Formatting Titles of Texts in MLA Style
rules apply to titles in the text, in parenthetical citations, and in Works
Cited page entries. A title appears the same way no matter where in a document
it appears. No titles are underlined. Titles never get both quotation
marks and italics. Every time you mention the title of a work, even in the
title of your own essay, you must apply the proper formatting.
In general, a title is
placed in quotation marks if the source is part of a larger work. A title is
italicized if the source is self-contained and independent.
Use quotation marks for a short story/essay/poem
from an anthology/collection; episodes of television series; song titles;
articles from journals; and a posting/article from a Web site.
Use italics for book/anthology titles;
periodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers); and Web sites. When a work that
is normally independent (such as a novel or play) appears in a collection, the
work's title remains in italics.
Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (book)
Mothers and Haunted Daughters: Shirley Jackson and Female Gothic” (journal
the first letter of the major words of titles. Minor words, such as articles,
prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions, are not capitalized unless they
are the first word of a title or subtitle.
Boys Don’t Play with Dolls” (a short essay)
In the Heat of the Night