Are titles of books and magazines italicized or underlined?

Either choice is correct. Italics are preferred for titles of books and magazines. If this is not possible, underlining is acceptable.

What other titles should be italicized?

In addition to book and magazine titles, use italics for titles of newspapers, movies, plays, television series, and other individually produced or published works:

My subscription to Newsweek expired last month; I think I'll

replace it with U.S. News and World Report.
The movie Gone with the Wind continues to be one of my

all-time favorites.
Is NOVA currently being telecast over the Public

Broadcasting System?
The financial analysis was presented in an article

that appeared recently in The Wall Street Journal.

In the publishing sector, some typed documents will show titles of magazines, books, and newspapers in all capital letters, rather than underlined:


Is the title of a magazine article italicized?

No. Sections of published works-chapters, magazine articles, acts within a play, editorials, etc.-are placed within quotation marks rather than italicized:

Chapter 6 of A Thousand Days, entitled "Prelude to the New 

Frontier," presents an analysis of the economic and political

issues leading to President Kennedy's election.
Last month's National Geographic featured an article entitled "New Hope for China's

Giant Pandas."
The editorial "Keep Light Rail on Track," which appeared in

this morning's edition of the Tribune, presents a solid case

in support of the proposed rapid-transit program.

Are foreign words and phrases italicized?

Yes, if they have not yet been absorbed into the English language:

The pororoca, a huge tidal bore, forces its way inland up the 

Amazon at yearly intervals.
Slums in Argentina are called villas miserias.
The couturier who designed my dress was from Paris.

When the foreign words or phrases are very common, they are not italicized:


per annum

vice versa

What is the rule for the italicizing of names of ships, spacecraft, etc.?

Use italics for the names of ships, spacecraft, and aircraft:

C.S.S. Alabama

Friendship 4

Enola Gay

However, do not italicize the abbreviations or numerals associated with the names.

What names are italicized in scientific classification?

Names of genera, subgenera, species, and subspecies are italicized:

the species Dryandra and Calytrix enabbensis

the genera Isotes and Ambrosiz

Names of higher groups like phyla, classes, orders, families, and tribes are not italicized:

the family Canidae

the class Mammalia

What other words may be italicized?

Italicize words that are used as words:

When the word lumber is used, it means wood that has been

milled from logs to various thicknesses and lengths.
The geologist who prepared the report on the Entron basin

inadvertantly referred to the anomolous formations as

anonymous formations.

Use italics to emphasize words and phrases. See EMPHASIS TECHNIQUES.