Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Titles

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This part of the Manual of Style covers the format or style used for titles of things, such as whether the title is placed in italics or quotation marks. For the policy on what a title should be, i.e. the name chosen to indicate what an article is about and to distinguish it from other articles, see Wikipedia:Article titles.

Italics[edit]

Italic type (text like this) is generally used for the following categories of titles:

  • Certain scientific names
    • Genes (but not proteins encoded by genes)
    • Genus and all lower taxa (including species and subspecies), but not higher taxa. The entire scientific name should be italicized, except where an author, "cf.", or some other interpolation is included in or appended to the name. (See WP:MOSTEXT §Scientific names for details.)
  • Court case names (Case citation or law report information is presented in normal font.)
  • Named vehicles
  • Works of art and artifice
    • Books (and pamphlets)
    • Cantatas and motets
    • Comic strips and webcomics
    • Computer and video games (but not other software)
    • Films (including short films) and documentaries
    • Long or epic poems
    • Media franchises (including series of books, comics, games, videos, and other releases)
    • Musical albums
    • Musicals
    • Named exhibitions (artistic, historical, scientific, educational, cultural, literary, etc.)
    • Named orchestral works: Symphony No. 2 by Gustav Mahler, known as the Resurrection Symphony ...
    • Operas, operettas, oratorios
    • Paintings, sculptures and other works of visual art
    • Periodicals (newspapers, journals, and magazines)
    • Plays
    • Television and radio series and serials (but individual episodes should appear in quotes)

Abbreviations of the above should also be italicized.

Website titles may or may not be italicized depending on the type of site and what kind of content it features. Online magazines, newspapers, and news sites with original content should generally be italicized (Salon.com or The Huffington Post). Online encyclopedias and dictionaries should also be italicized (Scholarpedia or Merriam-Webster Online). Other types of websites should be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Examples[edit]

To display text in italics, enclose it in double apostrophes.

  • The New York Times is produced by ''The New York Times''.
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show is produced by ''[[The Mary Tyler Moore Show]]''.

If the title is also a wikilink but only part of it should be italicized, use a piped link to properly display the title.

  • Casablanca is produced by ''[[Casablanca (film)|Casablanca]]'' or [[Casablanca (film)|''Casablanca'']].
Without piping, this wikilink would display—and incorrectly italicize—the disambiguation term, which is not part of the film title.
Ship and locomotive names are italicized, but prefixes and ID numbers are not. For ship names, see WP:SHIPMOS §Referring to ships
Ship class names are often italicized, but ship types are not. For further information, see WP:SHIPMOS §Referring to ship classes.

If the title of a Wikipedia article requires italicization (see WP:ITALICTITLE):

Quotation marks[edit]

Shortcuts:

Italics are generally used only for titles of longer works. Titles of shorter works should be enclosed in double quotation marks ("text like this"). It particularly applies to works that exist as a smaller part of a larger work. Examples of titles which are quoted:

  • Articles, essays or papers
  • Chapters of a longer work
  • Entries in a longer work (dictionary, encyclopedia, etc.)
  • Single episodes of a television series or Web-distributed video series
  • Single named story lines in comic books or graphic novels
  • Short poems
  • Short stories
  • Songs and singles
  • Speeches and lectures, where the speaker has titled the speech, or that use a speech line as a title

Additional markup[edit]

If a title is enclosed in quotation marks, do not include the quotation marks in any additional formatting markup. For example, if a title in quotation marks is the subject of a Wikipedia article and therefore displayed in boldface in the lead section, the quotation marks should not be in boldface because they are not part of the title itself. For further information, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style – Punctuation.

Examples[edit]

Neither[edit]

There are a few cases in which the title should be in neither italics nor quotation marks:

Scripture[edit]

Scriptures of large, well-known religions should not normally be italicized. For example, the Bible, the Quran, the Talmud, the Bhagavad Gita, the Adi Granth, the Book of Mormon, and the Avesta are not italicized. Their constituent parts, such as the Book of Ruth, the New Testament or the Gospel of Matthew are not italicized either, as such titles are generally conjectural rather than original ones. However, the titles of specific published versions of sacred texts should be italicized, such as the Authorized King James Version or the New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud. Many relatively obscure sacred texts are also generally italicized, particularly if the work is not likely to be well-known to the Wikipedia reader, if the work was first published in modern times and has not undergone substantial changes, or if it might be unclear that the title refers to a book. For example, The Urantia Book, The Satanic Bible, and Divine Principle should be italicized. Norse pagan scriptures, such as Gylfaginning, are also italicized.

Punctuation[edit]

Place adjacent punctuation outside any italics or quotation marks unless the punctuation is part of the title itself.

  • Johnson spoke often of Huckleberry Finn, his favorite novel. – The comma is not part of the title and therefore is not italicized.
  • George Orwell's well-known essay, "Politics and the English Language", condemned the hypocrisy endemic in political writing and speech. – The commas are not part of the title and are therefore outside the quotation marks.
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 adventure film. – The comma and question mark are both part of the title and are therefore italicized.

Capitalization[edit]

In English, every word except for articles, short coordinating conjunctions, or short prepositions is capitalized, as is the first or last word within the title. Follow the cross-reference above, for more detailed information and examples.

However, for names of Wikipedia articles and of section headings in articles and pages, generally only the first word and all proper nouns are capitalized in titles. See MOS:SECTIONCAPS for details.

Translations[edit]

For works originally named in languages other than English, use WP:COMMONNAME to determine whether the original title or an English language version should be used as the article title. For works best known by their title in a language other than English, an English translation of that title may be helpful. If the work is also well known by an English title, give the English translation in parentheses following normal formatting for titles: Les Liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons). Where the work is not known by an English title, give the translation in parentheses without special formatting in sentence case: Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen (Weeping, lamenting, worrying, fearing). In references, square brackets are used: Il Giornale dell'Architettura [The journal of architecture].

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A small-scale exhibition is generally hosted by, or is part of, an existing institution such as a museum, and would include most art exhibitions. Large-scale exhibitions are major events that typically have their own grounds (such as World's fairs), span more than one building, or have a significant history and widespread notability (such as the Cannes Film Festival or Burning Man).