The Best Guide: How To Write a Book Title In An Essay(2021)

Yes, you heard it right the number 1 guide as to how to write a book title in an essay, You might have faced many questions like How to write a book title in an essay? Is punctuation necessary? How to write a proper title? and more such questions arise when we are not sure about a book title to be used in an essay. 

In this article, we will guide you through exactly how to write properly a book title in an essay and answers to the questions faced by you.

So what constitutes a good title? A good title includes the following :

  • A title should be such that it attracts the audience.
  • It should focus on the keyword.
  • The title should be very simple and clear.
  • It should contain title combinations like combining nouns and fillers.
  • It should represent the genre, place, or theme of your book.
  • Key characters, events, and symbols should be considered too.

If the above things are followed then the audience will show more interest in reading it. Before writing a title, it’s important how effective the title is and it is also important to see if the title is justified. The attention-grabbing title should be used so that the audience is retained and if you are including the title by other author’s then you should follow some rules in writing the title in an essay. There should not be room for errors and the title written can use any of the styles available for example APA or MLA style. 

But for an effective book title, there are other things also to be considered. So How to properly write a book title in an essay?. Let’s go through some general rules to be followed :


  • CAPITALIZATION: Capitalization is an important part of writing a book title and this includes capitalizing the first word in the title and capitalizing the last word in the title. Here the important words should be considered and capitalized for example in the title “The Castle in the Attic”, castle and the word attic are considered to be important and capitalized. The prepositions like at,of, in are not capitalized.
  • UNDERLINE: The second important rule to be followed is to underline the book title. Yes, you have to make sure that the title is to be underlined. For example “The Castle in the Attic. 
  • ITALICS: This is a common question asked as should we use italics in the book title but as per the Modern Language Association and other organizations italics is applied to newspapers or magazine.
  • QUOTATIONS: Quotations can be used only when there is a reference material like a dictionary and using italics and quotation marks are not recommended as either one of them can be used.
  • REVIEW: The review should be done after following the above steps to check if there are any errors regarding capitalization or any other aspect.

The above general rules solve the question of how to write the title of a book in an essay. But there is another question as to How to write a book title and author in an essay?. So to answer this we should consider some important points and they are :

  • Mentioning the last name of the author.
  • If there are multiple authors separation can be done with ‘&’
  • Use parentheses for specifying the year of publication for example (Robert, 2012) 
  • Semicolons should be used to separate individual sources for example (Robert,2012, Williams, 2014)
  • The title either should be used in italics or should be used in quotation

So if you had a question in the mind of How to write an author in an essay? or How to write a book title and author in an essay? then the above points should have definitely helped in clearing the doubts.

How to write a book title in an essay in different styles?

There are different styles in writing a title of the book but these styles have their own rules and one can use these styles whichever is applicable as per their reference. So these styles also have certain general rules in terms of capitalizing and other such aspects which will be discussed below. 

Again the common question pops up as to How to properly write a book title in an essay? with reference to different styles. So in one style italics is followed and in another, it’s not. Their rules relating to subtitles, quotations, or even information relating to the publisher or publication period should be followed in a specific format. This format also relates to as if we have to write the last name or first name of the author at the beginning and followed by publisher and publication period.

So keeping the above things in mind let’s see which style includes what. The styles include the following: APA style, MLA & CHICAGO style. They are discussed below along with the general rules:

APA Style: Academic format of citation made by American Psychological Association. This writing style and format is used for documents relating to academics such as articles, journals, and books. Also used for citing sources within the field of behavioral and social science.

This style is used by the majority of students, researchers, and professionals. It is also used for a highly technical document which has a lot of abbreviations. The author’s name and title are centered with title caps.

How to write a book title in an essay in APA style 

  • Capitalization should be used in the first word and the words in excess of four letters.
  • Capitalization should be used for hyphen words.
  • Capitalization words should also be used for colon words.
  • Quotation marks should be used instead of italics with the exception of Bible and catalog of reference materials such as dictionaries.
  • As per APA’s Publication Manual (2010), Italics should be used for the titles of books, films, videos, TV shows, journals, magazines, newspapers.
How to write an Author’s name in an APA style?
  • The Initial and surname of an author should be used.
  • A comma should be used after every name.

MLA Style: It is developed to use in the field of literature and language so that there is a uniform way to format paper and assignments. And this is generally used by students, researchers, and scholars. 

How to write a book title in an essay in MLA style? 

  • The name of the author along with the text should be in quotation.
  • The original text should be pasted.
  • The book’s name should be in italics and it should be followed by the year of publication.
  • Last Name should be the first and then followed by the first name and Italicized Title. Publisher, Publication Year.
  • If the book has a subtitle then it should be placed after the title separated with a colon.
  • If the work includes a source that is an integral part then the title should be in quotation.
  • In general, self-contained and independent titles should be italicized like a book title.
  • Title of sources that are contained in larger works should be used in a quotation for example journal articles.
  • If there is a title within the title italicize a title normally indicated by italics when it appears within a title enclosed in quotation.
  • An example of the above is: “Language and Childbirth in The Awakening“. Here ” The Awakening” is the title within a title and this is italicized.
  • When a title normally indicated by quotation marks appears within another title requiring quotation marks, enclose the inner title in a single quotation mark.
  • An example of the above is: The Uncanny Theology of ‘A Good Man Is Hard to Find‘”. You can observe the single quotation mark.
  • For non-English titles a translation in parentheses if possible.

CHICAGO Style: This style is widely used by trade publishers, editors, and authors. It concentrates on document preparation and formatting. It is responsible for research methodology standardization. It recommends readable fonts, proper margins, and paragraphs. Turabian is a version of the Chicago style aimed at students and researchers.

How to write a book title in an essay in CHICAGO style? 
  • If the noun, adjective, or verb is used in the book name then the first letter should be capitalized.
  • Capitalization is not required for prepositions or conjunctions.
  • Articles also should not be capitalized.
  • The name of the book should be in italics
  • If the book’s name includes punctuation then that also should be in italics.
  • The quotation should be used if there are a collection of texts which is also called an Anthology.
  • In the above case, only quotation should be used instead of italics.

After reading the above there should not arise a question as to How to write a book title in an essay?. Because there are a lot of points covered in writing a book title in an essay without any error. The above guidelines will help you to clear all doubts and questions and will give you more clarity. 

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