by Chelsea Lee
APA Style has special formatting rules for the titles of the sources you use in your paper, such as the titles of books, articles, book chapters, reports, and webpages. The different formats that might be applied are capitalization (see Publication Manual, section 4.15), italics (see section 4.21), and quotation marks (see section 4.07), and they are used in different combinations for different kinds of sources in different contexts.
The formatting of the titles of sources you use in your paper depends on two factors: (a) the independence of the source (stands alone vs. part of a greater whole) and (b) the location of the title (in the text of the paper vs. in the reference list entry). The table below provides formatting directions and examples:
Independence of source
Italic, title case
Gone With the Wind
Italic, sentence case
Gone with the wind
Part of a greater whole
Inside double quotation marks, title case
“Longitudinal Impact of Parental and Adolescent Personality on Parenting”
Not inside any quotation marks, sentence case
Longitudinal impact of parental and adolescent personality on parenting
More on Italics Versus Nonitalics
As you can see in the table above, the titles of works that stand alone (such as a book or a report) are italicized in both the text and the reference list. In contrast, the titles of works that are part of a greater whole (such as an article, which is part of a journal, or a book chapter, which is part of a book) are not italicized in either place, and only in the text are they put inside quotation marks. If you are having difficulty determining whether something stands alone (such as a webpage that may or may not be part of a greater website), choose not to italicize.
More on Capitalization: Title Case Versus Sentence Case
APA Style uses two kinds of capitalization to format reference titles, which are also mentioned in the table above: title case and sentence case. APA’s title case refers to a capitalization style in which most words are capitalized, and sentence case refers to a capitalization style in which most words are lowercased. In both cases, proper nouns and certain other types of words are always capitalized. Here are more detailed directions for implementing title case and sentence case.
As shown in the table above, title case is used for the titles of references when they appear in the text of an APA Style paper. Here are some examples of titles written in title case (of an article and a book, respectively), as they might appear in a sentence in the text of a paper:
|The article “Psychological Distress, Acculturation, and Mental Health-Seeking Attitudes Among People of African Descent in the United States: A Preliminary Investigation” (Obasi & Leong, 2009) makes an important contribution to the mental health and acculturation literature.|
|Students read stories of visual agnosia in The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales (Sacks, 1985).|
Reference List Entry Examples
In contrast, sentence case is used for titles of references when they appear in reference list entries. See how the book and article titles look when capitalized in sentence case in these example reference list entries:
|Obasi, E. M., & Leong, F. T. L. (2009). Psychological distress, acculturation, and mental health-seeking attitudes among people of African descent in the United States: A preliminary investigation. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56, 227–238. doi:10.1037/a0014865|
|Sacks, O. (1985). The man who mistook his wife for a hat and other clinical tales. New York, NY: Harper & Row.|
We hope this helps you understand how to capitalize and format reference titles in APA Style.
More Posts on Capitalization
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MLA Citations: Learn it. Love it.
But first, what IS M.L.A? It stands for Modern Language Association.
In-text Citation vs. Works Cited Page
An in-text citation is when the writer references the originating author in the actual body of the essay. This citation is always located just after the quoted, paraphrased, or summarized material. The in-text citation is simple, generally including the author's last name and page number. Clearly, an author's last name is not enough information for readers to know exactly where the outside information came from. This is why writers need to include a works cited page at the end of all researched essays: the in-text citation references something more fully listed in the works cited page.
A works cited page is an alphabetized list (generally by the author's last name) of all referenced materials used in the body of the essay. Following the author's name, there is a series of information that more specifically details the reference. There is a special way to order this information, and MLA guidelines provides the "how to" for just about every kind of material--from journals, to web sites, to personal interviews.
CREATE AN IN-TEXT CITATION
- Use an Author Tag: An author tag is when you use the author's name somewhere in the sentence. Next, if a page number is available, type the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence. The period ALWAYS goes after the parenthesis. Ex: According to Brown, "standardized tests ineffectively measure student intelligence" (42).
- Using author tags over and over can be cumbersome. When you don't use an author tag, cite the information by typing the author's last name and page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence. Ex: "Standardized tests ineffectively measure student intelligence" (Brown 42).
- If the author's name is not known, type the title of the article instead of the author's last name. Some titles are very long and can be cumbersome in the body of the essay. If a title is determined to be too long, a shortened version of the title is appropriate. Include the page number, if known. Ex: "Standardized tests ineffectively measure student intelligence" (American Testing 42).
- If the page number is not known, omit it. This is the case with most web page sources.
MLA In-Text Citations provides more information for particular situations, such as when a work has multiple authors, or is a reference book.
CREATE A WORKS CITED PAGE
As mentioned before, a works cited page is an alphabetized list (generally by the author's last name) of all referenced materials used in the body of the essay. Every in-text citation refers readers to the complete documentation of the source in a Works Cited page at the end of the paper. You do not need to include works that are not cited in the body of your essay.
As shown in the "MLA Style: How to Format using MS Word" all pages of the essay are numbered. The Works Cited page(s) is the final page(s) of the essay, and on it, there should be the correct page number(s). Type the words Works Cited at the top of the page, and center it. Then, list the sources used in the paper, alphabetized by the first word in each source, usually the author's last name. If a work has no author, alphabetize it by its title. Notice that everything is double spaced. Also, be sure to indent after the first line of each new citation.
If the source is from the internet or the Web, use all that is available from the following list:
PRACTICE FINDING INFO FOR CITING A WEB PAGE
Copy the following bulleted list above, and use the following web article to fill-in each point: http://www.csicop.org/scienceandmedia/controversy/You can generally find a lot of the web site information at the bottom of the web page.
Usually some of these elements will not be available. Use as many as you can find. List the items in the order as shown above. Below is a quick, brief, and very short guide on how to actually type this information into your word processor:
Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication.
A Page on a Web site:
"Title of Page." NameofWebSite.com. Day Month Year last updated . Day Month Year accessed online
EXAMPLES OF CITATIONS ON THE WORKS CITED PAGE
*Excerpts taken from the Purdue Online Writing Lab*
Article in Online Magazine
"Business Coalition for Climate Action Doubles." Environmental Defense.. 8 May 2007. Environmental Defense Organization.
..................24 May 2007 <http://www.environmentaldefense.org/article.cfm?ContentID=5828>.
Article from Online Newspaper
Clinton, Bill. Interview. New York Times on the Web. May 2007. 25 May 2007 <http://video.on.nytimes.com/>.
........... Keyword: Climate.
Unknown Author, Page on a Web site
Global Warming. 2007. Cooler Heads Coalition. 24 May 2007 <http://www.globalwarming.org/>.
An Article from a Professional Journal, NOT online:
Gowdy, John. "Avoiding Self-organized Extinction: Toward a Co-evolutionary Economics of Sustainability."
International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology. 14.1 (2007): 27-36.
Click here to see a Works Cited page of the above information.
Finally, here are some very helpful web sites: