Formatting Titles

Formatting Titles Podcast

Formatting Titles Transcript

Hi everyone. This is Kurtis with another effective writing podcast. In this episode, I am going to talk about formatting titles, and I will explain how to format titles on a title page, at the start of an essay, and within the body of an essay.

I know formatting titles can be confusing, especially if you start to think about the formatting of titles on the references or works cited page of a research essay.

First off, I am not going to address how to format titles on a references, works cited, or other documentation style page—those are capitalization rules for another time. I am going to focus on the title page, the first page of the paper, and within a paper. Here is what you need to keep straight:

Titles require special capitalization called title case. Title case requires one to
• capitalize the first letter of the first and last words;
• capitalize the first letter of all verbs;
• capitalize the first letter of all other words except a, an, the, coordinating conjunctions, and prepositions of fewer than four letters.

When a title appears on the title page, it should be presented in title case—there is no need to use all caps, no need to put in bold, no need to italicize or underline, no need to use quotation marks or place a period at the end. Just write out the title using title case on the title page of the paper. That’s it.

On the first page of the essay, the title is repeated and centered—use title case for this title as well. Again, do not use any special formatting. Do not use a bigger font size or style. Do not use bold—and so on. Just type the title in title case on the first page of the essay and center it.

Easy enough, right?

Titles that appear within an essay require special formatting in addition to title case. If the title is for an article—content that appears in a whole work; it’s a part of something else—then the title should have quotation marks around it. If the title is for a book, journal, newspaper or some other whole work, then the title is italicized.

I hope this podcast clarifies exactly what you need to do when formatting titles. Just remember to use title case for titles on the title page, at the start of an essay, or within the body of an essay.

In addition, remember that titles that appear within an essay need to have quotation marks around them or be italicized depending on if the title is for a whole work or for an article.

Thanks everyone. Happy writing!