Movie Titles Examples & Style Guide | How to Write a Movie Title in an Essay – Video & Lesson Transcript |

How to reference movie titles in an essay

how to write a movie title in an essay

There are many questions about how to write movie titles. some of the most common questions are: are movie titles in italics? Do you underline movie titles? Are movie titles in quotes? Are movie titles in italics? these questions are covered throughout this lesson.

Years ago, when writers used typewriters to write their essays and formal papers, movie titles had to be underlined. however, with the ubiquity of computers, underlining movie titles has become obsolete. the only exception is in handwritten papers where people can hardly write in cursive. therefore, the recommended best practice is to underline movie titles when writing an article by hand.

Nowadays, the most common practice when writing an academic article containing the title of a film is to italicize it. the use of computers for writing has made this practice common because writers can easily italicize movie titles. In addition, it is important to apply the conventions of capitalization when writing movie titles.

according to the conventions of capitalization,

  • the title of a film must begin with a capital letter
  • all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs must be capitalized
  • prepositions, articles (the, a, an), and conjunctions should not be capitalized except
    • if they are long, such as although, in addition and in addition
    • if they are the first word of the title

    for example:

    the 2012 oscar for best foreign language film went to a separation by asghar farhadi.

    Although a is an article, it is capitalized as it is the first word of the title. the only other word in the title separation is also capitalized. the entire title is in italics.

    Are movie titles in italics?

    apa, mla, and chicago style guides require that film titles be italicized while adhering to capitalization conventions. In addition to movie titles, TV and radio program titles should also be italicized.

    • judas and the black messiah is a biographical film that portrays fred hampton’s betrayal by an informant.
      • In this example, all words in the title except the and and are capitalized according to case-sensitive conventions. the title of the film is in italics.
      • In this sentence, the title of the film is in italics. all words in the title are capitalized according to capitalization conventions except for the preposition vs. even though the is an article, it is capitalized because it comes at the beginning of the title
      • the title of the film is in italics. the is capitalized because it is the first word of the title.

      do you underline movie titles?

      The answer to the frequently asked question “Do you underline movie titles?” it is not for most academic style guides. however, there is one exception where writers must underline a movie title. That’s when the writer has to write an essay or any other kind of handwriting because he can’t handwrite in cursive.

      In handwritten essays, the title of the film is underlined.

      Underline handwritten movie titles

      Movie Titles in Journalism

      In journalism, the common style guide to follow is one of the guidelines in the associated press style book. According to the AP style guide, movie titles should not be italicized, but should be placed in quotation marks. this must be done respecting the conventions of use of capital letters and small letters. if the movie title has punctuation marks, they must remain intact in quotation marks.

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