Can a title be a question? Does it need punctuation?  

Can a title be a question? Does it need punctuation?



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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The only punctuation mark needed for a title would be a question mark at the end—if the title is a question. It is always considered perfectly acceptable to use questions as titles for any piece of writing—a poem, a novel, an essay, a short story, or any other literary piece. Three short stories that come to mind are Leo Tolstoy's "How Much Land Does a Man Need?", Guy de Maupassant's short story "Was It a Dream?", and Frank Stockton's "The Lady, or the Tiger?" (I have had to put these short story titles in quotes, but they would not be in quotes at the heads of the published stories.)

This could become an interesting game. There are undoubtedly thousands of articles with questions as titles. Such titles make good attention-grabbers. It is harder to think of books with such titles. A couple of well-known books that come to mind are Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by the science-fiction author Philip E. Dick and They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) by mystery writer Horace McCoy, a contemporary of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.

Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A title can certainly be a question, and as such, it should include a question mark.  There are many book titles with question marks, for example, How Does a Poem Mean?, by John Ciardi, at one time a popular college textbook,  Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, which is a book you might have read when you were younger, and Are You My Mother?, by P.D. Eastman, a book I read to my children when they were very young.  If you think about it, you will be able to think of movie titles with question marks, too.  I have provided a link for you of a long list of titles with question marks.

szyq55 | Student

Thank You.

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