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If the title of an essay I am citing is also the name of a work that normally appears in italics, how should I style the name of the essay?

If the title of an essay consists solely of the title of a work normally styled in italics, the title of the work should be both italicized and enclosed in quotation marks: In the essay “The Portrait of a Lady,” about Henry James’s novel The Portrait of a Lady, the author provides a detailed character study of . . .

Published 21 August 2018

How should I treat foreign terms in MLA style?

Treat foreign terms according to the guidelines in the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing: In general, italicize foreign words used in an English text: The Renaissance courtier was expected to display sprezzatura, or nonchalance, in the face of adversity. The numerous exceptions to this rule include quotations entirely in another language ("Julius Caesar said, ‘Veni, . . .

Published 31 July 2018

When italic characters are unavailable, how should I style a title or a word used as a word?

In handwritten and typewritten material—where italics are impossible to render—titles of works normally italicized, words used as words, and letters used as letters are underlined: MLA Handbook Accommodation has two c’s and two m’s. In digital environments, if italics and underlining are unavailable and you need to refer to the title of a work normally . . .

Published 24 April 2018

Is it OK to italicize a word for emphasis in my paper?

The MLA style discourages the use of italics in academic prose to emphasize or point, because they are unnecessary—most often, the unadorned words do the job without typographic assistance. And if they don’t, then rewording is often the best solution. This policy is a matter of stylistic convention, not grammar.   Reserve italics for emphasis . . .

Published 23 January 2018

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