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MLA Style Guide, 8th Edition: Title of source

This LibGuide reflects the changes to MLA style as directed by the MLA Handbook, Eighth Edition.

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.

  • List the full title as it is written on the source. Exceptions to this rule are for standardization of capitalization and subtitle punctuation. 
    • 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, periodicals, databases, and Web sites are italicized.
  • Place titles in quotation marks if the source is part of a larger work. Articles, essays, chapters, poems, Web pages, songs, and speeches are placed in quotation marks.
  • Sometimes titles will contain other titles. For example, a journal article about a novel, short story, play, film, etc. may mention the title of the work the article is about in the article's title.
    • If the title mentioned is usually indicated by italics, use italics for the title. Examples of these titles are films, novels, entire books, journals, and entire websites.
      • 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'."
    • If the title mentioned is usually indicated by double quotation marks, enclose the title in single quotations marks. Examples of these titles are poems, short stories, book chapters, and journal articles. 
      • 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'."

Books:

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​.

Web page:

Meade, Rita. "It's Not Too Late to Advocate." Screwy 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/.