MLA 8th Edition: Formatting Titles

In this video, we will discuss formatting of titles for any and all sources.

When copying a title or subtitle, capitalize the first word, last word, and all principal words. This includes nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and subordinating conjunctions. Subordinating conjunctions are words like after, if, until.

Do not capitalize articles, prepositions, or coordinating conjunctions if they fall in the middle of the title. These are words like “the”  “as” or ”in” as well as “and”/”but”

Most titles should be italicized or enclosed in quotation marks. In general, italicize the titles of sources that are self-contained and independent, like book titles. Use quotation marks around titles of sources that are contained in larger works, like journal articles.

When referring to a title in your discussion, state the title in full (however, you can omit a nonessential subtitles). After stating the full title at least once, you may use any obvious or familiar abbreviations.

Here are a few rules for dealing with titles within titles:

  1. Italicize the title normally indicated by italics when it appears within a title enclosed in quotation marks.
  2. When a title normally indicated by quotation marks appears within another title requiring quotation marks, enclose the inner title in single quotation marks.
  3. Use quotation marks around a title normally indicated by quotation marks when it appears within an italicized title.

For titles of sources in languages other than English, provide a translation in parenthesis if possible.

Please see the MLA manual for further instructions regarding formatting of titles in other languages, or for more information on anything else we’ve touched upon in this video.

Contact us for more assistance