Editorial Style Guide

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(Laurie Smith-Frailey)

Titles of things

Titles (of things)

In writing about Institute events, accomplishments, and goals, we will run into dozens of titles of “things,” from symposia to courses to magazines. See also The New York Public Library Writer’s Guide, pp. 220–222, especially for questions about cultural and religious terms.


  • Titles and subtitles of published works—e.g., books, newspapers, magazines
    • The Tech, The Iliad
  • Long poems published separately
    • Paradise Lost
  • Movie titles
    • The Nutty Professor
  • Television and radio series
    • thirtysomething, Seinfeld
  • Operas and other long musical compositions
    • Porgy and Bess, Carmen
  • Names of paintings, drawings, statues
    • Mona Lisa
  • Play titles (regardless of length)
    • All Under Heaven

“Put in quotation marks”:

  • Articles and features in periodicals and newspapers
    • The article “President Impeached” was a poor example of journalism.
  • Chapter titles
    • “When Trains Collide” was Chapter 10 of his book.
  • Short stories
    • “The Pearl”
  • Essays
    • Her first-grade essay, “My Summer Vacation,” received an A+.
  • Speeches, lectures, papers
    • “The Taste and Smell and Sound of America”
  • Workshops and panel discussions
    • Professor d’Entremont moderated the panel discussion, “Defining and Defending Liberty in a Democratic Society.”
  • Poems
    • “The Raven” is a spooky poem.
  • TV show that is not a series or a movie
    • Her favorite episode of Hill Street Blues is “The Homecoming.”
  • Song titles
    • She loves Elvis and her favorite song is “You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog.”

Capitalize only.

  • Course names
    • Her favorite course is American History to 1900.
    • She really wants to take Introduction to Music Composition this semester.
  • Common short signs
    • The No Smoking sign was removed by a vandal.

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