How do you format a movie title in an essay

How do you format a movie title in an essay

Do you italicize movie titles? How many times have you been writing an essay and suddenly can’t remember whether to use italics, quotation marks, or other formatting?

The short answer is that movie titles are always in italics. Read on to learn more about italics and other formatting tools important to becoming a professional essay.

By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly when to use italics and quotation marks whenever you’re writing about movies and TV shows.

what is considered a movie?

First, let’s clarify our definitions. what is the difference between a movie and, say, a clip on youtube or a short film?

In general, most of us know what a movie is when we see it, but just to be clear, movies do not include YouTube clips, short movies (such as Pixar movies), or TV show episodes.

movie titles: format in the past

Before computers became commonplace, italicizing, underlining, and putting titles in “quotes” were considered the same and interchangeable, as long as you were consistent throughout your work. this is because these tools were used for emphasis, as opposed to specific grammar rules. typewriters, for example, did not have the ability to italicize or underline, so there were no hard and fast rules.

movie titles now

With the invention and increased use of computers, you will find that the rules regarding emphasis are much stricter and it will be very important to know the difference if you are writing a paper in college.

Now, with the computer’s ability to format at the click of a button, movie titles are always italicized.

The only exception is when you’re writing by hand, in which case the movie title would be underlined.


Here are some example sentences to demonstrate the different emphasis placed on the titles of movies and TV shows.

  • matilda was an all time favorite movie in my house.
  • Disney’s Alice in Wonderland is based on the books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and through the looking glass, lewis carroll.
  • the netflix series, workin’ moms, is based on catherine reitman’s experiences as a working mother of two children.
  • the television show, young sheldon, focuses on the early life of sheldon cooper, an eccentric character from the big bang theory.
  • harry potter and the philosopher’s stone was published in june 1997.

some more rules you might want to know

Although movie and TV show titles are always italicized, it is important to note that titles of specific scenes or episodes, as well as short films, are treated as shorter works and are therefore placed in italics. between “quotes”.

Although movie scenes rarely have titles, this rule is most relevant to episodes of television shows and scenes from plays.


Here are some example sentences to demonstrate the different emphasis placed on movie and TV show titles versus specific scenes or episodes.

  • my friends favorite episode is “the one with the festive armadillo”.
  • the first episode of the big bang theory, titled “pilot”, aired on September 24, 2007 .
  • the pixar short, “bao”, which appeared in the initial release of the incredibles 2, won an oscar for best animated short film.
  • the desk lamp that jump and became famous pixar icon was originally featured in a pixar short film called “luxo jr”.
  • in the episode, “the pitch”, seinfeld and george propose a tv show about nothing, which was the show’s way of poking fun at the original seinfeld premise. .

why is proper formatting important?

university essays

No matter what you study in college, most students write a lot of essays during their school years. while some degrees may place more emphasis on writing proper essays, most teachers and professors will expect some level of basic grammar and formatting skills.

Before you even set foot in college, chances are you’ll be expected to write an application essay. it’s important to put your best foot forward, and small-format rules can go a long way toward making a good first impression.

get your dream job

In addition to college essays, prospective employers and jobs will require and seek basic (or advanced, depending on the position) writing skills. Whether you think your dream job requires writing skills or not, writing is a part of everyday life and work, from emails and texts to presentations and reports. having good writing skills will help you make a good first impression, land your dream job, and do your best work.

have a successful career

Although different students earn a degree for different reasons, many hope to work towards a successful career. for this, proper preparation is key. preparation can be getting a degree, acquiring specific skills, or having the right guidance along the way.

university of the people prepares our students for successful careers by providing program counseling, mentoring, and an emphasis on career development. we know that these extra details, just like the format of an essay, make a big difference to our students’ future success. university of the people is a free online university offering degree programs in business administration, computer science, health sciences, and education.

cheat sheet

titles in italics

  • title of a movie or play
  • titles of a television or radio series
  • title of a book
  • titles of magazines , newspapers, or newspapers
  • title of music album
  • title of a long poem
  • title of an opera
  • titles of paintings or sculptures

titles in “quotes”

  • title of a book chapter
  • title of an episode of a television or radio series
  • name of an act or scene in a movie/play theater
  • title of a song
  • title of a short poem
  • title of an article or article

the end result

so you italicize movie titles? in short, yes. movie titles, as well as television show titles, are in italics. We hope you’ve learned a bit about the history of italics, when to use italics and quotation marks, and why proper formatting is important to your education and career.

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