quotation marks if the source is part of a larger work. Articles, essays, chapters, poems, webpages, songs, and speeches are placed in quotation marks.
  • Example of a journal article title which includes the title of a book: "Unbearable Weight of Authenticity: Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and Theory of 'Touristic Reading'."
  • Example of a journal article title which includes the title of a short story: "Individualism in O'Connor's 'A Good Man is Hard to Find'."

Danticat, Edwidge.  Brother, I'm Dying.   Knopf , 2007.  

Chapter title in a book or anthology : 

Howard, Rebecca Moore. “Avoiding Sentence Fragments.” Writing Matters: A Handbook for Writing and Research, 2nd ed., McGraw Hill, 2014, pp. 600-10.

Journals, Magazines, and Newspapers:

Houtman, Eveline. “Mind-Blowing: Fostering Self-Regulated Learning in Information Literacy Instruction.” Communications in Information Literacy, vol. 9, no. 1, 2015, pp. 6-18. www.comminfolit.org/index.php?journal=cil&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=v9i1p6&path%5B%5D=203​.

Meade, Rita.  "It's Not Too Late to Advocate."  S crewy Decimal,  1 June 2016, www.screwydecimal.com/2016/06/its-not-too-late-to-advocate.html.

Entire Website:

Meade, Rita. Screwy Decimal .   2010-16, www.screwydecimal.com/.

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how to quote movie titles in an essay

how to quote movie titles in an essay

How to Write a Movie Title in an Essay or Article

how to quote movie titles in an essay

When you're writing a paper or article in school or at work, you may be in a situation where you need to write a movie title in your writing. But how should you format them? Should you use italics? Or quotation marks? Or maybe both? Or neither…

The first thing to note is that the rules will be different depending on whether you’re writing an article or an essay. In this guide, we'll explain how to write one in an essay or article so that your writing looks professional and polished. Refer to the relevant section, depending on the piece you are creating. 

The main things to know are:

  • If you are writing a movie title in an article, the format you use is up to you (or the company you work for). Pick a format and stick to it.
  • If you are writing a movie title in an essay, then you should follow your university's or employer's referencing style guidelines. 

Read on for suggestions of different formats for articles, and more in-depth guidance around different university referencing styles.

How to Write a Movie Title in an Article 

Let's begin by exploring why you need a specific format, and examining some key principles and rules around writing a movie title in an article.

Why You Need a Specific Format 

So picture this. You’re writing an article and want to refer to a particular movie - perhaps to illustrate a point, or maybe you’re critiquing it. But you’re unsure how to format it. You don’t want to be marked down for formatting it incorrectly, so you consider leaving it out to avoid the trouble. Not on our watch!

But hold on a sec! Why should you even worry about this? Why do movie titles need to be formatted correctly anyway? Well, it’s simple really. If you don’t differentiate the title from the rest of the text, your readers might not understand you’re referring to a movie title. Imagine, for instance, that you wrote:

I finally got around to watching three billboards outside ebbing missouri.

Can we agree this sentence doesn’t make any sense? With this punctuation (i.e. none) your reader may well believe that you headed out into the night and found a couple of billboards to look at for some time. 

So do you see why it’s important to have some kind of format for writing movie titles? 

Key Principles and Rules

Now here’s the tricky bit: with articles, there’s no hard and fast rule on how to format a movie title in your writing. There are many different options and any of them would be acceptable to use in an article you’re going to publish online or physically. 

So what to do?

Our first advice is to check in with your editor/head of copywriting / your point of reference at the company you work at. They will most likely have a specific format they like to use and will be able to share that with you.

That’s if you are writing for a company.

If you’re self-publishing, say, for example, on your website or Medium.com, then you’re the boss, friend. The conventions you use are completely up to you. 

But here are a few key principles and rules:

  • Common conventions are to use italics or quotations marks
  • Choose one format and stick with it - not only throughout the article but in everything you write
  • Keep an eye out for the correct spelling of the movie. For example, don’t forget the comma in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. 
  • Title case is a great way to further demarcate the movie title from the rest of the text to make it abundantly clear that it’s a movie title.

How to Write a Movie Title in an Essay 

Now let's turn our attention towards writing a movie title in an essay.

New scenario. You’re writing an essay for your college or university course. Perhaps you’re using the movie as an example, or maybe you’re critiquing it.

But you don’t want to be marked down for getting it wrong, so you consider avoiding mentioning it altogether. But that would be a shame! Let us help you. 

Here are some general rules to get you started:

  • Follow the rules of your school’s academic writing style (APA, MLA, AP, or Chicago.)
  • Use title case
  • Use italics or quotation marks (depending on the writing style)

Academic Referencing Styles

There are different academic referencing/writing styles in the English language, and these vary depending on the education establishment. Different styles have different rules that govern the way that you might write, punctuate and cite within your essay.

The four most common styles are Associated Press (AP), Chicago, American Psychological Association (APA), and Modern Language Association (MLA).

Of course, there are many more than just four in existence, but these are the prevalent ones. 

But why are there so many different writing styles, we hear you ask? Quite simply, this is to cater to different fields. For instance, the scientific sector places a lot of importance on using recent research, hence the APA style places the date before anything. Humanities tend to use the MLA style which places the author's name first. 

Write a Movie Title in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles

Luckily, the APA, MLA, and Chicago styles all use the same format for movie titles, so it’ll be easy to remember.

These styles all require that you place the movie title in italics. Here are some examples:

  • Saving Private Ryan
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 

Do not use any quotation marks! This is not necessary and will be considered incorrect.

You’ll also notice that the title is written in the title case. This means you capitalize certain words in the title. More on that in the next section.

Write a Movie Title in AP style

The AP style is the exception here since it does not use italics to format movie titles. Instead, you’re required to use quotation marks. Let’s use the same examples as above, to make the difference clear:

  • “Kill Bill”
  • “Saving Private Ryan”
  • “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”

Again, here, remember to use title case. 

Write a Movie Title in Title Case

Using title case means that you capitalize certain words in the title. But depending on the writing style you’re using, there are different rules on which words need capitalizing and which ones don't. Mostly, they disagree on whether or not to capitalize minor words.

Read on to find out the rules for each style, to ensure you’re writing it correctly. 

Note that if you’re writing an article, this will again depend on the rules that the company you work for is using, or if you’re writing for your own business, then you can make your own rules. Remember to pick a structure and stick to it. Consistency is key!

  • Capitalize the major words.
  • Lowercase the articles the, a, and an.
  • Capitalize the ‘to’ in an infinitive (e.g., I Want To Eat Cake)
  • Capitalize the first and last words (overrides other rules)
  • Capitalize all words of four letters or more (overrides other rules)
  • Lowercase the second word after a hyphenated prefix

Chicago Style

  • Lowercase articles, prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions
  • Lowercase the second part of Latin species names.
  • Lowercase articles, prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions.
  • Do NOT capitalize ‘to’ in infinitives (e.g., I Want to Eat Cake).

As you can see, all four styles share some common rules but are different in certain small details. 

Incorrect ways to write a movie title

Here are some examples of incorrect ways to write a movie title:

  • Saving private ryan
  • Eternal SUNSHINE of a Spotless Mind
  • “Shawshank Redemption”
  • One Flew Over the cuckoo’s Nest

Can you figure out what is wrong with each of these examples? We’ll give you a clue! It has to do with incorrect usage of title cases, block capitals and quotation marks.

A note on reference lists

We just wanted to include a little note here to remind you that when citing a movie in your essay, you should include it in your reference list, or bibliography, depending on the academic writing style you are using. 

Again, the structure of your reference list will vary depending on whether you’re writing in APA, AP, MLA or Chicago, and you can find guidance on this in an official manual for the style (or online).

Other Points of Interest

There are some other things you might be interested in knowing that are related to the topic of how to write a movie title in an essay or article, so we’re detailing those below.

How to write a quote from a movie

So you’ve successfully referenced a movie using the rules outlined above. Now you’d like to quote a line from the movie. Which conventions should you use for this? 

For this, you would use quotation marks. For instance, if you want to quote this famous line from the movie Star Wars , you would write: “May the force be with you.”

Remember that if you’re writing an essay, you might need to also include the reference in your in-text citation. Let us show you a full example of what this would look like:

History was made when General Dodonna said “May the force be with you.” in the iconic movie Star Wars (Lucas, 1977).

How to write the name of an episode of a TV show 

If you wanted to cite a TV series, you would follow the same rules as those for citing a movie - as outlined above. But what if you also wanted to include the name of the episode you’re referring to? 

Similarly to inserting a direct quote from a movie, in this case, we recommend using quotation marks. For example:

Friends , “The One Where Everybody Finds Out.”

If writing an essay, please refer to your academic writing style’s guide to learn about conventions around formatting and using title case.

Where does the word ‘movie’ come from?

Dating back as far as the early 1900s, the word ‘movie’ stems from the term ‘moving picture’.

Before they could be projected onto a screen for wider viewing, the first movies could only be seen by one person at a time, using an Electrotachyscope, Kinetoscope, or Mutoscope.

And there we have it! We hope that this article has helped you better understand the conventions around writing a movie title in your essay or article, so you can feel confident about handing in your essay or turning in your article to your line manager.

To summarize, when you’re writing an article, the rules are pretty much up to you if writing for your own business, or your manager if writing for another company. Check-in with them to find out which conventions are already in place.

If writing an essay, then you should always use the structure set out in the academic writing style’s manual. Find out first of all which style you are expected to use. 

Now that that's done, it's time to get writing! 

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how to quote movie titles in an essay

How to Write a Movie Title in an Essay: Examples and Tips

How to Write a Movie Title

Writing essays is hard on its own. But there is also a whole bunch of different tiny details that can affect the final grade. These details, though may seem insignificant, can either make your essay worth an A+ or turn it into a real disaster. And one of such important but small details is the way you are writing movie titles in your paper.

If you are now wondering who even needs to know how to write movie titles in essays, it’s quite a natural concern. However, there are multiple occasions when you may need to do this. Namely, you will definitely have to mention the title when writing an essay about a specific movie, discovering the plot, and reflecting on your experience from watching it. Besides, you may need to use titles when supporting your ideas with quotes from movies or using them as examples.

But how to do it right?

This article, written by our write my essay service professionals, will be your ultimate guide to writing movie titles in essays in different formats, so sit back and let’s get down to it!

Writing Movie Titles: Key Principles and Rules

To succeed in writing an essay about a movie, follow these core principles and rules:

General rules

  • Discuss the movie background first;
  • Share your own experience;
  • Study the main ideas and topics, and discuss how they were disclosed in the movie;
  • Tell what lessons it can teach.

Basic grammar rules

  • Follow the required formatting style;
  • Write in the active voice;
  • Structure your work appropriately;
  • Make smooth transitions between ideas;
  • Keep an eye on the correct punctuation of headings and titles.

These are the main tips from our write my essay for me service to keep in mind when writing a paper about a film. But, as we said earlier, there is also one more detail to pay special attention to - the titles.

So, let’s figure out how to punctuate movie titles the right way. First, to understand how to write movie titles in a paper, you need to understand that there are different formatting styles, each of which has different rules. The two most popular are MLA and APA.

So, now, let’s move on to the most important part and define how to write movie titles in an essay right!

How to Write Movie Titles in MLA?

As we said earlier, the MLA formatting style is one of the most common styles for essay writing. Just like any other style, it has its own manual that dictates how to organize and format your essay the right way.

Okay, but what is MLA format in the first place? This style, created by the Modern Language Association, is basically a collection of citing and formatting guidelines used in academic writing.

So, how to write movie titles MLA you may wonder? The MLA format for movie titles dictates that all titles should be formatted uniformly throughout the entire paper. And, basically, there are only two main rules 

  • All first letters of the major words should be capitalized, excluding insignificant words like conjunctions, articles, prepositions, etc. (except those placed at the beginning of a sentence)
  • All titles placed in the body of your work should also be italicized.

The Great Gatsby

The Lord of the Rings

Now you know how to write movie titles in an essay using the MLA format, but if you still have any troubles with ' do my paper ' request, just contact us! So let’s move on to the APA format.

How to Write Movie Titles in APA?

Another widely used format you may be required to use when writing an essay about movies is called APA. It was developed by the American Psychological Association and is most often applicable to academic writing and research performed in different fields of social sciences (e.g., sociology, psychology, anthropology, and so on).

If you are wondering how to write movie titles in APA style, the good news is that you already know how to do it. Here is one thing to remember - MLA, APA, and Chicago style as well, all imply using the same title case capitalization approach for all film titles. Also, all these three formats imply using italics.

Thus, the core rules for formatting AP style movie titles are no different from those we mentioned for the MLA styles:

  • Capitalize the first letters of important words, leaving out prepositions, articles, etc.
  • Italicize the entire title.

The only difference you should know about is that APA also requires you to capitalize words that include 4 letters or more (even if it’s a preposition, etc.).

Gone With the Wind

Tori Spelling as a Good Character to Write About in Your Essay

For a paper on a movie, a great choice can be the TV series Beverly Hills.

With its main cast featuring Tori Spelling, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, and others, Beverly Hills is a classic. The show spans a wide range of acute social issues like domestic violence, rape, homophobia, racism, teen suicide, early pregnancy, and many others. Thus, it’s very relevant for youth.

One of the main characters you can focus on is Donna Martin, performed by Tori Spelling Troop Beverly Hills. What makes Tori Spelling 90210 notable is that she is one of the few actors to appear consistently throughout the entire show.

What do you need to know about Tori Spelling? A 48-year-old star of a cult show is a daughter of a famous producer Aaron Spelling, who, in fact, produced Beverly Hills. She was only 17 when she got the role. And, appearing in the show from 1990 to 2000, she was twice nominated for the Young Artist Award.

In 2019, Tori also participated in the show “The Masked Singer.” In the show, Tori Spelling nickname was the Unicorn.

If you need any help with writing an essay about a movie or any other kind of paper contact our service with your ' do my essay for me ' request.

Older Than America Movie: Title Ideas for Your Essay

If the idea of writing an essay about the Beverly Hills series didn’t inspire you, another great subject for your paper could be the Older than America film.

Older than America movie was released in 2008. It is a suspense drama movie directed by Georgina Lightning and featuring Georgina herself, as well as Bradley Cooper, Adam Beach, Tantoo Cardinal, and Wes Studi.

If you are wondering what makes Older than America a great topic choice for an essay, the movie displays several unique stories that explore the devastating impacts of Native American Boarding Schools on children from the American Indian community. 

What should your title be like? Given the wide range of deep topics discussed in this movie, the number of possible title options is vast. Here are a few samples:

  • Older than America: The Causes and Effects of Cultural Genocide
  • The Hardship of Assimilation in a Culturally Different Society on the Example of Older than America Movie
  • Older than America: Is It Ethical to Try to “Civilize” Children and Youth Into a Different Culture

Need help with your paper? Just drop us a line saying, 'please, write an essay for me ,' and we’ll help you get the highest grade with ease!

Writing Movie Titles in Essays

So, now you should know how to write the title of a movie in an essay. We’ve also shared the example of MLA and AP style movie titles. And the only question that is still left unanswered is how exactly you should write an essay about movies and what you can do to make it flawless?

In this part of our DoMyEssay article, based on the example of a cult TV show Beverly Hills, we will tell you how to start an essay about a movie, how to write it well, and how to ensure success. Here come the main tips and tricks you need to know:

  • Watch it fully (maybe even a couple of times).
  • Write about the background. For instance, speaking of Beverly Hills, try to dig deeper to define what else is there apart from teen drama related to relationships and friendships; namely, as we said earlier, there is a wide range of acute problems discussed in the show, and you should recognize them.
  • Tell about your own reflection on the piece. Tell what you grasped from watching Beverly Hills, how it affected you, and how you feel after watching it. Important: do not repeat the background and plot, instead make a reflection on the characters and events that impressed you the most.
  • Assess it critically. Analyze the storyline and topics discussed in Beverly Hills, assess how producers used music and special effects to make a better impression, evaluate the acting skills of the main cast, etc.
  • Finish with some lessons learned. Tell readers about the lessons you personally and youth, in general, learn from the series. Namely, the show teaches us many vital life lessons such as - parents always have great wisdom, appearances can be very deceiving, we can handle anything, etc.

Hopefully, this was helpful. Follow the tips our essay writers team shared, and you should be able to write a great essay without a hassle!

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Do You Italicize Movie Titles? Become An Essay Pro


Do you italicize movie titles? How many times have you been writing an essay, and suddenly you can’t remember whether to use italics, quotation marks, or other formats?

The short answer is that movie titles are always italicized. Read on to find out more about italics, and other important formatting tools in order to become an essay pro.

By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly when to use italics and quotations whenever you’re writing about movies and TV shows.

What Is Considered A Movie?

First, let’s get our definitions straightened up. What’s the difference between a movie, and let’s say, a clip on YouTube or a short film?

In general, most of us know what a movie is when we see it, but for the sake of clarification, movies do not include YouTube clips, short movies (such as Pixar’s shorts), or TV show episodes.

Movie Titles: Formatting In The Past

Before computers became commonplace, italicizing, underlining, and putting titles in “quotations” were considered to be equal and interchangeable, as long as you were consistent throughout your paper. This is because these tools were used for emphasis, as opposed to specific grammar rules. Typewriters, for example, did not have the ability to italicize or underline, and so there weren’t any strict rules.

Movie Titles Now

With the invention and increased use of computers, you’ll find that the rules concerning emphasis are much stricter, and it will be very important to know the difference if you’re writing a paper in college.

Now with the computer’s ability to format with the click of a button, movie titles are always italicized.

The only exception is when you are writing by hand, in which case the movie title would be underlined.

Below are some example sentences to demonstrate the different emphasis put on movie and TV show titles.

  • Matilda was an all-time favorite movie in my home.
  • Disney’s Alice in Wonderland is based on the books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, by Lewis Carroll.
  • The Netflix series, Workin’ Moms, is based on Catherine Reitman’s experiences as a working mother of two children.
  • The TV show, Young Sheldon, centers around the early life of Sheldon Cooper, an eccentric character in The Big Bang Theory.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published in June of 1997.

Movie titles are always italicized

Some More Rules You May Want To Know

Although the titles of movies and TV shows are always italicized, it’s important to note that the titles of specific scenes or episodes, as well as short films, are treated as shorter works, and are therefore put in “quotations.”

Though movie scenes rarely have titles, this rule is more relevant to TV show episodes and scenes from plays.

Below are some example sentences to demonstrate the different emphasis put on movie and TV show titles in comparison with specific scenes or episodes.

  • My favorite Friends episode is “The One With the Holiday Armadillo.”
  • The first episode of The Big Bang Theory, entitled “Pilot,” aired on September 24, 2007.
  • The Pixar short, “Bao,” which appeared in the initial release in Incredibles 2, won an Oscar Award for Best Animated Short Film.
  • The jumping desk lamp that became Pixar’s famous icon was originally introduced in a Pixar short called “Luxo Jr.”
  • In the episode, “The Pitch,” Seinfeld and George propose a TV show about nothing, which was the show’s way of poking fun at Seinfeld’s original premise.

TV shows, like movies, are also italicized

Why Is Proper Formatting Important?

College essays.

No matter what you study in college, most students write a lot of essays during their school years. While some degrees may put more of an emphasis on writing proper essays , most teachers and professors will expect a certain level of basic grammar and formatting knowledge.

Before you even step foot into college, you’ll most likely be expected to write an application essay . It’s important to put your best foot forward, and small formatting rules can go a long way in making a good first impression.

Landing Your Dream Job

In addition to college essays, prospective employers and job positions will require and look for basic (or advanced, depending on the position) writing skills. Whether you think your dream job requires writing skills or not, writing is a part of everyday life and work, from emails and text messages, to presentations and reports. Having good writing skills will help you make a good first impression, land your dream job, and do your best work.

Having A Successful Career

Though different students earn a degree for different reasons, many are hoping to work toward a successful career. In order to do this, the right preparation is key. Preparation may be earning a degree, gaining specific skills, or having the right guidance along the way.

University of the People prepares our students for successful careers by providing program advising , mentorship , and an emphasis on career development . We know that these extra details, much like formatting in an essay, make a big difference for the future success of our students. University of the People is a tuition-free online university that offers degree programs in business administration, computer science, health science, and education.

University of the People prepares students for success

Cheat Sheet

Titles in italics.

  • Title of a movie or play
  • Titles of a TV or radio series
  • Title of a book
  • Titles of magazines, journals, or newspapers
  • Title of music album
  • Title of a long poem
  • Title of an opera
  • Titles of paintings or sculptures

Titles In “Quotations”

  • Title of a chapter in a book
  • Title of an TV or radio series episode
  • Name of an act or scene in a movie/play
  • Title of a song
  • Title of a short poem
  • Title of an article or paper

The Bottom Line

So, do you italicize movie titles? In short, yes. Movie titles, as well as TV show titles, are italicized. We hope you learned a little bit about the history of italics, when to use italics and quotations, and the reasons why proper formatting is important for your education and career.

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