Should an Essay Title be Italicized? (If Yes! Why?)

While writing an essay there are many things you may want to present and emphasize. You would want to draw the attention of your readers to that particular thing. To do so you may use multiple ways. One of the latest tricks that are used to put emphasis is to italicize. So should an Essay Title be Italicized?

Quick Takeaways

  • Italics are used to highlight words and set them out from other text components. 
  • Of course yes. But it should only be done where it is required. 
  • Following are the areas to be italicized-
1. Emphasized
2. Publications 
3. Foreign words
4. Legal Cases
5. Technical Terms

However, you must read till the end so that you get a better understanding of if the essay title is italicized.

Should an Essay Title be Italicized? (If Yes! Why?)

What is Italicized?

Italics are used to highlight words and set them out from other text components. Underlying also emphasizes the word. Thus you wouldn’t want to use underline and italicize a similar word. However, italicizing and underlining are frequently used synonymously. Italicizing evolved from underlining. Italics have gained popularity as an alternative to underlining. This is because word processors and printers have become better in their handling of it. However, you must remember that while writing the essay your professor can help you in getting your dream job or school as they can be your professional reference.

For example, The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’, meaning to unite.

Are essay titles italicized? – Should an Essay Title be Italicized?

No, there is no need to italicize the essay titles or the thesis. When you are writing an essay you should keep the title in the same font. There is no need to change any font as it gives consistency in your flow of the data. Although it also varies with what type of writing you are doing. If you are writing a standalone work like a database, book, etc. Also if you are thinking of adding the questions in the title, you can always do it but only when it is required.

What should be italicized?

When you are writing an essay the only things that should be italicized are the references that you are taking for writing the essay. You must italicize the name of books, articles, journals, etc whose arguments you are using to support your argument. 

When to italicize?

Following are the areas when you should Italicized are – 


When you want to emphasize something in between your text you can italicize it. Putting italics in between the essay may not be appropriate academically, but is found in other types of writing. 


As mentioned above when you give reference to any publication, you may italicize it. Every kind of publication like magazines, newspapers, etc can be italicized. 

For example: As written in Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee…..

Foreign words

When you add up words from another language in your content, you must italicize them. Suppose you have written your content in Spanish and added one or two words in French, then the french words will be italicized. 

Always italicize the criminal cases when you are referring to them. It makes it look more engaging and attractive.

Technical Terms

When you mention technical terms during your writing, you will want to make it notice. When you italicize your technical terms, it shows their importance in your content.

For more education-related articles, you may also refer to, Should a thesis or the word internet be capitalized?

How do I emphasize important things?

Well, the above sections tell us what the significance of Italicize is. The following three are the other methods for emphasizing it –


When you want to differentiate the titles of your essay, you can underline them. It helps to bring the focus of the readers to that particular heading, point, words, etc. 


Quotation marks were the initial method to bring the focus of the audience to specific words and statements. When you write an essay or a paper, you need to add some important points like famous quotations or specific words.

Bolding it up

Bolding up is another way of emphasizing important things. You can bold up words, titles, and some important information in your content.

Italicized vs Quotations

The main difference use of them are given as follow –

  • When we are talking about a small thing we generally add quotations to that but italicized helps to represent large work. For example: “Boys don’t cry” is a famous song from the movie The Cure.
  • When we are writing the titles of plays, then we write the name in italics. Whereas, we write the names of short and long poems in Quotation marks. For example: Romeo and Juliet is my favorite play and my favorite poem is “And Still I Rise”. 
  • When you are talking about any famous big transportation(Ships, trains, airplanes, etc) vehicles then they are written in italics but when we are talking about any car or small vehicle you have to mention it in quotations. For example “Renault Type CB Coupe de Ville” was the only car that went down with the Titanic.


When you are writing something, there are always some words, phrases, etc that need to be emphasized. Italicization is one of the latest ways of bringing the attention of your audience to them. You must learn when and what you must italicize. 

William Christie

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top