Generally, regarding scholarly citation, I would say

As a general rule, any work that is published or produced under its own title is given in italics.

However, yesterday I found another version of this phrase, without 'in':

As a general rule, any work that is published or produced under its own title is given italics.

The second version is probably free of redundant word, but on the other side it's less clear to me (I'm not native speaker). Which version is better for formal writing?

Probably a better question: what's the difference between them?


1 Answer 1


Note that you could make the phrase simpler still if you dropped given and just said its own title is in italics.

There is no practical difference between the two versions of your sentence, however there is a grammatical difference.

The present was given wrapping paper.

This means that wrapping paper was applied to the present. You are describing an action that has been done to something.

Its own title is given italics.
→ Italics are applied to the title.

The present was given in wrapping paper.

This means that the present (that was given) was contained inside wrapping paper. You are simply describing the thing itself.

Its own title is given in italics.
→ The title uses an italicized font.

  • The character that you used doesn't display on my computer (nor my phone). I switched it to some other arrow.
    – Laurel
    Feb 18, 2019 at 21:05
  • @Laurel Strange. I had been using Unicode 1F806. I've switched to what I think is what you used: 2192. If it's the same (and you can see it now), I guess it means I should be sticking to 4-character codes. Feb 18, 2019 at 21:45
  • It says "Edit removed during grace period" so what's still displaying right now is my edit. In any case, I can still see the character.
    – Laurel
    Feb 18, 2019 at 21:47
  • @Laurel That was actually me. I overwrote your characters, but saving it didn't result in it changing anything. (Which seemed to indicate I'd replaced them with the same ones.) But I wanted to make sure, so I deleted them, saved the edit, then pasted the different Unicode version in a new edit a few seconds later. I think it's the same. And thanks for mentioning it. :) Feb 18, 2019 at 21:50

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