I've googled this, and found conflicting answers. Should the title of a short story be italicized or put in quotes?

It will be both in the title and the body of a paper discussing the story.

  • Where? In the text body of something referring to the story, or as the actual story title, or somewhere else? Your question is rather vague at the moment. – toandfro Apr 21 '14 at 5:11
  • @toandfro see edit – evamvid Apr 21 '14 at 5:22

In a serious essay or academic paper I would put any book title, whether fiction or non-fiction, or the title of any journal article, in italics. The name of the author should not be italicised. Publishing date and details usually go in brackets. So in the body of the text you could say something like:

In his study of camels which sleepwalk across the deserts of Arabia, G.K. Johnson in his book Do camels dream? refers to work he did in 1986.

The footnote might read Johnson G.K. Do camels dream? (London 1987).

Edit. This works for short stories assuming the short story concerned is the only content of the publication. If one is referring to a story from a book of short stories, then quotation marks rather than italics would be used, and there is a further system for referencing this. However I apologise that I may have got out of my depth on this as it is several years since I was writing academic essays.

  • Short stories are not books and should normally be named with quotation marks, not italics. – Bradd Szonye Apr 21 '14 at 8:57
  • @BraddSzonye It depends on the type of work. If it's a formal reference then it should be in proper bibliographical format. If it's an essay or blog, then it doesn't matter. This is a roundabout argument. Italics can be used to emphasize something unique and you shouldn't use quotes for emphasis. Then again, quotes are useful when you using the name of the book (you're quoting the title, after all). In the end, depends on your personal style. – Tucker Apr 21 '14 at 10:19
  • @Tucker This isn't emphasis, it's naming a work. Short works like stories, poems, and articles get quotation marks for titles. Novels get italics for titles. More generally, the name of a book/volume gets italics, its contents get quotation marks. – Bradd Szonye Apr 21 '14 at 18:48
  • @BraddSzonye But... this? And then there are other resources that agree with you. It's a roundabout argument. Different schools of thought, different countries, standards, universities, colleges, etc, have their own styles. – Tucker Apr 21 '14 at 19:26
  • @Tucker That page does not disagree with me. It says to italicize the names of works that stand on their own, like novels and plays and paintings. The titles of shorter works are generally not italicized. – Bradd Szonye Apr 21 '14 at 19:47

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