Recently, for school, I have been taking a fair number of tests through google forms. Unfortunately, in google forms it is impossible to italicize or underline text, so when I write in the title of a book, I am not able to denote in a normal way the fact that those words refer to a title.

I am aware that quotation marks can be used to denote shorter works, such as short stories, song titles, and poems, but based on my understanding of correct punctuation, using quotes for the title of a longer work would not only be wrong, but probably worse than putting no punctuation at all around the title due to the ambiguity it introduces about the nature of the work.

So, my question is: is there any way of using the punctuation and formatting available in google forms to denote the title of a long-form work?

Lastly, of course, I know that I can always just write in next to the title that it is a title (which is what I have been doing), but I am looking for a solution that is not so clunky and ideally only requires the addition of formatting and punctuation.

Here is my source for the rules of using italics and quotes. https://www.thoughtco.com/punctuating-titles-1857242

  • 3
    Why do you think you can use quotation marks for a short work but not a long one? Jan 14, 2021 at 8:39
  • I’m voting to close this question because it shows lack of research. Jan 14, 2021 at 10:33
  • @KateBunting thoughtco.com/punctuating-titles-1857242
    – Noah
    Jan 14, 2021 at 20:20
  • 2
    I've never seen that 'rule' before. I would have thought that using quotes was better than no punctuation at all, if you can't use italics. I remember, when I was at school, a teacher telling us that 'Hamlet' is the name of a play, Hamlet is the name of a man, and a hamlet is a small village. Jan 15, 2021 at 9:37
  • 1
    I have occasionally seen other characters used, such as ~.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 16, 2021 at 0:09

2 Answers 2


I would use quotation marks for titles when italics are not available at least the first time. This would be preferable to doing nothing at all. For example

I read "The Great Gatsby."

If it is unclear that it is the title of a book, you can refer to it as such in the text in addition to quotation marks. For example:

I read a book titled "The Great Gatsby."

If it is clear on subsequent mentions of the title what it is referring to (which is usually the case), then you could drop the quotation marks and simply just mention the name. For example:

I read two books titled "James and the Giant Peach" and "The Great Gatsby." Then I got out of bed. I tripped on The Great Gatbsy on the way out of my room.


A nonstandard way would be caps

I read a book titled THE GREAT GATSBY.

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