Boys and Girls Questions and Answers
by Alice Munro

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When writing an essay, do you have to italicize the name of the author as well as the book title?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The author or authors' name or names are never italicized. Adhering to the rules of capitalization, authors' names are written in the normal way. There are several academic writing styles--and one, Associated Press (AP), specialized for journalism--and though they differ on some points of writing style, they consistently agree that authors' names are not italicized. The one exception to this is when an author's name forms part of a book or play title, such as in this made-up example, After Jane Austen Wrote and Came to Dinner.

The various writing style guides used for academic writing are put out by these organizations: Modern Language Association (MLA), used in literature and other language-centered academic writing; Associated Psychology Association (APA), used for academic writing in social sciences; University of Chicago, Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), used by various academic institutions and by some journalistic institutions; Turabian, based upon CMS but simplified for unpublished academic works; Harvard University, Harvard Author-Date style, used widely for general academic writing.

None of these style guides allow for putting author names in italics. For the short story "Boys and Girls," your reference in MLA style would specify Alice Munro, "Boys and Girls," Dance of the Happy Shades.

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There are several styles used in writing academic papers. "Style" in this context means a complete set of standards for things such as citation format, title page, font, spacing, abbreviations, and punctuation. Which style you...

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