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Should italics or quotation marks be used for a character’s internal thoughts?

Styling a character’s internal thoughts in italics or with quotation marks depends on whether you are quoting from a source that shows a character’s thoughts, writing a character’s thoughts, or editing a text that shows a character’s thoughts.
When you’re quoting a source, use quotation marks to indicate a character’s thoughts, and make it clear in your prose that you are quoting thoughts, not speech:

Walking home alone one night, Julie seems less concerned about the possibility of real danger and more concerned with the likelihood that her mother will be angry, thinking to herself, “Mother will be furious if she finds out I walked home instead of calling for a ride.” . . .

Published 28 June 2019

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 Isabel Archer.

Published 21 August 2018

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