how to format song titles in an essay
Television and radio shows
Magazine or newspaper articles
A general rule of thumb is that within the text of a paper, italicize the title of complete works but put quotation marks around titles of parts within a complete work.
- “books, reports, webpages, and other stand-lone works” (p. 170)
- periodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers)
Barring any overriding style guides used for a specific organization or school, the general rule is to use quotations for song titles and italicize CD or album titles. Do not use underlining (in place of italics) unless you’re using a typewriter or writing titles by hand.
For matters of style when punctuating and formatting titles of any kind, turn first to the style guide prescribed by your employer, client, or teacher. In the absence of a prescribed style, use the following guidelines:
Sunday night was the closing ceremony of the Olympics, and I don’t know if you were paying attention, but the Spice Girls were there and dancing it up (well, except for Posh).
Of course, lots more media have titles than just songs and albums. There are books, short stories, podcasts, TV shows, episodes . . . the list goes on and on. Want more italics advice? Check out our ultimate title-writing guide for answers to all your italics conundrums.
Italics and quotation marks are generally used to set a composition title apart from the text surrounding it. For example, if you were writing the sentence “I read The Cat in the Hat,” it wouldn’t necessarily be clear what the book title was, or even that there was a book title at all.
In MLA all websites should be italicized while Chicago style says they should be in regular type.