Writing Tip #35: Punctuate Titles Correctly
Punctuate titles correctly. Maybe it’s just the students I’ve encountered over the years, but I suspect this problem is epidemic: Almost no one gets titles right. If you want to stand out and impress readers – especially teachers and college professors – learn how to punctuate titles. Capitalize the first, last, and all important words in between (everything except articles, coordinating conjunctions, and short prepositions). If it’s a short work – a poem or short story for example – put the title in quotation marks. If it’s a long work, like a novel or a play, put it in italics unless you are writing by hand; in that case, underline instead (since handwriting in italics is hard). For example: “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” “The Open Window,” A Tale of Two Cities, Romeo and Juliet.
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