Suppose I am writing a book. If I were to say, mentioned the title of the book in the introduction; would it be italicized?

Now suppose I am writing a paper; what then?



I am writing a paper on my own basis. I am asking specifically on whether or not I should italicize the title of my paper/book when referencing inside the paper/book.

  • Treat it as you would a book written by anyone else.
    – Anonym
    Jun 11, 2015 at 23:31
  • This is hugely unclear: do you mean "Should I italicise the title of my own paper when I refer to it"? (Whatever the answer, please edit rather than putting information in comments). Also, is this really a question about English rather than style? If the latter, then "consult the stylebook favoured in your organization, or choose your preferred one". Jun 11, 2015 at 23:31
  • @TimLymington Any suggestions for a good stylebook? Jun 12, 2015 at 0:20
  • theguardian.com/guardian-observer-style-guide-a Second:: global.oup.com/uk/academic/authors/AuthorGuidelinesMain/ That's two styles of style-guide
    – Hugh
    Jun 12, 2015 at 2:50

2 Answers 2


Yes. The normal convention is "italicise the titles of books" not "italicise the titles of other books". It's the title of a book, you italicise it.

If nothing else, it can be particularly useful if perhaps the title were the same as the subject (one might expect a non-fiction book called Elephants to mention elephants more often than most books do, and so italicising would be useful to distinguish from when the author or a foreword contributor was talking about Elephants from when they were talking about elephants) or if the title of an anthology were the same as one of its parts (so if a collection of short stories included a story called "once upon a time" and was itself called Once upon a Time). Or indeed perhaps even both (hmm, if I ever publish a collection maybe I'll include my story "Scary Stories" and call it Scary Stories just so I can have an introduction that talks about how Scary Stories includes "Scary Stories" and also some scary stories).

  • And what about a paper? Jun 12, 2015 at 21:11
  • Italicised or in quotation marks, as per what your style guide would have you do with any other paper.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jun 12, 2015 at 21:33

If you mention the title of the book in your introduction (or anywhere except that one important time on the title page!), yes, you would italicize it:


So: why does the world need yet another edition of My Magnificent Book? It's because in earlier editions, My Magnificent Book...

...because it's a book, and book titles are italicized.

  • Yes, but what if I am talking about a paper? Jun 12, 2015 at 21:11
  • 1
    Same thing as Jon said below: treat it the way you would a paper. (Which, by the way, ordinarily is to put it in quotation marks.)
    – Maverick
    Jun 15, 2015 at 0:23

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