General Rules

For simplicity and clarity, put quotation marks around the official titles of books, chapters of books, movies, plays, poems, songs, television shows, episodes of television shows, magazine articles, speeches, research papers and projects.

Underlining was used with typewriters to denote italics. If you’re producing a computer document, you may wish to use italic fonts instead of underlines. However, excessive use of underlines or italics can make text more difficult to read.

Academic Papers

The title of an academic paper or journal article should be put inside quotation marks. If the journal is then named, use italics or underlining for the name of the journal.

Right: His paper, “The Rhetoric of Neo-Classic Poets,” was published inClassical Literature Quarterly.


Use quotations for book titles (including textbooks), unless they’re reference books such as almanacs and dictionaries. Use italics (or underlining) for titles of books that are collections of works or proceedings (including journals). Use quotations for book chapters or individual selections.

Right: An excellent source for writers is “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White.

Right: You’ll find a copy of Encyclopaedia Britannica in my library at home.

Right: In the text, Collection of Great American Short Stories, my favorite is “The Hills Are Like White Elephants.”


Capitalize the main words in the title of courses; quotation marks or italics are not necessary.

Magazines and Newspapers

Capitalize the name but do not place it in quotations or italics. Do not capitalize “magazine” unless it’s part of the publication’s title or masthead.

Right: Time magazine, Newsweek magazine, The Alcalde magazine

Capitalize the word “the” only if it’s part of the periodical’s title.

Right: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Alcalde magazine, The Eyes of Texas, The Daily Texan, The Washington Post

When listing several publications or periodicals, lower case the initial “the” and eliminate additional references of “the” from the list.

Right: We read the New York Times, Austin American-Statesman and Wall Street Journal every morning.

Movies, Theater, TV, and Radio

Put quotation marks around the titles of movies, plays, television shows and episodes, and radio shows.

Right: University of Texas at Austin alumni Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt created “The Fantasticks,” the longest-running musical in theater history.


Capitalize but do not use quotation marks around descriptive titles for orchestral works. If a work has a special title, use quotation marks around it.

Right: Bach’s Suite No. 1 for Orchestra

Right: Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”