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MLA Style Guide, 7th Edition: Titles

This is a guide for MLA Style. It is based on the Modern Language Association of America's MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition.

General Rules for Titles in Works Cited List (in progress)

In general, the title of a work is taken from the title page of the publication. Refer to section 3.6.4 of the MLA Manual for more about titles and quotations within titles. Section 3.6.5 discusses exceptions to the rules.

  • Rules for capitalizing are strict. Capitalize all principal words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.). Do not capitalize articles, prepostions, or conjunctions when they fall in the middle of a title.
  • Separate a subtitle with a colon and a space.
  • Italicize titles of larger works like books, periodicals, databases, and Web sites.
  • Use quotation marks for titles published in larger works like articles, essays, chapters, poems, Web pages, songs, and speeches.

Book titles

Book titles are italicized.

  • Writing Matters: A Handbook for Writing and Research (book)
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • All the Pretty Horses


Chapter title in a book or anthology

The book title is italicized; the title of the article or essay is enclosed in quotations.


Henderson, Carol E. "Refiguring the Flesh: The Word, the Body, and the Rituals of Being Loved in Beloved and Go Tell It on the Mountain." Critical Insights: Toni Morrison. Ed. Solomon O. Iyasere and Marla W. Iyasere. Pasadena: Salem P, 2010. Print.

Beloved and Go Tell It on the Mountain (book titles) remain italicized in the article title.


Journals and Magazines

The title of the periodical (journal, magazine, or newspaper) is italicized. The title of the article or work is enclosed in quotations.


Danport, Sandra. " A Study of Malawian Households." Journal of Developing Areas...

Gardiner, Andy. "Stanford Could Lose QB, Coach." USA Today...



The title of the periodical (journal, magazine, or newspaper) is italicized. The title of the article or work is enclosed in quotations. Omit any introductory article in the newspaper title for English-language newspapers (Palm Beach Post, not The Palm Beach Post). Retain the article in non-English language newspapers (Le monde).



The title of the work is italicized if the work is independent. The title of the work is enclosed in quotation marks if it is part of a larger work. The title of the overall Web site is italicized if distinct from the the title of the work.


Park, Madison. "How Does a Baby Get To Be Obese." ....

Salda, Michael N., ed. The Cinderella Project ...