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If you are writing an essay do you underline, use quotation marks or italicize the book...

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rawrimanasian | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 20, 2012 at 11:46 PM via web

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If you are writing an essay do you underline, use quotation marks or italicize the book title?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM (Answer #2)

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Book titles are italicized. If you are using a typewriter and can't write in italics, then it is customary to underline the title.  Same applies to plays. Titles of poems, short stories, essays, and other short pieces are set off in double quotes. George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant" would be in quotes, since it is only an essay. Commas and periods go inside the closing quotation mark, as for example with Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant." The English do it differently and this can create some confusion, but observe the usage in American publications.

It occurs to me that you might be referring to a collection of essays by Orwell in a book that just has the title Shooting an Elephant derived from the title of the essay. If it is a book title it should be italicized.

I have copied some examples in the links below.

Sources:

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 10, 2014 at 8:49 PM (Answer #7)

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If you are using a word processor you can and should italicize book titles. However, if you are using a typewriter, I don't see how you can use italics. Before word processors came into common usage, it used to be the standard practice to underline book titles when typing. This indicated that these titles should be in italics if the manuscript was published in a book, magazine, or newspaper. If you are writing something in longhand you should also underline book titles, but I don't see how you could have any other choice, unless you happen to be artistically gifted and can make your handwriting look like italics when you want to. There may be some typewriters which allow you to switch from regular typeface to italics, but I have never seen one. No doubt the IBM Selectrics could be used to type book titles in italics if you switched from one ball to another and then back again, but that seems awfully time-consuming. 

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jjrichardson | Student, College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted August 20, 2012 at 11:54 PM (Answer #1)

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Do not underline or use parenthesis. Write it in italics.

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mpvilleneuve | eNoter

Posted October 17, 2013 at 1:39 AM (Answer #4)

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italics.

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yamaguchityler | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:50 PM (Answer #5)

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When you're writing an essay, make sure you italicize the book title instead of underlining, bolding, parentheses, or using quotation marks. 

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mlgendron7 | High School Teacher | eNoter

Posted February 18, 2014 at 2:28 PM (Answer #6)

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Assuming that you are typing, always italicize a book title. However, if you are handwriting a draft, it should be underlined.

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zumba96 | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted June 30, 2014 at 5:28 PM (Answer #8)

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Book titles are always italicized if you are typing. If you are doing a handwritten rough draft you should underline it I believe. 

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 30, 2014 at 6:15 PM (Reply #1)

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How can you italicize a book title or anything else with a typewriter? You can do it easily with a word processor, but most typewriters have only one kind of type, which is not italics.

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katiebaby2014 | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:55 AM (Answer #3)

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Italics

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