Have you ever found yourself questioning your use of italics in a term paper or essay? Does using italicized print worry you to the extent you just avoid italics altogether?
Title of source - MLA Style Guide, 8th Edition - LibGuides at Indian River State College
When is the right time to use italics? This article will explain when to use those slanted letters and when it is best to leave them upright.
There are approximately seven instances when it is appropriate to use italics in academic writing. Italics will likely appear in papers ranging from the arts to the sciences and will serve many functions. To simplify things, we have defined when to use italics in Arts and Humanities papers four instances and when to use them in the Sciences three instances. There are many instances when humanities students find themselves unsure whether something they have just written deserves emphasis.
If your situation doesn't fall under one of the following categories, use standard font. When including a title that can stand alone, it should be italicized in almost every instance.
This could be the title of a book, a story, a newspaper, or even your favorite television show. Here is an example of a properly written title:. It is important to remember that if a punctuation mark an exclamation or question mark is included in the title, you must italicize it as well.
Titles that should not be italicized are those of religious texts. The Bible is not italicized, nor are the titles of the books within it. Shorter titles, such as short stories from an anthology, journal articles, and episodes of television shows, cannot stand alone and thus should not be italicized. When italicizing titles in footnotes, citations, and bibliographies, remember to reference the style guide required by your professor.
When you really need to emphasize a word in writing, italics are the best way to do it. Italics can be used to ensure readers recognize the word requires emphasis. The effective use of italics in this manner can add flare to writing and indicate more poignant text:.
In this example, the italics serve to illustrate Susan's loathing of microeconomics. Without the emphasis, this sentence may not have stressed how much she truly despises the subject. A word of warning from the professionals at our essay editing service: Always use discretion when italicizing words for the purpose of emphasis in an academic essay.
Professors are often annoyed by the overuse of emphasis. If you've ever tried to write a children's book, you may have come across this italics-worthy situation.
If a bear growls and you want to present this auditory occurrence in a more immersive way, Grrrrrr! Make sure the distinction between the name of the sound and the sound itself is clear. Meow is the sound a cat makes, but the word makes no attempt at reproducing the sound. On the other hand, should you write " Meeeeeooooowww went the grey barn cat," make sure the reproduced sound gets italicized. When mentioning any vehicle in your academic writing, whether it's the Titanic or Apollo 13 , remember to italicize its name. The exception to this rule is the brand name of vehicles.
Reminiscences', Woolf discusses her mother in several places, sometimes repeating herself, sometimes contradicting her previous statements. Don't read your own assumptions into the text, as in: "The speaker must be a man because women wouldn't act so insensitively. You may want to consider the following, which is by no means a complete description of either the elements of style or their definitions.
Not all of these will be appropriate for every discussion.
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But having thought about these elements, you should be able to draw conclusions create an argument, an interpretation about the overall significance of the text as you understand it. Tightly structured? Is there a climax and denouement? How are the parts of the story connected?
What's the author's view? How is it described? What role does it play? Note that writers make statements , not quotes ; something isn't a "quote" until you've copied it out, so you never say, "The author quotes. Rather, use your own language to make your argument; use the quote as evidence that will support what you have to say. Before or after the quote, connect it to your argument using your own words: eg. Don't incorporate the page number of a quotation as part of your sentence: "On page the author makes reference Write, rather, "The author makes reference to Remember, these words can begin a sentence or can connect two independent clauses using the following punctuation: "Woolf's writing can be highly sarcastic and playful; however, in To The Lighthouse , the tone is somber and elegiac.
Titles of books should be underlined or put in italics. Titles of stories, essays and poems are in "quotation marks.
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In subsequent references to the author, use his or her last name. If the title is very long and you are making numerous references to it, you can refer to it by a shortened version. Your essay should stand alone, quite independent of the assignment sheet. Don't begin with vast generalizations like "Within every human being there are unique thoughts and feelings that no other person has ever experienced before.
In most cases, it's best to state your main idea - your thesis - in the first or second paragraph, so that your reader knows right away what it is that you're going to argue. You're not writing a review, where evaluation is appropriate; you're writing criticism which isn't necessarily critical, but analytic. The Mark On The Wall,'" which tells your readers about you instead of the text , you might write "'The Mark On The Wall' dispenses with the traditional beginning-climax-end story structure.
It's sometimes hard to resist the desire to rehash a novel's plot. However, remember, in academic writing it is assumed that your audience is familiar with the text. Make sure you're writing an argument, not simply a plot summary.
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It's fine to make a point, such as "the first memoir seems rambling and aimless, while the second is tightly structured. Reminiscences', Woolf discusses her mother in several places, sometimes repeating herself, sometimes contradicting her previous statements. Don't read your own assumptions into the text, as in: "The speaker must be a man because women wouldn't act so insensitively.
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