how to use a movie title in essay

How to Write a Movie Title in an Essay or Article

how to use a movie title in essay

When you're writing a paper or article in school or at work, you may be in a situation where you need to write a movie title in your writing. But how should you format them? Should you use italics? Or quotation marks? Or maybe both? Or neither…

The first thing to note is that the rules will be different depending on whether you’re writing an article or an essay. In this guide, we'll explain how to write one in an essay or article so that your writing looks professional and polished. Refer to the relevant section, depending on the piece you are creating. 

The main things to know are:

  • If you are writing a movie title in an article, the format you use is up to you (or the company you work for). Pick a format and stick to it.
  • If you are writing a movie title in an essay, then you should follow your university's or employer's referencing style guidelines. 

Read on for suggestions of different formats for articles, and more in-depth guidance around different university referencing styles.

How to Write a Movie Title in an Article 

Let's begin by exploring why you need a specific format, and examining some key principles and rules around writing a movie title in an article.

Why You Need a Specific Format 

So picture this. You’re writing an article and want to refer to a particular movie - perhaps to illustrate a point, or maybe you’re critiquing it. But you’re unsure how to format it. You don’t want to be marked down for formatting it incorrectly, so you consider leaving it out to avoid the trouble. Not on our watch!

But hold on a sec! Why should you even worry about this? Why do movie titles need to be formatted correctly anyway? Well, it’s simple really. If you don’t differentiate the title from the rest of the text, your readers might not understand you’re referring to a movie title. Imagine, for instance, that you wrote:

I finally got around to watching three billboards outside ebbing missouri.

Can we agree this sentence doesn’t make any sense? With this punctuation (i.e. none) your reader may well believe that you headed out into the night and found a couple of billboards to look at for some time. 

So do you see why it’s important to have some kind of format for writing movie titles? 

Key Principles and Rules

Now here’s the tricky bit: with articles, there’s no hard and fast rule on how to format a movie title in your writing. There are many different options and any of them would be acceptable to use in an article you’re going to publish online or physically. 

So what to do?

Our first advice is to check in with your editor/head of copywriting / your point of reference at the company you work at. They will most likely have a specific format they like to use and will be able to share that with you.

That’s if you are writing for a company.

If you’re self-publishing, say, for example, on your website or Medium.com, then you’re the boss, friend. The conventions you use are completely up to you. 

But here are a few key principles and rules:

  • Common conventions are to use italics or quotations marks
  • Choose one format and stick with it - not only throughout the article but in everything you write
  • Keep an eye out for the correct spelling of the movie. For example, don’t forget the comma in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. 
  • Title case is a great way to further demarcate the movie title from the rest of the text to make it abundantly clear that it’s a movie title.

How to Write a Movie Title in an Essay 

Now let's turn our attention towards writing a movie title in an essay.

New scenario. You’re writing an essay for your college or university course. Perhaps you’re using the movie as an example, or maybe you’re critiquing it.

But you don’t want to be marked down for getting it wrong, so you consider avoiding mentioning it altogether. But that would be a shame! Let us help you. 

Here are some general rules to get you started:

  • Follow the rules of your school’s academic writing style (APA, MLA, AP, or Chicago.)
  • Use title case
  • Use italics or quotation marks (depending on the writing style)

Academic Referencing Styles

There are different academic referencing/writing styles in the English language, and these vary depending on the education establishment. Different styles have different rules that govern the way that you might write, punctuate and cite within your essay.

The four most common styles are Associated Press (AP), Chicago, American Psychological Association (APA), and Modern Language Association (MLA).

Of course, there are many more than just four in existence, but these are the prevalent ones. 

But why are there so many different writing styles, we hear you ask? Quite simply, this is to cater to different fields. For instance, the scientific sector places a lot of importance on using recent research, hence the APA style places the date before anything. Humanities tend to use the MLA style which places the author's name first. 

Write a Movie Title in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles

Luckily, the APA, MLA, and Chicago styles all use the same format for movie titles, so it’ll be easy to remember.

These styles all require that you place the movie title in italics. Here are some examples:

  • Saving Private Ryan
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 

Do not use any quotation marks! This is not necessary and will be considered incorrect.

You’ll also notice that the title is written in the title case. This means you capitalize certain words in the title. More on that in the next section.

Write a Movie Title in AP style

The AP style is the exception here since it does not use italics to format movie titles. Instead, you’re required to use quotation marks. Let’s use the same examples as above, to make the difference clear:

  • “Kill Bill”
  • “Saving Private Ryan”
  • “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”

Again, here, remember to use title case. 

Write a Movie Title in Title Case

Using title case means that you capitalize certain words in the title. But depending on the writing style you’re using, there are different rules on which words need capitalizing and which ones don't. Mostly, they disagree on whether or not to capitalize minor words.

Read on to find out the rules for each style, to ensure you’re writing it correctly. 

Note that if you’re writing an article, this will again depend on the rules that the company you work for is using, or if you’re writing for your own business, then you can make your own rules. Remember to pick a structure and stick to it. Consistency is key!

  • Capitalize the major words.
  • Lowercase the articles the, a, and an.
  • Capitalize the ‘to’ in an infinitive (e.g., I Want To Eat Cake)
  • Capitalize the first and last words (overrides other rules)
  • Capitalize all words of four letters or more (overrides other rules)
  • Lowercase the second word after a hyphenated prefix

Chicago Style

  • Lowercase articles, prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions
  • Lowercase the second part of Latin species names.
  • Lowercase articles, prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions.
  • Do NOT capitalize ‘to’ in infinitives (e.g., I Want to Eat Cake).

As you can see, all four styles share some common rules but are different in certain small details. 

Incorrect ways to write a movie title

Here are some examples of incorrect ways to write a movie title:

  • Saving private ryan
  • Eternal SUNSHINE of a Spotless Mind
  • “Shawshank Redemption”
  • One Flew Over the cuckoo’s Nest

Can you figure out what is wrong with each of these examples? We’ll give you a clue! It has to do with incorrect usage of title cases, block capitals and quotation marks.

A note on reference lists

We just wanted to include a little note here to remind you that when citing a movie in your essay, you should include it in your reference list, or bibliography, depending on the academic writing style you are using. 

Again, the structure of your reference list will vary depending on whether you’re writing in APA, AP, MLA or Chicago, and you can find guidance on this in an official manual for the style (or online).

Other Points of Interest

There are some other things you might be interested in knowing that are related to the topic of how to write a movie title in an essay or article, so we’re detailing those below.

How to write a quote from a movie

So you’ve successfully referenced a movie using the rules outlined above. Now you’d like to quote a line from the movie. Which conventions should you use for this? 

For this, you would use quotation marks. For instance, if you want to quote this famous line from the movie Star Wars , you would write: “May the force be with you.”

Remember that if you’re writing an essay, you might need to also include the reference in your in-text citation. Let us show you a full example of what this would look like:

History was made when General Dodonna said “May the force be with you.” in the iconic movie Star Wars (Lucas, 1977).

How to write the name of an episode of a TV show 

If you wanted to cite a TV series, you would follow the same rules as those for citing a movie - as outlined above. But what if you also wanted to include the name of the episode you’re referring to? 

Similarly to inserting a direct quote from a movie, in this case, we recommend using quotation marks. For example:

Friends , “The One Where Everybody Finds Out.”

If writing an essay, please refer to your academic writing style’s guide to learn about conventions around formatting and using title case.

Where does the word ‘movie’ come from?

Dating back as far as the early 1900s, the word ‘movie’ stems from the term ‘moving picture’.

Before they could be projected onto a screen for wider viewing, the first movies could only be seen by one person at a time, using an Electrotachyscope, Kinetoscope, or Mutoscope.

And there we have it! We hope that this article has helped you better understand the conventions around writing a movie title in your essay or article, so you can feel confident about handing in your essay or turning in your article to your line manager.

To summarize, when you’re writing an article, the rules are pretty much up to you if writing for your own business, or your manager if writing for another company. Check-in with them to find out which conventions are already in place.

If writing an essay, then you should always use the structure set out in the academic writing style’s manual. Find out first of all which style you are expected to use. 

Now that that's done, it's time to get writing! 

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how to use a movie title in essay

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How to Format Movie Titles in Academic Writings

  • by Lesley V.
  • October 26, 2023

How to write a movie title in an essay?

Students, especially those in Arts, often refer to films or movie series in their papers. The formatting rules here are easy to remember. But:

They vary a bit, depending on the citation style you use.

In this post, I’ve gathered the guidelines for citing movie titles in five primary formats. Examples included, for you to compare and remember everything better.

How to Write Movie Titles in Essays

Are movie titles italicized?

It’s the most frequent question students ask when looking for this information online. Indeed, most citation formats prescribe italicizing. Other general rules include:

  • Uppercase for subtitles
  • Extra short movie names (like “It” ) may also go in quotations
  • When using quotation marks (AP style), put punctuation inside them

Below are the details on how to format movie titles in essays and reference lists correctly.

Writing Film Titles in Different Citation Styles

For APA style (1):

  • Uppercase all four-letter words and above
  • Uppercase the first and the last word of a movie title, even if they are short articles (a, the) or pronouns (in, at, etc.)
  • Italicize the entire name

For MLA format (2):

  • Uppercase movie titles and subtitles
  • Use capital letters for both parts of hyphenated words
  • No uppercase for articles (a, the) and short conjunctions within the movie name
  • Italicize the entire movie title

For Chicago style:

  • Uppercase all main words
  • Lowercase short conjunctions (below four letters) within the movie title
  • Uppercase prepositions, regardless of their length

For AP citation style:

  • Lowercase articles (a, the) and prepositions/conjunctions that are shorter than four letters
  • Uppercase articles and prepositions/conjunctions in the beginning/end of the title
  • No italics; put movie names in quotation marks

For Harvard style:

  • Uppercase all primary words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.)
  • Lowercase articles and prepositions/conjunctions (below four letters) within the movie title

How to Capitalize Movies in Papers

When writing a film name in a sentence, capitalize every word except for:

  • Articles (a, an, the) within the movie title
  • Short (below four letters) prepositions and conjunctions within the title

If a movie name begins with the above, use uppercase. Also, write long prepositions/conjunctions (moreover, although, etc.) with a capital letter. For example:

Italics vs. Quotations vs. Underlines

Most citation styles, except AP, prescribe italicization for movies and film series titles. When writing in AP, use quotation marks.

Quotes are also possible to use if you mention super short movie names like “It” or “M.” You italicize them in APA, MLA, or Chicago.

Underlines are for handwritten essays. When written by hand, you can’t italicize, huh? Use underlining instead to highlight a movie title somehow.

How to Format Punctuation in Movie Titles

If punctuation is a part of a film name, place it inside quotation marks or italicize it.

For example:

Writing Movie Titles in Reference Lists

Do you italicize movie titles.

Here they go, the rules on formatting movie titles in essays. Now that you know how to write a movie title in an essay properly, the only detail remains:

Check the formatting guidelines before writing. What citation style does an educator or editor ask you to follow? If none assigned, choose one and stick to it for consistency.

References:

  • https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/index.html  
  • https://lib.westfield.ma.edu/c.php?g=354010&p=2388441

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7 Steps to Write a Movie Title in an Essay Image

7 Steps to Write a Movie Title in an Essay

By Film Threat Staff | November 6, 2021

There are indeed many types of essays you have to deal with throughout your studies. And every time you sit to type my essay , you first start looking for sources to use in your paper as examples and references. These sources can range from scholarly articles to movies. So naturally, m any times in your college essays, you’ll be asked to make reference to movies. When you do so, you will be confronted with the question of how to refer to the title of a movie in the text of your paper.

Surely, you can make your life easier and contact experts with a message “I want to pay someone to write my paper cheap ”, so you can continue watching the movies while others do your assignments. While there are some variations in how different writing styles approach movie titles, there is a general way to write the titles of movies that you should follow if you plan to discuss a movie title in your essay. So, what are the steps you need to take to write a movie title in your essay correctly? Here are the seven steps you should follow to make sure you get the title right.

If you are stymied by the right way to write about movies in your paper, you can pay someone to do papers for you. A professional writer can free you from the burden of essay writing by offering help with the correct use of movie titles in your paper and expert discussion of the movies you need to write about for your essay properly formatted in APA or MLA citation style. In order to hire an online writer, all you need to do is to contact a quality academic writing service and say, “I need you to write my essays for me online.” While quality academic writing isn’t always cheap, many services offer great value and affordable assistance to help you achieve your essay goals with some of the best professional writers with exceptional experience and a deep bank of movie knowledge to make every essay excellent. 

Many times in your college essays, you’ll be asked to make reference to movies. When you do so, you will be confronted with the question of how to refer to the title of a movie in the text of your paper. Surely, you can make your life easier and contact experts with a message “I want to pay someone to write my paper cheap ”, so you can continue watching the movies while others do your assignments. While there are some variations in how different writing styles approach movie titles, there is a general way to write the titles of movies that you should follow if you plan to discuss a movie title in your essay. So, what are the steps you need to take to write a movie title in your essay correctly? Here are the seven steps you should follow to make sure you get the title right.

Make sure you have the right movie

Many movies have very similar titles. Some have the exact same title. You don’t want to confuse Broken Arrow , a Jimmy Stewart western, with Broken Arrow , a John Travolta thriller, for example, or The House on Haunted Hill for The Haunting of Hill House . Indeed, many movies called “mockbusters” intentionally use titles to remind you of blockbuster films and you don’t want to confuse them! So, before you use a title in your paper, make sure that you have the right movie in mind.

Check the wording of the title

Many movies are known by multiple titles, often because they have been retitled to appeal to different countries. For example, Mad Max 2 became The Road Warrior in the United States. Others have their titles changed after the fact. Star Wars became Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope , while Raiders of the Lost Ark had Indiana Jones and… appended to it decades later. When you refer to a movie, be sure you know the correct title for the context and how your audience will expect to see you discuss the title.

Watch out for “a” and “the”

Many movie titles either have an article before them that most people don’t say, or don’t have an article when people say one anyway. This can be a little confusing, but you’ll want to check whether the “a” or “the” at the beginning is really part of the title before you write the title so you will know whether to include it in the title.

Capitalize the title of the movie

When you write the title of a movie, you will generally follow the conventions of capitalization for titles. That means that you will capitalize the first word and the last word and all proper nouns and important words in the title. Capitalization can be tricky, however, because many movies use stylized capitalization in their advertisements and title cards. However, in formal academic writing, you will use standard capitalization except in rare circumstances where another scheme is essential for understanding. That means that if a movie uses ALL CAPS, you will not use all-caps unless they are an essential part of the title. Similarly, unusual or non-standard capitalization should be retained when it is essential. For example, the unusual capitalization of the movie eXistenZ is generally retained in writing because it is a made-up word whose spelling is correct within the movie.

Italicize movie titles

Movie titles should be italicized in most major writing styles. This sets the text apart from the rest of the sentence and indicates which words belong to the title and which do not. There are some exceptions to the rule about italicizing movie titles. The titles of short films are not typically italicized but are often placed in quotation marks. This generally applies to short subject films under half an hour in length, as well as to segments within a larger movie. This rule, however, is not hard-and-fast, and you should check the style guide for your chosen writing style to see when different punctuation is used. Another exception is newswriting. If you are writing in Associated Press style, all movie titles appear in quotation marks rather than italics because AP style does not use italicization for anything except in very rare circumstances.

Give the year of release on first reference

More often than not, it is beneficial to follow the title of a movie with the year of its release in parentheses on first reference. This will help the audience to place the movie in its correct position in time, and it will also make it easier to distinguish between films with similar or the same title. While this step is not always necessary, particularly for very famous films, it is generally good practice in academic writing.

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How To Write A Movie Title In An Essay

Are you planning on referencing a movie in an essay you are writing? You'll have to find out how to write the movie title down correctly, or you may lose points. It might seem like a no-brainer at first glance, but you'd be surprised about the variety of approaches different style guides take to writing movie titles.

With this guide, you'll be able to get writing a movie title in an essay right.

How To Write a Movie Title In An Essay

How should you write a movie title in an essay — whether that essay is a movie analysis, or one not related to cinematography or creative writing at all, like one about history, psychology, or sociology? That depends, in short, on the context in which you're writing your essay.

If you are hoping to reference a movie title in a high school essay, you may not have to use a particular style guide — a manual that instructs you on the correct way to incorporate particular elements into your essay. In this case, your best bet is to use title case and to italicize the movie title.

Title case capitalizes all major words in a title or headline, including nouns, pronouns, verbs, and adverbs. Minor words such as short prepositions and articles (the, a, an) remain in lower case. The first and last words of the title should always be capitalized, regardless of what they are. To make it easier for you, we'll recommend that you also capitalize prepositions with more than four letters, such as "about" and "underneath", though some style guides do not do this. Since you are using italics, there is absolutely no need to use quotation marks as well.

Have you got no clue what we're talking about? Let's see this in action. (Warning: Some of the links definitely contain spoilers if you haven't watched any of these movies yet!)

  • The BBC refers to "Spider-Man: Far From Home" , without any italics.
  • Wikipedia follows the structure recommended above, as in, for instance, " War of the Worlds ".
  • Popular movie review platform Screen Rant follows the structure described above as well, in the body of their texts. " One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest " is one example. To allow you to see as many example as possible, we're linking to a post of theirs about the 15 movies with the longest titles .

If you are required to use a style guide, such as AP, APA, or MLA — common if you are writing a college essay — you will have less freedom. On the other hand, each writing style will also tell you exactly what to do, so you won't be in the dark.

Do you not have the entire style manual lying around on your desk? No problem. We'll make it easy for you.

Rules on Writing a Movie Title On An Essay

Whether you have been asked to use a particular style manual while citing and referencing movie titles in an essay, or you are committed to maintaining a consistent style yourself, style guides can be a little confusing. Here is a closer look at some of the most popular writing styles and their rules for writing movie titles.

You won't just be writing the movie title in the body of your essay, of course, but also cite it in the references. Each style guide has specific guidelines on how to do this, as well.

In APA, you do this by:

  • Citing he director of the movie — last name, first initial.
  • Place the release year in brackets.
  • Follow this with the title.
  • Reference the medium used to watch it, for instance DVD.
  • Specify the location of the distributor, and the name of the distributor (for instance, California: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures).

In MLA, you:

  • List the director like this: Last name, First name.
  • Write the movie title.
  • Specify the name of the distributor.
  • Mention the release year.

In Harvard style, you would:

  • List the director by last name and first initial.
  • Follow with the location and name of the distributor.

Why Is Proper Formatting Important?

Style guides are conventions established to ensure consistency, which adds clarity to your essay. In practical terms, however, taking care to format the movie titles you may reference in any essays is important because not doing so will cause you to lose points, which will result in a lower grade.

You only have to familiarize yourself with the rules set out by a particular style manual once, and after that you will likely remember what they are. There is no good reason not to make sure that you get this right, and every reason to make the effort.

Is a movie title underlined in an essay?

That is actually a very interesting question. Nowadays, nearly everyone writing an essay will do so on a PC or laptop computer, using word-processing software. This trend has led the practice of underlining movie titles to go all but extinct, since it's just as easy to italicize a movie title as to underline it.

Underlining the things we now italicize used to be more common, because people wrote things by hand or used typewriters. Especially when handwriting something in cursive, italics simply aren't possible. That's why underlining movie titles, book titles, and even scientific names used to be more common. Underlining movie titles remains the correct alternative to italicizing them if you are writing an essay by hand.

Do you also include the year of release with the movie title?

Yes, you should mention the release year as you cite a movie in your references. There is no need to do so in the body of your text, unless multiple movies exist by the same title. With remakes, this has become more common in recent times.

Do you quote a movie title in an essay?

Place quotation marks around a movie title in an essay only if you are using AP style.

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How to Title a Movie or Film in an Essay or Paper

College professors carefully look at proper nouns when grading student essays. They do this to ensure they are written correctly. When they find proper nouns, such as movie titles, are not written correctly, they do not give maximum points for formatting.

In this post, we will reveal how to write movie titles correctly in MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard, and AP-style papers. What you will learn in the next few minutes will help you not lose formatting points during grading.

Let?s begin.

Formatting a Movie Title in an Essay or Paper

Notice that formatting and capitalizing movie titles in an essay or academic writing piece largely depends on the style guide that you are using. If you are writing in MLA, Chicago/Turabian, or APA, you must write the movie titles in italics. In AP style, you have to use quotes for the movie titles.

When referring to the movie within the body of your paper, all the major style guides prefer using a title case where all the major words in the movie title are capitalized.

Let us delve further into how best to write a movie title in a paper, depending on the writing style.

1. How To Write A Movie Title In-Text On An MLA-Style Paper

MLA stands for Modern Language Association. US college professors founded the association in the nineteenth century. It published the MLA format in 1951. The MLA format is the recommended format in humanities disciplines.

The correct way to write a movie title on an MLA-style paper is to capitalize the first letter of the first word and all the principal words in the title, including the hyphenated words. These words include proper nouns, common nouns, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, subordinating conjunctions, and verbs. 

The only words you should not capitalize when you write a movie title in an MLA-style paper are the articles (e.g., a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions (e.g., but, or, for, and), and prepositions (e.g., on, of, between, against) after the first word.

In addition to following the above rule on capitalizing the first letter of the first word and every principal word, you should italicize your movie title. You must italicize your movie title in virtually all major writing styles.

Examples of correctly written movie titles in MLA style

  • The movie The Batman follows a superhero?s battle to rid his city of criminals and criminal syndicates.
  • Under the Skin is probably Johansson?s best performance as an actress to date.
  • In Man of Fire, Washington is an alcoholic ex-CIA operative who gets a high-paying and high-drama job as a bodyguard in Mexico.

2. How to Write a Movie Title In-Text on an APA-Style Paper

APA is an acronym for American Psychological Association. Just like the MLA, the APA was founded in the nineteenth century. The APA stylebook was published in 1929 and is one of the world's most popularly used formatting styles.

The right way to write a movie title in APA style is to capitalize the first letter of the first word and every major word (nouns, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, and verbs) in the sentence.

The only words that should not have their first letter capitalized are minor (articles plus prepositions and conjunctions under four letters long). In short, every word over three letters in length should have its first letter capitalized in an APA paper.

The above statement shows that writing a movie title in an APA-style paper is quite similar to doing the same in an MLA-style paper. The biggest difference is that all words with over three letters have their first letter capitalized. No MLA-style exceptions for long prepositions like between and against.

In addition to capitalizing the first letter, you must italicize the entire movie title in APA, just like in MLA.

Examples of correctly written movie titles in APA style

  • Everyone who has watched The Pirates of the Caribbean loves the Captain Jack Sparrow character, played by Johnny Depp.
  • In 12 Years a Slave, the director artfully reveals the deep hate and violence faced by slaves in pre-emancipation America.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street is a fun yet thought-provoking film about a young man who made much money in the capital markets.

3. Writing A Movie Title In-Text On A Chicago-Style Paper

Writing a movie title on a Chicago-style paper is the same as writing a movie title on an MLA-style paper. You capitalize the first letter of the first word and every principal word in the sentence.

The only words you don?t capitalize are the articles (e.g., a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions (e.g., but, or, for, and), and prepositions (e.g., on, of, between, against) after the first word. Again, the case here is just like in MLA style format.

You also have to italicize your entire movie title in Chicago-style formatting.

Examples of correctly written movie titles in Chicago style

  • In The Hunger Games, themes such as power, wealth, and violence dominate the storyline.
  • Killers of the Flower Moon is an upcoming movie by Martin Scorsese based on gruesome events that took place in the Osage Nation.
  • Schwarzenegger?s Terminator movie is a classic action film featuring a cyborg as the main character.

It is crucial to note that writing a movie title Chicago style is very similar to writing a movie title Harvard style. Therefore, if you want to know how to write a film title Harvard style, follow the rules and the examples above.

4. How to Write a Movie Title In-Text on an AP-Style Paper

The AP is an acronym for the Associated Press. This is a global news organization that was founded in the mid-nineteenth century. It is one of the most reliable news organizations in the world. The organization published the AP format for journalists to use in 1953.

The correct way to write a movie title on an AP-style paper is to capitalize the first letter of the first word and all the main words. Conjunctions and prepositions more than three letters long also need their first letter capitalized. The first letter of the last word also needs to be capitalized regardless of how long or short it is.

In addition to the above, the movie title must be put in quotations. It must not be italicized.

Examples of correctly written movie titles in AP style

  • ?Memories of Murder? is an award-winning movie that was released in 2006.
  • Critics agree that ?Train to Busan? is a well-made film with an exciting storyline, excellent actors, and wonderful cinematography.
  • ?American Pie? was among the best movies ever produced by Paul Weitz.

Seven Steps to Writing a Movie Title

Follow the steps below to write movie titles in your college papers correctly.

1. Ensure the Movie You Are Referencing Is the Correct Movie

It is relatively easy to confuse movies because sometimes films have the same name, and other times they have names that can easily be confused. Therefore, before writing any movie title in your essay, ensure the movie you want to note is correct.

Noting down a movie by name in your article and then it ends up being the wrong one could have consequences for you. It could make your essay confusing, disorganized, or poor. You do not want your professor to think your essay is any of these things if you want an excellent grade.

So do a bit of research to ensure you have the right movie.

2. Ensure You Have the Wording Right

Students often forget a part of a movie title when talking about a movie in their essays. This is unacceptable. It is unacceptable because it doesn?t give the reader the complete information they need to research should they feel it necessary.

Therefore, to ensure your work is perfect, make sure the movie title you want to note down has the right wording. Do not forget or ignore any articles, conjunctions, or prepositions.

3. Do Not Leave Out Articles

Many famous movies have an article before them, e.g., ?the? or ?a.? You must not ignore the article before a movie, even if you feel like your reader will still know what you are talking about. For example, even if you feel your reader will know Shawshank Redemption, writing down the movie title like this is wrong. Write the full title, e.g., The Shawshank Redemption.

Sometimes, an article is the only thing distinguishing one movie from another. Therefore, leaving it out could mislead the reader into thinking you are discussing something different from what you are talking about.

4. Capitalize the First Word and the Main Words

Most writing formats require you to capitalize the first and main words in a movie title when you write it in-text in an essay. This doesn?t mean you write everything in capital letters. It simply means you make the first letter in the first word a capital letter plus the first letter in every other keyword (noun, pronoun, adjectives, and so on).

The example below shows how to capitalize a movie title in an essay. Even if a movie title is written in all caps, you are still supposed to capture it in the manner detailed in the example.

Example: In The Hunger Games , themes such as power, violence . . .

The only words you are not supposed to capitalize when writing a movie title are the prepositions, conjunctions, and articles within the movie title. Check the example below.

Example: Everyone who has watched The Pirates of the Caribbean loves . . .

5. Italicize the Title

As you may have noticed so far in this article, movie titles are italicized in all the major writing formats. This is done to make it clear to the reader quickly what words are part of the title and the ones that are not.

Therefore, immediately after capitalizing a movie title in your essay, you should go ahead and italicize it. Instead of italicizing it, you can add quotation marks when a movie title is short. This is, however, not always tolerated by professors. In most cases, they expect movie titles in italics.

Only when writing an AP-style paper are you expected to add quotation marks to a movie title instead of italicizing it.

6. State the Year of Release

The first time you refer to a movie in your paper or essay, you should state the year it was publicly released in parentheses. This will help the reader to understand the movie better because they will have the time context.

Sometimes movies/films share names. Adding a year in parentheses helps the reader precisely tell which movie you are discussing. While stating the year of release is encouraged, it is not always necessary. In addition, in most cases, professors do not care if the year of release is stated.

If you choose to give the year of release, you should only do it the first time you mention the movie.

7. Consider Using an Assignment Help Service

If you doubt your formatting skills and are unsure how to write movie titles, consider using an assignment help service like Gradecrest.com. Experienced masters and Ph.D. graduates who know everything there is to know about formatting papers typically offer our movie review writing services. They can help you format and edit your paper to ensure it is standard.

Moreover, we also have experts who can help you write your paper from scratch. All you need to do is to order a paper on your topic of choice, and a writer will be assigned to it to deliver outstanding results. Unlike other assignment help services, our service goes above and beyond to ensure the papers our clients receive are error-free, plagiarism-free, and have zero CHAT-GPT input.

As we come to the End?

As you may have noticed in this article, there are so many rules to remember when you want to write a movie title in an essay. While the rules are similar across different writing styles/formats, they are also slightly different. You must check the rules for writing movie titles to ensure you are on the right track according to your college?s recommended writing style.

Related Readings:

  • How to write the title of an article in an essay.

If you need assistance writing movie titles or formatting your paper, send it to us. We have expert writers with the knowledge and expertise to deliver top-quality papers. They also have the discipline and the professionalism not to use any shortcuts that could get our clients in trouble (e.g., AI and low-quality sources). Trust us today with your work, and we will deliver.

Is it necessary to include the year of release when writing a movie title in a college essay?

It is not necessary. When writing a movie title in a college essay, you must write it correctly and add a credible source on the ?Works Cited page. You can include the year of release the first time you mention the movie in your essay. You can do this by putting the year in parentheses next to the movie title. But it is not a must.

Should I put quotation marks on a movie title?

No, you should not. You should capitalize and italicize it. Quotation marks are not required or recommended when writing a movie title following the APA, MLA, Harvard, or Chicago formats. They are only required when writing a movie title following the AP style. And when they are used in AP style, the title shouldn?t be italicized.

Should movie titles be written in title cases in an essay?

Yes, they should. All writing styles require you to write your movie title in title case (AP, APA, Chicago, MLA, and Harvard). The major words or principal words of the movie title should all be written in the title case.

Why do some news organizations put movie titles in quotations?

They do this because most news organizations require their journalists to follow the AP (Associated Press) style when writing news items. And since the AP format requires movies to be written in quotations rather than italics, you have the current situation where news articles have movie names in quotes.

Do you underline movie titles in essays?

No, you do not. You don?t underline movie titles in essays. This is because almost all writing and formatting styles require you to write the movie name in the title case and italicize it. Nothing more. You only underline movie titles in essays if you are handwriting your essay because italics aren?t possible when handwriting.

Is there a problem if I do not format my movie title correctly?

Yes, there is a problem. A big problem. You should format your move title correctly to get the total points for proper formatting during grade. If you don?t, you won?t get all the points your professor allocates for formatting the essay. This will result in a poor or average grade.

how to use a movie title in essay

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Including a movie title in an essay, it is essential to adhere to certain guidelines to ensure accuracy and professionalism. The following article will give you detailed information on how to write a movie title in an essay.

When it comes to crafting an impressive essay about movies, the effective use of movie titles plays a pivotal role. Movie titles not only add depth and context to your work but also serve as captivating hooks for readers. However, many writers struggle with the correct format and punctuation rules for movie titles in their essays.

This comprehensive guide will delve into the intricacies of writing movie titles, exploring the different styles, considerations, and conventions that govern their usage. By the end of this exploration, you will possess the necessary knowledge to confidently and accurately include how to write a movie title in an essay, thereby enhancing the impact and cohesiveness of your writing.

Table of Contents

Three main components of a movie title in an essay

An excellent essay title is created using a formula, just like all professional writing has a framework to follow. Remember that shorter is always preferable. A title cannot contain more than 10 to 12 words.

The elements that make up a movie title in an essay include:

  • An eye-catching and compelling hook
  • An effective tone of the title establishes a general attitude or mood.
  • The focus keyword around which the whole aura of the title revolves.

How to properly write a movie title in an essay – Is formatting necessary?

Formatting plays a critical role in writing a movie title in an essay and holds significant importance for several reasons. Firstly, formatting ensures clarity and distinguishes the movie title from the rest of the text. The title stands out by italicizing or using quotation marks, enabling readers to identify it easily within the essay. This clarity helps to avoid confusion and enhances the overall readability of the essay.

Secondly, adhering to proper formatting guidelines demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail. Academic writing requires precision, and following established rules for formatting movie titles showcases a writer’s commitment to accurately presenting their work. Consistency in formatting also contributes to the overall coherence of the essay, creating a polished and cohesive piece of writing.

Furthermore, formatting movie titles correctly is essential for maintaining consistency across different citation styles. Various citation styles, such as APA and MLA, have specific guidelines for formatting movie titles. Sticking to these guidelines ensures that the essay aligns with the conventions of the chosen citation style, enhancing the credibility and professionalism of the work.

Formatting movie titles: Rules and conventions

Regarding formatting movie titles, writers must adhere to specific rules and conventions. The primary consideration is whether the essay is being written formally or informally, as this will determine the formatting style for movie titles.

In formal writing, such as academic essays, it is customary to use italics to denote the title of a movie. For instance, “The Shawshank Redemption” or “Casablanca” would be italicized. On the other hand, in more informal contexts, such as personal narratives or blog posts, movie titles are often placed within quotation marks, such as “The Dark Knight” or “Inception.”

Punctuation

Proper punctuation and capitalization are essential in writing movie titles in an essay. In formal writing, the first and last words of the title should always be capitalized, regardless of their nature (e.g., articles, prepositions).

However, conjunctions or short prepositions within the title should only be capitalized if they are the first or last words. When using quotation marks, the punctuation should be placed inside the quotation marks, except in the case of question marks or exclamation points, which follow the same rules as general punctuation placement.

Capitalization

While writing the title, one question revolves around the do’s and don’ts; do I capitalize a movie title? Or not? Ensuring proper capitalization of movie titles is vital. Always capitalize significant words in the title, such as nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.

However, articles (e.g., “a,” “an,” “the”), coordinating conjunctions (e.g., “and,” “but,” “or”), and prepositions (e.g., “of,” “in,” “on”) are generally not capitalized unless they are the first or last word in the title.

Context and consistency

While mastering the technical aspects of writing movie titles is important, it is equally crucial to consider the context and maintain consistency within your essay. In addition to introducing the title, provide relevant information about the movie, such as the director’s name, release year, or any pertinent details that enhance the reader’s understanding.

Moreover, ensure that the chosen formatting style remains consistent throughout the essay, promoting clarity and coherence in your writing. As consistency is key, stick to that format throughout your essay once you decide whether to use italics or quotation marks for movie titles. Avoid mixing both formats within the same document. So, on the question of how to write a movie title in an essay, it is important to maintain consistency throughout the essay by using the same format for movie titles.

How to write a movie title in an essay in APA

If you are using the APA style for your essay, there are specific guidelines for citing movie titles:

  • Italicize the movie title both in the text and in the reference list. This ensures consistency and helps distinguish the title from the rest of the content.
  • When referring to a movie title within the body of your essay, include it in italics and use sentence case. For example: “The film Titanic (1997) depicts…”
  • In the reference list, provide the full movie title in italics, followed by the year of release, the director’s name, and the production company. For example: “Titanic. (1997). Directed by James Cameron. [Motion Picture]. Paramount Pictures.”

How to write a movie title in an essay in MLA

If you are following the MLA style, here are the guidelines for citing movie titles:

  • Italicize the movie title in the text and Works Cited page. Italicization helps distinguish the title and gives it prominence within the essay.
  • When referring to a movie title within the body of your essay, italicize the title and enclose it in parentheses. For example: “The film Titanic (1997) portrays…”
  • In the Works Cited page, include the movie title in italics, followed by the director’s name, the year of release, and the production company.

In short, formatting is important when writing a movie title in an essay because it enhances clarity, showcases professionalism, and maintains consistency with citation style guidelines. By paying attention to these formatting details, writers can effectively communicate their ideas while adhering to the established standards of academic writing.

9 Incorrect ways to write a movie title in an essay

It is essential to use the correct formatting, punctuation, and capitalization when writing movie titles in essays to ensure accuracy and consistency. The detailed pointers with examples about the incorrect ways to write a movie title in an essay are as follows:

1.   No capitalization

“the lord of the rings” In this incorrect format, the entire movie title is written in lowercase letters, disregarding the capitalization rules. It lacks the necessary capitalization of important words, such as “Lord” and “Rings.”

2.   Missing spaces

“Titanicthe Movie” This format omits the required spaces between words, resulting in a jumbled title. The movie title “Titanic” should have a space after it, followed by the word “the” with another space.

3.   Incorrect quotation marks

“The Lion King’ Quotation marks should enclose the entire movie title, both at the beginning and the end. In this case, the closing quotation mark is missing, resulting in an incomplete and incorrect representation of the movie title.

4.   Abbreviations

“HPATDH: Part 2” While abbreviations are commonly used for movie titles, they should be written correctly. In this incorrect format, the abbreviation for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” is not properly represented, which can create confusion.

5.   Inconsistent capitalization

“Jurassic park” Movie titles should follow consistent capitalization rules, typically capitalizing the principal words. In this case, the title “Jurassic Park” is written with inconsistent capitalization, disregarding the capitalization of the second word.

6.   Misspelling

“Forrest Gump” Misspelling a movie title can significantly impact the accuracy and credibility of an essay. In this example, the movie title “Forrest Gump” is misspelled, omitting the second “r” in “Forrest.”

7.   Punctuation errors

“The, Shawshank Redemption!” Punctuation marks within a movie title should be used correctly. This incorrect format includes a comma after “The,” which disrupts the flow of the title. Additionally, an exclamation mark is added, which is unnecessary and improper.

8.   Wrong order of words

“Witch the The Wizard of Oz” The correct word order is crucial in representing a movie title accurately. In this example, the words “the” and “witch” are misplaced, resulting in an incorrect and nonsensical title.

9.   Using article incorrectly

“An Avengers, The” Articles (e.g., “a,” “an,” “the”) should be used appropriately in movie titles. In this format, the article “an” is placed before “Avengers,” and the article “the” is used incorrectly at the end, resulting in an inaccurate representation of the movie title.

How to brainstorm for writing a movie title in an essay

Title brainstorming is an art that combines creativity, clarity, and relevance. It involves generating a range of potential titles, evaluating their suitability, and selecting the most compelling one that encapsulates your essay’s core ideas and themes. To embark on this process, follow these steps:

●     Understand the essay’s focus

Understand your essay’s main topic and purpose comprehensively. Consider the key concepts, arguments, or research questions you will explore and the central message you aim to convey.

●     Identify the tone and style

Determine your essay’s desired tone and style. Are you aiming for a formal, academic approach, or do you want to infuse it with a touch of creativity? Understanding the desired tone will help shape the language and style of your title.

●     List keywords and phrases

Write down relevant keywords and phrases related to your essay’s subject matter. These could include essential terms, themes, or specific concepts that encapsulate the core ideas of your work.

●     Analyze the content

Review your essay’s content, paying attention to any unique angles, insights, or distinctive arguments you have presented. Consider any standout quotes, ideas, or metaphors that could be potential sources of inspiration for your title.

●     Consider the target audience

Reflect on the intended audience for your essay. Are you addressing a scholarly community, a general readership, or a specialized group? Tailoring your title to resonate with your target audience can enhance its effectiveness.

●     Free writing and association

Engage in a free writing exercise, allowing your thoughts to flow naturally and spontaneously. Write down any words or phrases that come to mind when contemplating your essay’s topic. These associations can stimulate fresh ideas for your title.

●     Synthesize and refine

Analyze the ideas, keywords, and phrases you have generated so far. Look for connections, patterns, or themes that emerge from your brainstorming. Begin synthesizing these elements into potential title options.

●     Test for clarity and impact

Assess each potential title for clarity, relevance, and impact. Is the title concise and understandable? Does it accurately reflect the essay’s content and purpose? Does it generate curiosity and intrigue?

●     Seek feedback

Share your potential titles with others, such as peers, instructors, or mentors, to gather feedback. Their perspectives can provide valuable insights and help you choose the most effective title.

●     Select the final title

After considering feedback and thoroughly evaluating your options, select the title that best captures the essence of your essay while captivating your intended audience. Ensure that the chosen title aligns with your essay’s content and objectives.

Thus, an effective essay title should be concise, intriguing, and accurately represent the content of your work. It serves as a powerful tool to capture readers’ attention and generate interest in your essay. Through a thoughtful and systematic brainstorming process, you can create a professional and engaging title that enhances the overall impact of your essay.

How do you give a movie a title? The absolute qualities of an essay title

A movie title in an essay serves as a concise representation of the film being discussed. It plays an important role in capturing the reader’s attention. When crafting a movie title for an essay, several qualities contribute to its effectiveness and professionalism. Here are some key qualities to consider:

●     Conciseness

A strong movie title in an essay is concise, providing a brief yet impactful summary of the film’s essence. It should avoid excessive length and unnecessary details, focusing on the core theme or idea.

●     Clarity

The title should be clear and easily understandable, conveying the film’s subject matter. It should provide a glimpse into what the movie is about, enabling readers to grasp its central focus quickly.

●     Relevance

A professional movie title should be directly relevant to the content of the essay. It should reflect the analyzed film accurately, ensuring readers can easily connect the title to the subsequent discussion.

●     Captivating and intriguing

A well-crafted movie title should evoke curiosity and intrigue in the reader. It should entice them to delve deeper into the essay, generating interest and anticipation about the film’s analysis.

●     Tone and style

The title should align with the overall tone and style of the essay. Whether it is academic, analytical, or creative, the title should set the appropriate tone and convey the essay’s approach to the film.

●     Consistency with formatting

Following proper formatting guidelines is essential for a professional movie title in an essay. It should be appropriately capitalized, italicized or enclosed in quotation marks (as per the chosen style guide) and adhere to any specific formatting requirements of the essay or publication.

●     Accuracy

The movie title should accurately represent the film being discussed in the essay. It should reflect the official title and avoid any misleading or incorrect information that could confuse readers.

●     Memorable

A memorable movie title leaves a lasting impression on readers. It may incorporate unique or distinctive elements of the film, such as a significant quote, a metaphor, or a memorable character or scene.

●     Originality

While it is essential to accurately represent the film, a professional movie title should also exhibit some originality. It should stand out from generic or commonly used titles, adding a touch of creativity or uniqueness.

●     Grammar and spelling

The title should be free of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Proofreading and editing the title, just like the rest of the essay, contribute to its professionalism and credibility.

13 Tips and tricks of how to write the title of a movie in an essay:

By following these professional tips, you can confidently and accurately write movie titles in your essays, demonstrating your attention to detail and adherence to established writing conventions. Let’s look at the top fourteen points that will help you ace your movie title game.

1.   Follow the citation style guidelines

Different styles, such as MLA, Chicago, and APA, have specific rules for formatting movie titles. Familiarize yourself with the guidelines of your style and apply them accurately.

2.   Italicize the title

In most cases, it is recommended to italicize movie titles to set them apart from the rest of the text. This helps readers easily identify the title.

3.   Use quotation marks

If you are unable to use italics, such as in certain online platforms or handwritten essays, use quotation marks to enclose the movie title. The movie title should be in quotation marks, indicating that it is a specific work within a larger body of work. For instance, “The Shawshank Redemption” or “Inception.”

4.   Include the title in the sentence case

When mentioning a movie title within the body of your essay, use sentence case, capitalizing only the first word and proper nouns.

5.   Place the title in parentheses

When referring to a movie title within the text, enclose it in parentheses after the relevant information or context.

6.   Indicate the release year

Whenever possible, include the year of release in parentheses after the movie title. This provides context for the reader and helps differentiate between movies with the same or similar titles.

7.   Include the director’s name

If relevant to your discussion, consider including the director’s name after the movie title to provide additional context or highlight specific aspects of the movie.

8.   Include additional details (if necessary)

Depending on the focus of your essay, you may include other details, such as the production company or relevant actors in the movie title mentioned.

9.   Avoid excessive punctuation

Stick to using parentheses, commas, and periods as necessary. Avoid using unnecessary punctuation that may clutter the title.

10.                Maintain parallelism

If referencing multiple movies within your essay, ensure consistent formatting and parallel structure for all the titles.

11.                Pay attention to accuracy

Double-check the spelling and accuracy of movie titles to avoid any errors or inaccuracies that may detract from the credibility of your essay.

12.                Consult reliable sources

If you are unsure about the correct formatting of a movie title, consult reputable style guides, writing handbooks, or official citation style manuals to ensure accuracy.

13.                Proofread and edit

After writing your essay, thoroughly proofread and edit to ensure all movie titles are correctly formatted and consistent with the chosen citation style.

The bottom line

Understanding how to write movie titles in an essay is essential for maintaining proper adherence to citation style guidelines. So, in conclusion, you can accurately and effectively incorporate movie titles into your essays by following the basic rules, such as italicizing or using quotation marks, ensuring consistency, and properly capitalizing words.

If you use a specific citation style like APA or MLA, follow the respective guidelines for citing movie titles within the text and in the reference list or Works Cited page. With these rules in the above-mentioned guide, you can present movie titles professionally and clearly in your academic writing.

Further, writing movie titles in an essay is an art form that requires attention to detail and adherence to specific rules. By understanding the significance of movie titles, following formatting guidelines, and maintaining consistency, you can effectively incorporate movie titles into your essays and captivate your readers. Now armed with this knowledge, you can confidently embark on your journey to weave compelling narratives with the power of cinema.

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How to Write Movie Titles in Essays?

Jilian Woods

Table of Contents

Writing a movie title in essay projects may be necessary when handling different academic assignments. Thus, knowing how to write movie captions in the correct format is vital for composing successful papers. While mastering this art is necessary, many students face challenges doing it. 

This subject raises many questions regarding various components. For instance, italicizing, quoting, underlining, and punctuating are some of the challenges some students face. 

Fortunately, relevant guidance exists to address all these challenges and improve your writing skills. This post addresses these difficulties in all the major academic writing styles like APA , Chicago, and MLA. Keep reading to learn more and master this area of academic writing. 

How to Put a Movie Title in an Essay

Writing a movie title in essay has different components that have evolved through the ages. The rise of computer technology has drastically changed how learners handle this subject. It has changed some elements, like underlining movie titles. For instance, before personal computers became common, students used typewriters to write academic papers. This technology required them to underline movie titles. Also, underlining movie headlines was necessary because some scholars hand-wrote their assignments. The reason is that italicizing a title was difficult in a hand-written essay. 

Rules to Follow When Writing a Movie Title in Essay

Here are the main rules to follow to write movie titles correctly in your academic papers. 

Title Sources 

As a rule of thumb, you should list the full title as it appears in the source you are citing. However, few exceptions exist for this rule, particularly when punctuating subtitles and standardizing capitalization. 

  • You must capitalize every principal word, like an adjective, noun, and verb. However, don’t capitalize articles, prepositions, or conjunctions in the title’s middle. However, capitalize them if they are long, such as additionally and furthermore, or if they are a title’s first word. 
  • Always separate subtitles with colons and spaces.

Italicization 

Italicization is another vital component to pay attention to when including a movie title in essay .

You must italicize titles from self-contained and independent sources. Remember to italicize every book, play, film, periodical, database, and website title.

Quotation Marks 

Put a title in quotation marks if its source is a part of a larger work.

Titles with Other Titles  

Titles containing other titles occur commonly in academic writing. Also, if the title usually appears in double quotation marks, enclose the caption in single quotes. For instance, 

“Madness in David’s ‘Make Common Sense Common Again.'”

Capitalization 

Capitalization is another core component when drafting movie captions in essays. You should apply all the established capitalization rules when writing these titles. These laws require you to do the following: 

  • Begin all movie captions start with capital letters. 
  • Always capitalize all proper nouns.

However, you must pay special attention to some exceptions when applying these rules to place a movie title . The final rules will depend on the writing style you use. Please note that different academic formats disagree on minor matters that may complicate matters. So, use these rules, knowing they don’t apply universally across various educational writing styles. 

Movie Title in Writing

You will format your essays using APA, MLA, or Chicago styles. While these disagree on different issues, they agree on a few core components. For instance, these styles need you to capitalize all movie titles. They also require you to capitalize adverbs, nouns, verbs, and pronouns. These formatting styles also agree on capitalizing prepositions, articles, and conjunctions only if they are the first word in titles. 

APA requires capitalizing all words with more than three letters. It also capitalizes a caption’s first word and proper nouns. Here is an excellent example: When the bells ring .

When formatting your essay using AP style, place your movie titles in quotes. You still have to abide by all the rules of writing titles within quotes. For example:

  • “The Passion of the Christ” shuttered records within its first year of release.
  • “We are happy to work on any movie as popular as ‘The Lord of the Ring,'” John exclaimed. 

While you should always italicize all TV shows and movie titles, several exceptions occur; for instance, treat every heading of a specific scene or episode and a short film as a shorter work. Therefore, place such captions in quotations. 

Here are two main questions students ask about placing a movie title in essay s, plus their answers. 

How do you write a movie title in an essay?

Capitalize all the major words in the headline, such as pronouns, verbs, proper nouns, and adverbs. However, don’t capitalize short prepositions articles like a, an , and the . The only exception occurs when these words open movie headlines or are four letters long and more, for instance, beneath or about. However, the three main formatting styles disagree on this last rule. So, consult your essay’s style guide before applying this rule. 

How to draft a movie title in an essay MLA?

The MLA format for writing a movie title requires formatting all headlines uniformly in the entire essay. It has two major principles you must pay attention to.

  • Capitalize all the first letters of the main words except minor ones, such as conjunctions, articles, and prepositions. The only exception here applies when they exist at a headline’s beginning.  
  • Italicize every title in the essay’s body.

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How to write a biography essay, compare and contrast essay outline example.

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How to Cite a Movie in an Essay: MLA, APA, Harvard, Chicago

November 16, 2023

It is crucial to cite a movie in an essay to give credit to the original creators and sources of information. Just like any other form of media, movies are considered intellectual property, and their use in academic writing requires proper acknowledgment. Citing a movie not only demonstrates academic integrity but also allows readers to access the referenced material for further research. Additionally, citing movies helps to avoid plagiarism and provides a solid foundation for the arguments and claims presented in the essay. By acknowledging the source, it shows that the writer has conducted thorough research and is presenting information from reliable sources. Citing movies also adds credibility and allows readers to verify the information presented. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the correct methods of citing movies to enhance the overall quality and academic value of the essay.

MLA format for citing a movie in an essay

In MLA format, citing a movie in an essay follows a specific set of guidelines. Here’s how to do it:

  • Title of the Movie: Start the citation with the title of the movie, in italics or underlined.
  • Director’s Name: Include the full name of the director, followed by a comma.
  • Performers’ Names: If relevant, you can include the names of performers in the movie, preceded by the abbreviation “perf.” and followed by a comma.
  • Distributor: Add the name of the movie’s distributor, followed by a comma.
  • Release Year: Include the release year of the movie, followed by a period.

Example citation in MLA format:

Title of the Movie. Directed by Director’s Name, performances by Performers’ Names, Distributor, Release Year.

For instance:

“The Shawshank Redemption.” Directed by Frank Darabont, performances by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, Warner Bros., 1994.

It is important to note that if you are referring to the movie within the body of your essay, you should include the title of the movie in italics or underlined, and the in-text citation should be placed in parentheses after the movie title with just the last name of the director and the page number, if applicable, like this: (Darabont 46). Remember to also include a corresponding entry in your bibliography or works cited page at the end of your essay.

By following these guidelines, you can accurately and properly cite a movie in your essay using MLA format.

APA format for citing a movie

In APA format, citing a movie in an essay involves a specific format that ensures clarity and consistency. Here’s how to cite a movie in APA style:

  • Producer(s) and Director(s): Start with the last name and initials of the producer(s) and director(s), separated by a comma and an ampersand (&).
  • Year of Release: Include the year in parentheses immediately following the names of the director(s) and producer(s).
  • Title of the Movie: Capitalize the first letter of each significant word in the title, as well as any subtitles. Italicize the title.
  • Country of Origin: Provide the country where the movie was produced.
  • Production Company: Include the name of the production company that released the movie.

Example citation in APA format:

Director Last Name, Initial(s) (Director), & Producer Last Name, Initial(s). (Year). Title of the Movie [Motion picture]. Country of Origin: Production Company.

Darabont, F. (Director), & Niki, M. (Producer). (1994). The Shawshank Redemption [Motion picture]. United States: Warner Bros.

Remember to include an in-text citation after mentioning the movie title within the body of your essay. This entails placing the last name of the director and the year of release in parentheses, like this: (Darabont, 1994). In the reference list or bibliography at the end of your essay, ensure you provide a full citation for the movie.

By following these guidelines, you can accurately and properly cite a movie in your essay using APA format.

How to Reference a Movie in Harvard Style

In Harvard referencing style, citing a movie in an essay follows a specific format to ensure consistency and proper attribution. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cite a movie using Harvard style:

  • Director(s) and Producer(s): Start with the last name(s) and initials of the director(s) and producer(s), separated by a comma.
  • Year of Release: Include the year of release in parentheses immediately after the names.
  • [Motion picture]: Include this phrase in square brackets.

Example citation in Harvard format:

Director Last Name, Initial(s), & Producer Last Name, Initial(s). (Year of Release). Title of the Movie [Motion picture]. Country of Origin: Production Company.

Darabont, F., & Niki, M. (1994). The Shawshank Redemption [Motion picture]. United States: Warner Bros.

When citing a movie within your essay, include the director’s last name and the year of release in parentheses, like this: (Darabont, 1994). Additionally, make sure to list the full citation in your reference list or bibliography at the end of your essay.

By following these guidelines, you can accurately cite a movie in your essay using Harvard format. Don’t forget to consult the official Harvard referencing style guide for any additional specific requirements.

How to Cite a Movie in Chicago/Turabian Format

In Chicago/Turabian format, citing a movie in an essay requires adherence to specific guidelines to ensure accurate referencing. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cite a movie using Chicago/Turabian style:

  • Director(s) and Producer(s): Start with the director(s)’s full name, followed by a “dir.” For the producer(s), use “prod.” Include their names in the order they appear in the movie’s credits.
  • Title of the Movie: Capitalize the first letter of each significant word in the title, as well as any subtitles. Italicize the title or use quotation marks, depending on the format used in the original source.
  • Directed by, Produced by, or Director(s) and Producer(s): Indicate the directors and producers’ roles using appropriate abbreviations.

Example citation in Chicago/Turabian format:

Director(s) Last Name, First Name(s), dir. Producer(s) Last Name, First Name(s), prod. Year of Release. Title of the Movie. Directed by, Produced by, or Director(s) and Producer(s). Country of Origin: Production Company.

For example:

Darabont, Frank, dir. Niki, Mark, prod. 1994. The Shawshank Redemption. Directed by Frank Darabont, Produced by Mark Niki. United States: Warner Bros.

When citing the movie within your essay, include the director’s(s)’s last name and the year of release in parentheses, like this: (Darabont 1994). Additionally, make sure to list the full citation in your bibliography or reference list at the end of your essay.

By following these guidelines, you can accurately cite a movie in your essay using Chicago/Turabian format. However, it’s important to consult the official Chicago/Turabian style guide for any additional specific requirements.

Using in-text citations for movie references

When citing a movie in an essay, it is crucial to use in-text citations to provide proper attribution and support your statements or arguments. Here’s how to incorporate in-text citations for movie references in your essay:

  • Direct Quotes: When directly quoting a line or dialogue from a movie, enclose the quote in quotation marks and include the last name of the director and the year of release in parentheses. For example: “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” (Coppola, 1972).
  • Paraphrasing: If you’re paraphrasing a scene or summarizing the movie, mention the director’s last name and the year of release in parentheses at the end of the sentence. For example: The gripping prison escape in “The Shawshank Redemption” (Darabont, 1994) captivated audiences worldwide.
  • Referring to a Movie: If you’re referring to a specific movie without including a direct quote or paraphrase, mention the movie’s title in italics and the director’s last name and the year of release in parentheses. For example: The visual effects in “Inception” (Nolan, 2010) were groundbreaking.

Remember to keep your in-text citations concise and clear, providing enough information for readers to locate the full citation in your reference list. Properly citing a movie within your essay not only acknowledges the original source but also adds credibility to your work.

Creating a Reference List for Movies in the Bibliography

When citing a movie in an essay, it is essential to include a comprehensive reference list or bibliography to provide complete details for your sources. Here’s a guide on how to create a reference list for movies in the bibliography using the appropriate format:

  • Start the reference list on a new page titled “References” or “Bibliography.”
  • Arrange the entries in alphabetical order based on the last name of the movie’s director.
  • Include the following information for each movie entry:
  • Director(s) and Producer(s): Start with the last name(s) and initial(s) of the director(s) and producer(s). Use a comma to separate multiple directors or producers. End with a period.
  • Year of Release: Enclose the year of release in parentheses. End with a period.
  • Title of the Movie: Capitalize the first letter of each significant word in the title and any subtitles. Italicize the title.
  • Format: Specify the format of the movie, such as “Motion picture” or “Film.”
  • Country of Origin: Mention the country where the movie was produced. End with a colon.
  • Production Company: Include the name of the production company that released the movie. End with a period.

Example reference list entry for a movie:

Darabont, F. & Niki, M. (1994). The Shawshank Redemption. [Motion picture]. United States: Warner Bros.

Ensure that each entry is formatted consistently throughout the bibliography. If there are multiple movies by the same director, list them in chronological order, starting with the earliest release.

By following these guidelines, you can create an accurate and well-organized reference list for movies in the bibliography section of your essay. Remember to consult the appropriate style guide for any specific requirements or variations.

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How to Say a Movie Title in an Essay: A Comprehensive Guide

When writing an essay, it’s important to properly reference movie titles to give credit and clarity to the work you are discussing. Whether you’re writing a formal academic paper or a more casual piece, this guide will provide you with tips and examples on how to mention movie titles in your essay. We’ll cover both formal and informal ways of referencing movie titles, while also highlighting any regional variations that are necessary. So, let’s dive in and learn how to say a movie title in an essay!

Formal Ways to Mention Movie Titles

When you’re writing a formal essay, such as an academic paper or a professional article, it’s essential to follow certain conventions. Here are some formal ways to reference movie titles:

1. Italicize the Movie Title

In formal writing, it is customary to italicize movie titles. Italicization helps to distinguish the title as a separate entity from the rest of your essay. For example:

In the critically acclaimed film The Shawshank Redemption , directed by Frank Darabont, the protagonist Andy Dufresne beautifully portrays…

2. Use Quotation Marks

Another formal way to mention a movie title in your essay is to enclose it within quotation marks. This convention is often used in academic writing when italics are not available. For example:

The movie “Inception,” directed by Christopher Nolan, explores the complex world of dreams and reality…

Informal Ways to Mention Movie Titles

If you’re writing a more casual piece, such as a blog post or a personal essay, you may opt for a more relaxed style. Here are some informal ways to mention movie titles:

1. Capitalize the Movie Title

An easy and informal way to indicate a movie title is to capitalize it. Although it’s less conventional than italicizing or using quotation marks, this approach can work well in certain contexts. For example:

If you’re a fan of action movies, you should definitely watch Mad Max: Fury Road . It’s an adrenaline-packed ride from start to finish!

2. Use Plain Text

In more informal settings, such as social media posts or personal blog entries, you can simply write the movie title in plain text without any special formatting. While it’s not recommended for formal writing, it can be acceptable in appropriate informal contexts. For example:

I just watched the movie A Star is Born, and it blew me away! Lady Gaga’s performance was exceptional.

Regional Variations on Movie Title Referencing

When mentioning movie titles, regional variations in language and conventions may come into play. It’s essential to be aware of these differences if necessary. For instance:

1. British English

In British English, it is common to use single quotation marks (‘) instead of double quotation marks (“) when referencing movie titles. The rest of the rules for formal and informal referencing remain the same. For example:

‘The Godfather’ is widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made.

In French, it is customary to capitalize only the first word of the movie title, regardless of its original language. For example:

J’ai adoré le film Les Intouchables . Les acteurs étaient époustouflants!

Tips for Referencing Movie Titles in Essays

Now that you have an idea of the different ways to mention movie titles in your essay, here are some additional tips to enhance your writing:

1. Consistency is Key

Regardless of the formatting style you choose, ensure consistency throughout your essay. Stick to one method (italicizing, using quotation marks, or capitalizing) and apply it consistently for all movie titles.

2. Include Relevant Details

When mentioning a movie title, it’s helpful to include key details such as the director’s name, release year, or any significant achievements associated with the film. This provides your readers with valuable context.

3. Adhere to Proper Grammar and Punctuation

Make sure to use correct grammar and punctuation when referencing movie titles. This includes appropriate capitalization, proper use of quotation marks or italics, and consistent formatting.

4. Check Style Guides

Consult the appropriate style guide for your essay to verify the specific requirements for referencing movie titles. Different academic disciplines and organizations may have their own preferred conventions.

5. Proofread and Edit

Always proofread and edit your essay before finalizing it. Check for any errors or inconsistencies in your movie title references to maintain professionalism and accuracy.

Referencing movie titles correctly in your essays is crucial for academic integrity and effective communication. By following the formal and informal ways mentioned in this guide, you can confidently mention movie titles while maintaining clarity and professionalism in your writing. Remember to consider any regional variations and adhere to the specific guidelines provided by your academic institution or organization. Happy writing!

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Including movie titles in essays can add a touch of creativity and excitement to your writing. However, it can also be a bit confusing, especially if you're unsure whether to use a formal or informal approach. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various ways to mention movie titles in your essays, highlighting both formal and informal methods. We will also provide tips, examples, and even touch on regional variations (though these should be used sparingly). Let's dive in!

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Guide: How to Say the Title of a Book in an Essay

When writing an essay, it's important to be able to properly reference the title of a book. Including the book's title in your essay can lend credibility, provide additional context to your arguments, and demonstrate your depth of knowledge. However, there are certain conventions and rules that need to be followed. In this guide, we will discuss various formal and informal ways to refer to the title of a book in your essay, along with a few helpful tips and examples.

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to properly incorporate the title of a book into your essays. Whether you are writing a formal academic paper or a more casual piece, correctly referring to the titles of books shows your understanding and attention to detail. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to mention book titles in essays, while providing various tips, examples, and regional variations. So let's dive in!

How to Say a Movie in an Essay

Welcome to this comprehensive guide on how to effectively mention a movie in an essay. Whether you are writing an academic paper or a casual blog post, correctly referencing a movie can enhance your writing and make your work more engaging. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to mention a movie, and provide you with plenty of tips and examples to help you master this skill. Let's dive in!

How to Say a Book Title in a Sentence

When discussing books, it is essential to know how to properly refer to their titles in a sentence. Whether you need to mention a book in a formal or informal way, understanding the conventions of book title references is important. In this guide, we will explore various tips and examples on how you can mention a book title in a sentence, providing both formal and informal approaches.

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How to Write a Title of a Movie in a Paper

The formatting and capitalization of a movie title depends on the style guide you are using for your paper. The Modern Language Association, American Psychological Association and Chicago style place movie titles in italics, while Associated Press style uses quotes for such titles. When referring to a movie in the body of a paper, all of the major style guides use title case, which means all of the major words in the title are capitalized.

APA, MLA and Chicago style

Movie or film titles are formatted the same in APA, Chicago and MLA style. In each of these styles, the movie title is italicized in the body of the paper. For instance:

Pirates of the Caribbean broke from Disney's tradition of releasing more mature titles under alternate studio names.

Fritz Lang's M deals with the issues of suspicion and punishment in Weimar Germany.

In the body of a paper, APA, Chicago and MLA all use title case capitalization for titles of movies. All major words -- such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and pronouns -- are capitalized. Minor words -- such as prepositions, conjunctions and articles -- are lower case unless it is the first word of the title.

APA also specifies that all words more than four letters should be capitalized: Gone With the Wind . APA uses sentence case capitalization for movie titles in reference lists, which means only the first word of a title and proper nouns (names of specific people, places or things) are capitalized: For whom the bell tolls .

Associated Press Style

In AP style, movie titles are placed in quotes. Note that the normal rules for quotes within quotes still apply. Here are two examples:

"Star Wars" broke box office records when it was first released.

"I am excited to work on any film as complex as 'The Prestige,'" he said.

AP style uses title case capitalization for movie titles. However, the AP stylebook specifies that any word that is four or more letters as well as the first and last word of a title should always be capitalized.

  • Rasmussen College: When writing a paper, do I use italics for all titles?
  • Purdue University Online Writing Lab: MLA Formatting and Style Guide
  • The Chicago Manual of Style Online: Capitalization, Titles
  • RMIT University: Harvard Referencing Guide for Visual Material
  • Journalist's Resource: Associated Press Style Basics

Jon Zamboni began writing professionally in 2010. He has previously written for The Spiritual Herald, an urban health care and religious issues newspaper based in New York City, and online music magazine eBurban. Zamboni has a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from Wesleyan University.

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APA Style (7th Edition) Citation Guide: Films/Videos/TV Shows

  • Introduction
  • Journal Articles
  • Magazine/Newspaper Articles
  • Books & Ebooks
  • Government & Legal Documents
  • Biblical Sources
  • Secondary Sources
  • Films/Videos/TV Shows
  • How to Cite: Other
  • Additional Help

Table of Contents

Film or Video

Streaming Video From a Website (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)

Streaming video from a subscription media website (netflix, amazon prime, hulu, etc.), streaming video from a library database, television series episode.

Note: All citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent in a Reference List.

A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.

This Microsoft support page contains instructions about how to format a hanging indent in a paper.

Who to Credit - Film or Video

The director should be credited as the author of a film. If the director is unknown, someone in a similar role, such as a producer and/or writer, can be credited. To clarify what role the person has in the production, their job title such as Director is put after their name in round brackets if the job title is known.

Who to Credit - Streaming Video from a Website

For videos from websites such as YouTube or Vimeo, credit the person who posted the content. If a real name is provided, use that followed by the person's user name in square brackets. If the real name of the person who posted the content is not known, just use their user name without brackets.

Note : It is not necessary to specify how you watched a film or video (e.g. motion picture, DVD, streaming online). 

In the Body of a Paper

Books, Journals, Reports, Webpages, etc.: When you refer to titles of a “stand-alone work,” as the APA calls them on their APA Style website, such as books, journals, reports, and webpages, you should italicize them. Capitalize words as you would for an article title in a reference, e.g., In the book Crying in H Mart: A memoir , author Michelle Zauner (2021) describes her biracial origin and its impact on her identity.

Article or Chapter: When you refer to the title of a part of a work, such as an article or a chapter, put quotation marks around the title and capitalize it as you would for a journal title in a reference, e.g., In the chapter “Where’s the Wine,” Zauner (2021) describes how she decided to become a musician.

The APA Sample Paper below has more information about formatting your paper.

  • APA 7th ed. Sample Paper

Film or Video

When the Director, Producer and/or Writer is known:

Director/Producer/Writer's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if given. (Job Title). (Year film was produced).  Title of film: Subtitle if any  [Film]. Production Company.

Note: For other countries, list the city name and the country.

Hallam, J. (Producer, Writer), & Lam, K. (Producer, Director). (2010).  Staff relations in healthcare: Working as a team  [Film]. Insight Media.

  • When you have more than one producer, writer and/or writer to credit, separate the names with a comma and put an ampersand (&) before the last person's last name.
  • Serling, R. (Executive Producer). (1959–1964). The twilight zone [TV series]. Cayuga Productions; CBS Productions.

In-Text Paraphrase:

(Producer/Director/Writer's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Hallam & Lam, 2010)

Note: This example has two people to credit, so both last names are given)

In-Text Quote:

(Producer/Director/Writer's Last Name, Year, Timestamp)

Example: (Hallam & Lam, 2010, 2:30)

Note: Because the timestamp serves the same purpose in a video as page numbers, paragraph numbers or section headings, you include it in the in-text citation. Include only the beginning timestamp.

When the Director, Producer and/or Writer is not known:  Start the citation with the film title.

Title of film: Subtitle if any  [Film]. (Year film was produced). Production Company if Known.

Era of viruses  [Film]. (2006). Films for the Humanities and Sciences.

( Title of Film , Year)

Example: ( Era of Viruses , 2006)

Note: Italicize the title of the film and capitalize the words for the in-text citation.

( Title of Film , Year, Timestamp)

Example: ( Era of Viruses , 2006, 40:00)

When the Poster's Name is known: 

Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial. of person who posted the video if known. [User name that posted the video]. (Year video was posted, Month Day).  Title of video  [Video]. Website Name. URL

Note: According to APA, for citing purposes the person who posted the video is credited as the author.

Nye, B. [TheRealBillNye]. (2009, April 8).  Bill Nye the science guy on energy  [Video]. YouTube. http://youtu.be/0ASLLiuejAo

(Creator's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Nye, 2009)

(Creator's Last Name, Year, timestamp)

Example: (Nye, 2009, 0:55)

When the Poster's Name is not known: 

User name that posted the video. (Year video was posted, Month Day).  Title of video  [Video]. Website Name. URL

All Aces Media. (2012, January 19).  Often awesome the series  [Video]. Vimeo. http://vimeo.com/35311255

(User name, Year)

Example: (All Aces Media, 2012)

Example: (All Aces Media, 2012, timestamp)

Producer's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given. (Producer). (Year of Publication).  Title of Video  [Video]. Website Name. URL

Note:  When you have one producer (Producer) is used after the producer's name. If you have more than one producer use (Producers) instead.

Allen, T., et. al. (Producers). (2017). The story of Diana  [Video]. Netflix. http://www.netflix.com

(Producer Last name, Year)

Example: (Allen, et. al., 2017)

(Producer Last name, Year, Timestamp)

Example: (Allen, et. al., 2017, 6:45)

Name of Company/Organization that Provided Content or Creator's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial. if known. (Year video was created, Month Day if known).  Title of video  [Video]. Database Name.

National Film Board of Canada. (2014).  Making movie history: The women  [Video]. NFB Campus. 

(Name of Company/Organization, Year)

Example: (National Film Board of Canada, 2014)

(Name of Company/Organization, Year, Timestamp)

Writer, Producer and/or Director's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if given. (Job Title) if known. (Year the episode was originally aired). Title of episode (Season No., Episode No.) [TV series episode]. In Executive Producer's First Initial. Last Name (Executive producer) if known,  Television series name . Production Company.

Young, R. (Writer, Producer, Director). (2010). Flying cheap (Season 2010, Episode 2) [TV series episode]. In  Frontline . American University School of Communication's Investigative Reporting Workshop.

(Writer, Producer and/or Director's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Young, 2010)

(Writer, Producer and/or Director's Last Name, Year, Timestamp)

Example: (Young, 2010, 15:38)

Television Series Episode Viewed on a Subscription Media Website 

Writer, Producer and/or Director's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if given. (Job Title) if known. (Year the episode was originally aired). Title of episode (Season No., Episode No.) [TV series episode]. In Executive Producer's First Initial. Last Name (Executive producer) if known,  Television series name . Streaming Video Site. URL

Attenborough, D. (Writer). (2001). Ocean world (Season 1, Episode 1) [TV series episode]. In A. Fothergill (Executive producer),  Blue planet: A natural history of the oceans . Netflix. http://www.netflix.com

Example: (Attenborough, 2001)

 (Writer, Producer and/or Director's Last Name, Year, Timestamp)

Example: (Attenborough, 2001, 10:12)

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movie title in an essay APA

How to Write a Movie Title in an Essay APA?

how to use a movie title in essay

Ever struggled with adding a movie title to your APA style essay? No worries – it's simpler than you think! The American Psychological Association has a straightforward approach, and we're here to break it down for you. 

In this guide, our APA paper writing service will not only walk you through the process but also ensure that your references are presented uniformly across various papers and disciplines. By following APA guidelines, you not only adhere to academic standards but also facilitate clear communication in your writing. So, let's dive into the basics and make your APA formatting a breeze.

how to use a movie title in essay

How to Write Movie Titles in APA: Consider the Following

When it comes to incorporating a film name into your APA style essay, precision is the name of the game. Here are some helpful steps for the process:

  • Italicization : You may have been wondering whether or not should movie titles be italicized in APA. The answer is - always. This rule applies whether you are mentioning the heading in the text or including it in your references page. Example : In the film The Shawshank Redemption,...
  • Capitalization: Capitalize all major terms in the heading, but avoid capitalizing articles (a, an, the), conjunctions (and, but), and prepositions (in, on, under). Example: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Punctuation: Place commas and periods inside the quotation marks. For example, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Casablanca, a timeless classic.
  • Reference Page Entry: When listing the movie on your references page, follow this format: Last Name, First Initial. (Director), Title [italicized], Production Company. Example : Spielberg, S. (Director), Jurassic Park [italicized], Universal Pictures.
  • In-Text Citations: For in-text citations include the last name of the director and the year of release in parentheses. Example: ( Spielberg, 1993)
  • Multiple Directors: If a film has multiple directors, list them with an ampersand (&) between their names. Example: ( Coen & Coen, 1998)
  • No Author: If there's no individual author or director, use the production company as the author in your reference. Example : Pixar. (2003). Finding Nemo [italicized].

How to Write Movie Titles in APA

Writing Movie Titles in APA-Style Essays in Upper Case 

When it comes to writing a movie title in essays, choosing the right style is crucial, and uppercase is a common choice that brings a touch of formality to your writing. APA style, a prevalent choice in scholarly articles and academia, particularly in the behavioral and social sciences, provides specific guidelines for this.

  • Capitalize Major Words: Nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns—all fall under the category of major words and should be capitalized. Additionally, any term of four letters or longer should be capital letters.
  • Minor Words in Lowercase: Conjunctions and prepositions of three letters or shorter, as well as articles, are in lowercase.
  • Proper Names: Always capitalize proper names, regardless of their length.
  • First Word in Title and Subtitle: Capitalize the first word in both the heading and subheading, even if it is an article like 'A' or 'The.'
  • After Colon and Em Dash: The first term after a colon or em dash is capitalized.
  • Words with Hyphens: If a major word is hyphenated, both parts are capitalized.
  • Movie Titles in Quotes or Italics APA : When referencing a heading in the body of your paper, use either quotation marks or italics.

Final Thoughts

Formatting movie headings is a small but important part of your essay. Whether you go with APA style or any other, just be consistent. Keep it simple; keep it steady. Consistency is your best friend here. So, whether it's italics or capital letters, stick with it throughout. It's the little things that add that pro touch to your essay.

So, as you wrap up your writing, think of it as rolling the credits on your cinematic masterpiece. The consistency in formatting, like a great ending scene, leaves a lasting impression. It's these little things that turn your paper into a pro-level production!

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  • How to cite a movie in MLA

How to Cite a Movie in MLA Style | Format & Examples

Published on August 1, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on March 5, 2024.

To cite a film in MLA, include the title, the director, any other relevant contributors, the production or distribution company, and the year of release. If there are multiple versions of a film, you also need to identify the version.

To cite a movie from Netflix (and similar online streaming services), add the name of the website or app (e.g. “Netflix app”). If you watched the movie on an unofficial website or video-sharing platform like YouTube, add the website name, the uploader, the date of upload, and the URL.

In the MLA in-text citation , include the title (or a shortened version of it) and the time range.

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Table of contents

Mla movie citation format, citing online movies, mla in-text citations for movies.

You build an MLA Works Cited entry by filling in the relevant elements. An MLA citation usually starts with the author’s name, but because films are created by many different people, you start the citation with the film’s title instead. The director appears after the title as a contributor.

Other contributors

If relevant, you can also add other contributors, as with TV shows . For example, if your paper mentions specific performances, you can include the actors in your citation; if you discuss the film’s visuals, you can include the cinematographer.

Identify the role of each contributor and separate them with commas.

If your discussion of the movie focuses mainly on one contributor (e.g. the director or a performer), you can choose to include that name at the start of the citation instead, where the author would normally go.

In this case, make sure to use the same name in your in-text citation.

If there are different versions of a film, you need to state which one you used so the reader can find the correct source (e.g. extended version, director’s cut).

If this version was released later than the original, you can also add the year of the original release after the title. This is optional, but it is often helpful to give the historical context of the source.

Films are often produced and distributed by several different companies, which can make it difficult to determine the publisher .

Try to identify the organization that had primary responsibility for the movie’s production or distribution. If multiple production companies and/or distributors were equally involved, you can separate them with a forward slash.

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how to use a movie title in essay

If you stream a film on an official distribution platform like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video, you can choose to add information about the platform to the Works Cited entry if you think it’s relevant.

If the film was republished on a website unconnected to the producers or official distributors (such as YouTube, where anyone can upload a copy of a movie), you should generally include this information in the citation.

After giving full details of the movie, add the name of the website , the uploader , the date it was published, and the URL .

Note that this format only applies to full movies uploaded to YouTube. If you are citing a clip or other material on YouTube, follow the format for citing a YouTube video instead.

The in-text citation must always correspond with the first word of the Works Cited entry. For movie citations, this is usually the title in italics. If the title is longer than a few words, shorten it to the first word or phrase.

Instead of a page number, add the time range of the part you are quoting or referring to.

If you have already mentioned the title in the sentence, the parenthetical citation only needs to include the time range.

If you are referring to the movie as a whole, it is acceptable to mention only the title with no time range.

If you start the Works Cited entry with the name of a contributor , make sure to use this name in the in-text citation so that the reader can easily locate it in the alphabetized list.

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McCombes, S. (2024, March 05). How to Cite a Movie in MLA Style | Format & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved March 25, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/mla/how-to-cite-a-movie/

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How to Punctuate Movie Titles in Writing: Get it Right!

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How to Punctuate Movie Titles in Writing: Get it Right!

Understanding the importance of proper punctuation in movie titles

Why punctuation plays a vital role in movie titles, a guide to punctuating movie titles in writing, differentiating between italicization and quotation marks for movie titles, exceptions to the traditional punctuation rules for movie titles, tips for punctuating movie titles in essays and articles, avoiding common mistakes when punctuating movie titles, a comprehensive list of correctly punctuated movie titles in writing, frequently asked questions, to conclude.

When it comes to movie titles, one might argue that punctuation is just a trivial aspect. However, its importance cannot be underestimated, as it can significantly impact the way a movie is perceived and understood. Proper punctuation in movie titles serves multiple purposes, from clarifying the meaning to enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal. Let’s delve into why mastering the art of punctuation in movie titles is essential for filmmakers and audiences alike.

1. Providing clarity: Punctuation marks such as commas, colons, and question marks help convey the intended message more effectively. They assist in breaking down complex ideas, clarifying relationships between elements, and avoiding ambiguity that might arise in titles.

2. Reflecting artistic choices: The strategic use of punctuation can add depth and intrigue to movie titles, reflecting the tone, mood, or theme of the film. Whether it’s an ellipsis creating anticipation or an exclamation mark eliciting excitement, punctuation styles can convey emotions that words alone may struggle to express.

A guide to punctuating movie titles in writing

Movie titles can be a bit tricky to punctuate correctly in writing, but fear not! We’ve got you covered with this handy guide to help you navigate the ins and outs of punctuating movie titles like a pro. Here are a few key tips to keep in mind:

1. Formatting: When writing a movie title in your text, it should be italicized or underlined to indicate that it is a title. For example, you would write “I can’t wait to watch the *Titanic* tonight!” or “I loved the movie *The Lion King*.”

2. Commas: If you are referring to a movie title in a sentence, you should use commas to separate it from the rest of the sentence. For instance, you would write “One of my favorite movies of all time is *Gone with the Wind*, which was released in 1939.” or “The film *Jurassic Park*, directed by Steven Spielberg, became a box office hit.”

Differentiating between italicization and quotation marks for movie titles

When it comes to referencing movie titles, it can be confusing to determine whether to use italicization or quotation marks. Understanding the difference between the two can help you correctly format movie titles in your writing. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

1. **Italicization**: Movie titles are typically italicized when mentioned in text. Here’s how you should format them: – The *Shawshank Redemption* is considered a classic in the film industry. – I watched *The Godfather* last night and was captivated by its storyline. – *Titanic* won numerous awards, including Best Picture.

2. **Quotation Marks**: Quotation marks are used for shorter works within larger works, such as a movie scene or an episode title within a TV series. This distinction is important: – In the movie *Forrest Gump*, the iconic line “Life is like a box of chocolates” is uttered by the protagonist. – The episode “The One with the Prom Video” in the TV show *Friends* is regarded as one of the most memorable. – “I’ll be back,” a famous quote from the movie *The Terminator*, has become a popular catchphrase.

Exceptions to the traditional punctuation rules for movie titles

In the vast world of movie titles, we often come across unique expressions that challenge our traditional understanding of punctuation. While most titles follow the standard punctuation rules, there are exceptions that add an extra layer of creativity. These exceptions allow filmmakers to evoke different emotions or add a touch of quirkiness to their works. Here are a few instances where the punctuation rules take a delightful twist:

1. *No Country for Old Men*: This Academy Award-winning film directed by the Coen brothers boldly rejects the use of punctuation in its title. By omitting the apostrophe in “Men,” the title implies a sense of ambiguity, leaving viewers to ponder the deeper meaning behind the absence.

2. *3 Idiots*: This Bollywood blockbuster follows the trend of numerals in its title, but surprises us by excluding the commas, which are usually used to separate the numerals. This choice reflects the youthful and carefree nature of the film, maintaining a casual and playful tone throughout the narrative.

3. *Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind*: Here we witness a title adorned with multiple prepositions, connecting words, and even an adjective. This non-conventional approach invites the audience to explore the philosophical and complex themes of memory and love that the movie delves into.

Whether it’s deliberately breaking punctuation rules to catch our attention or adding an unconventional charm, these exceptions remind us of the boundless creativity within the realm of movie titles. So, the next time you come across a film with a uniquely punctuated title, embrace the deviations and enjoy the wonderful journey it promises to deliver.

When including movie titles in your essays or articles, it is important to properly punctuate them to ensure clarity and accuracy. Here are some valuable tips to help you navigate the world of punctuating movie titles:

1. Use quotation marks: When referring to a specific movie title, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, “Inception” is an intricate and mind-boggling film that explores the depths of dreams and reality.

2. Capitalize important words: When writing a movie title, capitalize the first and last words, along with all principal words in between. However, minor words such as articles and prepositions should not be capitalized, unless they are the first word of the title. For instance, “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” is a captivating adventure filled with mythical creatures and epic battles.

3. Italics for emphasis: You can also use italics to emphasize movie titles instead of quotation marks. This is a common practice in academic writing. For example, the movie Matrix provides a unique and thought-provoking exploration of simulated reality.

By following these simple tips, you can effectively punctuate movie titles in your essays and articles, enabling your readers to better comprehend your content while showcasing your attention to detail. Remember to consistently apply these rules throughout your work, ensuring consistency and professionalism. Now go forth and create well-punctuated masterpieces!

Properly punctuating movie titles might seem like a trivial matter, but it can significantly impact the overall presentation and professionalism of your writing. To ensure that you always get it right, here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Mixing capitalization: It’s essential to use proper capitalization when punctuating movie titles. Unless they are articles, prepositions, or coordinating conjunctions, capitalize all major words. For instance, in the title “Gone with the Wind,” the word “with” should remain lowercase.
  • Omitting italics or quotation marks: Movie titles should always be italicized or enclosed in quotation marks to distinguish them from the rest of the text. For example, you should write “Casablanca” or Casablanca instead of just Casablanca.
  • Using the wrong punctuation marks: Always be cautious about which punctuation marks to use when punctuating movie titles. Commas and periods go inside quotation marks, while colons and exclamation points go outside. For instance, “The Shawshank Redemption,” not “The Shawshank Redemption”.

By remembering to avoid these common mistakes, you can ensure your writing reflects attention to detail and precision. Properly punctuating movie titles not only enhances readability but also demonstrates a mastery of grammar and style.

Proper punctuation is crucial when writing movie titles as it helps convey the intended meaning and captures the essence of the film. Below, you will find a comprehensive list of correctly punctuated movie titles that will add finesse to your written work:

  • The Shawshank Redemption: A gripping tale of hope and friendship set within the confines of Shawshank State Penitentiary.
  • Gone with the Wind: A timeless classic showcasing the tumultuous romance between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler during the Civil War.
  • Casablanca: An unforgettable love story set against the backdrop of World War II in the city of Casablanca.
  • The Dark Knight: Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece, where Batman takes on the iconic Joker in a battle for Gotham City’s soul.

Remember to italicize the titles of movies when writing them within a text and to place them inside quotation marks when referring to them in an essay or article. These simple yet essential formatting rules can elevate your writing and give your readers a clear indication of the movie titles you are referencing.

Q: Why is it important to punctuate movie titles correctly in writing? A: Correct punctuation of movie titles is essential in writing to ensure clarity, adhere to grammar rules, and give proper credit to the creative work you are referencing.

Q: How do I punctuate a movie title in a sentence? A: When including a movie title in a sentence, you should capitalize all the major words. For example: “I absolutely loved the movie ‘Inception’!”

Q: Which words in a movie title should be capitalized? A: In general, capitalize all significant words in a movie title. This includes nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and subordinate conjunctions. However, prepositions and articles (e.g., “and”, “for”, “the”) should remain lowercase unless they are the first or last word of the movie title.

Q: Are there any exceptions to capitalizing in movie titles? A: Yes, when dealing with short words, you may follow your preferred style guide. Some guides suggest ignoring short words (less than four letters), such as “the”, “and”, “or”, while others advise capitalizing them regardless. Consistency is key, so choose a preferred style and stick to it.

Q: How should I punctuate movie titles that are in italics or underlined? A: If the movie title is printed in italics or underlined, you should still follow the same capitalization rules mentioned earlier. For example: “I can’t wait to see ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ again!”

Q: What if I need to mention multiple movie titles in the same sentence? A: If you discuss multiple movie titles in the same sentence, capitalize the major words in each title, and separate them using commas. For instance: “Several great movies, including ‘Gone with the Wind,’ ‘The Godfather,’ and ‘Casablanca,’ were screened at the film festival.”

Q: How do I punctuate movie titles in headlines or titles of articles? A: In most cases, you should capitalize the first and last words of a movie title and all significant words in between. Prepositions and articles should remain lowercase unless they are the first or last word. For example: “Discover the Secrets Behind ‘The Matrix’ Trilogy.”

Q: Can I use quotation marks to punctuate movie titles? A: Yes, quotation marks are commonly used to indicate movie titles, especially in informal writing or when referring to specific scenes or lines. For example: “Remember when Jack said, ‘I’m the king of the world!’ in ‘Titanic’?”

Q: What if the movie title contains a punctuation mark itself? A: If the movie title includes a punctuation mark, such as an exclamation point or question mark, it should be retained as part of the title and treated like any other word. Capitalize the first and last words as well as any other significant words.

Q: Are there any references or resources available to ensure proper punctuation of movie titles? A: Yes, there are various style guides such as the APA Style Guide, The Chicago Manual of Style, and the Modern Language Association (MLA) Handbook that provide detailed rules and examples for punctuating movie titles, among various other writing guidelines.

In conclusion, properly punctuating movie titles in writing is essential for clear and professional communication. Don’t forget those rules!

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How To Write An Essay

How To Title An Essay

Barbara P

Learn How to Title an Essay Like a Professional Writer

15 min read

Published on: Mar 1, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 29, 2024

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A title is the one thing that makes your essay and all academic papers impressive. This is because it is the first thing that a reader looks at and decides whether to give your essay a shot or not. 

Naturally, things with amusing and interesting titles tend to be more read-worthy.  A right and accurate title can either make your essay a success or a complete disaster. 

It might sound easy to give a title to your essay, but it can be daunting in reality. Creating a title is an art, and not everybody knows how to do it. 

This writing guide is provided to know how important it is to give a correct title to your writing and polish your writing skills. 

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What is an Essay Title

An essay title is the name or label given to an essay, which provides a brief summary of the main topic or theme of the essay.

It should be catchy, informative, and relevant to the content of the essay, while also giving readers an idea of what to expect from the writing. 

A good essay title should capture the reader's attention and make them interested in reading the essay.

Purpose and Importance of Essay Title

A title holds great importance in essay writing. It can easily make or break the quality of your work. 

Choosing a title that interests the audience and motivates them to read your essay. This is because they are intrigued, it serves as fertile land to present your knowledge, ideas, writing skills, and critical thinking.   

Qualities of an Essay Title

When coming up with the topic or title for your essays, keep in mind that it should contain the following qualities: 

  • Eye-catching and unique: The title should be eye-catching and unique to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Based on facts: A good title is always believable and based on facts. Especially for writing essay types and papers that stand on facts and logic should have believable titles. 
  • Audience-appropriate: Readability is key. Using fancy and bombastic vocabulary that is not common for the audience will affect the readership. 
  • Tone: A great essay title is always written in an active voice. 
  • Brief and Short: The title should be brief and to the point. Avoid dragging titles into long sentences. 
  • To-the-Point: An essay title should be accurate and clearly present the main theme of the essay. This will allow the reader to know what to expect from the document. 

Components of an Essay Title

Just as all formal writings have an outline to follow, a good essay title is constructed using a formula as well. Keep in mind that the shorter, the better. A title must not exceed 10 to 12 words.

The components of an essay title include

  • An attention-grabbing and catchy hook
  • Tone sets the overall mood or attitude conveyed by the title.
  • The focus keyword - the “where” and “when” in your essay. 

Once you know the importance and elements of an essay title, you are more likely to create a better title.

How to Title an Essay?

Almost all essay writers find it tricky to make an appropriate title for their essays. However, writing a title is not only based on good writing skills. You need to know the basics of creating it. 

A good and effective essay title can be created by taking the following steps:

1. First Write an Essay 

It will be extremely beneficial and easy to create a title once you have written an entire essay.

After writing your essay, you will be clear about what title suits your content the most. Complete your essay and then start reading it.

This will give you a clearer picture of how to address the essay properly.

Deciding on a topic or a title can be time taking. Another advantage of writing a title at the end is that it saves a lot of your time. 

Also, the wrong topic makes it difficult for you to choose the best essay title.  

Struggling with getting started with your essay? Check out this helpful guide on how to write an essay !

2. Use your Thesis Statement

There is another reason you should leave your title for an end.  An effective title provides a reason for the readers to read your essay. The best part to find a reason is in the thesis statement in the introduction of your essay. 

You can always get a title from a thesis statement or by using a part of that argument in the title. 

3. Popular Phrases

Catchphrases and cliches that go with the theme of your essay can be used as the titles as well. When popular phrases are appropriate and interesting, they make effective puns. 

Play with the cliches and twist them to create something of your own. Be creative and innovative for your titles as much as you can. 

4. Consider the Tone

Another trick to creating an effective title for your essay is to consider the essay’s tone and come up with something related to it. 

If the tone and subject of your essay are serious and sad, never make the mistake of addressing your title in an informal and fun way.  

Do not try to go off the wall in such cases. The tone of your essay and the title have a strong connection to a good essay. 

5. Use a Central Idea or a Quote 

It is not mandatory but an easy way to create a title that uses a central idea. You can use a quote as the title of your essay topic. 

If the purpose is served correctly, even song lyrics work the best sometimes. 

6. Summary in Three Words

The most common and basic technique is to get a title from the summary of your essay. 

A writer can summarize the entire essay or the central idea and thesis statement in three words and write a title. 

This can be a title by putting it in a headline, inserting a colon, and stating the purpose of your essay. 

7. Movie Titles in an Essay 

A movie title can also be used as a title in an essay.

There are some basic ways to do that. A writer can highlight the title, use a capital letter for the first letter of the movie title, and italicize its font. 

Another technique is by creating a sentence structure and using a movie title in it. You can use quotation marks as well as the underlining tool. However, title the essay according to the field of study and don’t make it irrelevant. 

Mistakes to Avoid While Giving a Title to Your Essay

Here are some tips to keep in mind when crafting effective essay titles to avoid common mistakes:

  • Positive themes

Avoid writing about sensitive, unethical, or immoral topics, such as drugs, prostitution, or murder.

  • Personal information

Your personal negative experiences should not be included in your essay. However, you can still include lessons learned from those experiences in a professional manner.

  • Relevant Questions

Make sure to ask questions that are relevant to your field of study to ensure you choose an appropriate topic.

  • Professional tone

Keep your essay professional and avoid including personal information or experiences that are not relevant. Your readers are not interested in your personal life.

  • Understanding requirements

It's important to understand your professor's requirements to avoid choosing the wrong topic and wasting time and effort.

  • Neutral perspective

Avoid taking an offensive approach in your essay and steer clear of controversial topics such as religion, abortion, and politics.

How to Title an Essay in Different Formats?

All academic essays require a format through which the writer shapes his document. This format varies from academic level to level and institution as well. The format styles include MLA, APA, Chicago, and Harvard. 

MLA, APA, and Chicago are the most common formats that are usually used. If you are writing an essay choosing a specific format, all of the parts should be drafted accordingly. 

From titling an essay to drawing a conclusion, the writer must follow the format properly to create a strong essay. 

How to Title an Essay in MLA Format?

No matter which essay format you are using to shape your argumentative essay, descriptive essay, etc. The qualities of the title and components remain the same.

Although the formatting of the title may differ. For an MLA style , format your essay title in the following pattern:

  • On the cover page of your essay, using double spacing, write your name in the upper left corner
  • Along with your name, present your instructor’s name, the course title, and the date. 
  • Double-space a line and using centered alignment, provide the essay title in font size 12 pt. 
  • Do not bold or italicize the title.
  • Capitalize important words only and not the articles in the title. 

How to Format an Essay in APA Format?

If you are writing an essay in APA style, you might be wondering how to title an essay in apa format. 

Simply use the following guidelines to format your title and make your writing process easy: 

  • Type the title in upper and lowercase letters
  • Use centered alignment on the upper half of the page and write the title
  • The title in APA style should not exceed more than 12 words
  • Avoid using abbreviations and irrelevant words 
  • The title should be presented in a line or two and not more than that
  • Use double spacing between the lines 
  • Beneath the title, write your name and the institutional affiliation.

How to Title an Essay Chicago Style 

To create an appropriate final version of the title for your essay in Chicago style, you should follow certain guidelines.

  • Use a heading level 2 (H2) for your title
  • Center the title on the page and use title case capitalization
  • Keep the title informative and concise, aiming for no more than 12-15 words
  • Consider including relevant keywords to make your essay easier to find
  • Avoid using slang or informal language in your title
  • Use proper grammar and punctuation

How to Choose a Good Title for an Essay 

Choosing a good title for an essay is crucial as it sets the tone and theme for the reader. 

Here are some important qualities to consider when selecting a title:

  • Informative: A good title should give the reader an idea of what the essay is about. It should be concise and clearly convey the main topic or argument of the essay.
  • Catchy and Memorable: A title that is catchy and memorable can grab the reader's attention and make them more likely to read the essay. Consider using wordplay, puns, or alliteration to make your title stand out.
  • Unique: A title that is unique and original can make your essay stand out from others. Avoid using generic or cliché titles that have been overused.
  • Accurate: A title should accurately reflect the content of the essay. Avoid using sensational or misleading titles that do not accurately convey the main point or argument of the essay.
  • Relevant: A title should be relevant to the current times or issues. Especially in subjects like current events, social or political issues, and scientific research.
  • Reflective of Tone: The title should also reflect the tone of the essay. If the essay is humorous, the title should be as well. If the essay is serious or academic, the title should reflect that.

Essay Title Examples

Just like the tone of every essay differs, the title also differs from each type of essay. For example, movie titles can only be used for informal writing and narrative essays. 

Some examples of essay titles are provided below.

Here are some more examples of essay titles.

Tips to Draft an Essay Title

Titles for Different Types of Essay

How To Title An Essay About A Book

Bad vs Good Essay Title Examples - H3

Tips for Crafting an Outstanding Title 

Here are some tips for crafting an outstanding title:

  • Brainstorm: Begin by brainstorming a list of potential titles for your essay or paper. Write down as many ideas as you can think of, even if they seem silly or irrelevant at first.
  • Be Specific: A good title should be specific and accurate. It should give the reader an idea of what the essay is about. Avoid vague or general titles that don't provide any useful information.
  • Use Keywords: Including keywords in your title can make it easier for readers to find your work in searches. Consider what words or phrases a person might use to search for your topic and incorporate them into your title.
  • Be Creative: A creative and unique title can make your work stand out from others. Consider using wordplay, puns, alliteration, or metaphors to create a memorable and attention-grabbing title.
  • Keep It Short and Sweet: While a title should be specific and informative, it should also be concise. Try to keep your title under 10-12 words, as longer titles can be difficult to read and remember.

For more tips, you can check out this video:

The success of your overall essay is not just based on how well you presented the argument and conducted research to gather the information. A title plays a vital role as well. 

Creative titles are like the icing on the cake. Nobody will want to read it when it will not appeal to them. 

Make your college essay and paper flawless, as they are the only thing that will get you scores in academics. So, you have to know what mistakes to avoid and what to do when title the essay.   

However, you can ask professionals at our best essay service to write your essays perfectly and with the best quality.

Place your " write my college essay for me " request today to get your essays and research papers written by professionals and get writing services at exciting prices. 

Also, try our AI writing tool to make your academic journey easier!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to use a question or a statement as my essay title.

Whether to use a question or a statement as your essay title depends on the content and purpose of your essay.

Using a question can be effective if your essay is exploratory and seeks to answer a specific question. On the other hand, using a statement can be more appropriate if your essay has a clear argument or thesis statement.

Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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When grading students, college professors carefully look at proper nouns to ensure they are correctly written. When they find proper nouns like movie titles are not correctly written, they do not award maximum points for formatting. This guide will reveal how to write movie titles correctly in APA, MLA, Chicago, among other styles. Follow this guide to avoid losing formatting points. 

Formatting a movie title in an essay or paper

Formatting and capitalizing movie titles in an academic writing or essay depends largely on the style guide that you are using. Your topic should be in italics if you are using Chicago, APA, or MLA. You have to use quotes for the movie titles in AP style. When referring to the movie within the body of your essay, all the major style guides prefer using a title case where all the major words in the movie title are capitalized. 

How to write a movie title in-text on an MLA-style paper

MLA stands for modern language association. It is the recommended format in the humanities discipline. The appropriate way to write a movie title in an MLA style is to capitalize the first letter of the first word and all the principal words in the title and the hyphenated words like adverbs, common nouns, proper nouns, subordinating conjunctions, verbs, and adjectives. Only articles should not be capitalized when writing a movie title in an MLA style paper, prepositions, and conjunctions after the first word. Besides following the above rule on capitalizing the first letter of the first word and each principal word, you should italicize your movie title. You must italicize your movie title in virtually all major writing styles.

How to write a movie title in-text on an APA-style paper

APA stands for American Psychological Association. The best way to write a movie title in APA style is to capitalize the first letter of the first word and every major word – pronouns, nouns, verbs, and adjectives in the sentence. The only words that should not have their first letter capitalized are minor prepositions, articles, and under four-word long conjunctions. Every word above three words in length should thus be capitalized in an APA paper. It is quite similar to writing it in MLA except for long prepositions like against and between. Just like in MLA, you should italicize the entire movie title in APA format. 

Writing a movie title in-text on a Chicago-style paper

It is similar to writing a movie title on an MLA-style paper. Every principle word and the first letter in the sentence are capitalized. It is only the articles, coordinating conjunction, and prepositions after the first word that are not capitalized. Besides, you have to italicize your movie title in the Chicago formatting style. Writing a movie title in Chicago style is similar to writing a movie title in Harvard style. If you want to know how to write a film title in Harvard style, the instructions above will be appropriate. 

How to write a movie title in-text on an AP-style paper

AP stands for the Associated Press. It is a global news organization founded in the mid-nineteenth century. When using the AP style to write a movie title, capitalize the first word and all the main words. Prepositions and conjunctions above three letters long also need their first letter capitalized. Regardless of how short or long the last word is, it also needs to be italicized.

Seven steps to writing a movie title

Follow the steps below to write movie titles in your college papers appropriately. 

Ensure the movie you are referencing is the correct movie. 

Confusing movies can be relatively easy since some films have the same name sometimes, and other times they have names that can easily be confused. It is, therefore, essential to ensure the movie you want to note is correct before writing any movie title in your essay. There could be serious consequences if you note down a movie by name in your essay and it ends up being the wrong one. This could make your essay disorganized, confusing, or poor. If you want an excellent grade, you don’t want your instructor to think your essay is any of these things. Therefore, do some research to ensure you have the right movie.

Ensure you have the wording right .

Students usually forget a part of a movie title when talking about a movie in their essays. This is unacceptable as it does not provide the reader with the complete information they need to research should they feel it is necessary. To ensure your work is perfect, ensure the movie title you want to note down has the right wording. Do not forget or ignore any prepositions, conjunctions, or articles. 

Do not leave out articles .

Many movies often have an article before them. Even if your reader will still know what you are talking about, do not ignore the article before a movie. An article is sometimes the only thing differentiating one movie from another. Leaving the article out could thus mislead the reader into thinking you are discussing something different from what you are talking about. 

Capitalize the first word and the main words .

Most writing formats need you to capitalize the first and main words in a movie title when you write it in-text in an essay. This means you make the first letter in the first word a capital letter and the first letter in every other keyword, but not to write everything in capital letters. It is only conjunctions, prepositions, and articles that are not supposed to be capitalized. 

Italicize the title

Movie titles are italicized in all the major writing formats, as you may have noticed so far. This is done to quickly make it clear to the reader what words are part of the title and the ones that are not. Immediately after capitalizing a movie title in your paper, you should proceed and italicize it. You can add quotation marks rather than italicizing when a movie title is short. However, this is not always tolerated by professors. They expect movie titles in italics in most cases. You are expected to use quotation marks when writing an AP style. 

State the year of release

You should state the year a movie was publicly released in parentheses the first time you refer to a movie in your essay or paper. This will help the reader to understand the movie better as they will have the time context. Sometimes films and movies share names. Adding the year of release of a movie in parentheses helps the reader precisely tell which movie you are discussing. Stating the year of release is encouraged, although it is not always necessary. In most cases, professors do not care if the year of release is stated. You should give the year of release the first time you mention the movie if you choose to give the year of release. 

Consider using an assignment help service

If you feel that your formatting skills are subpar and unsure how to write movie titles, consider using an assignment help service like Eddusaver.com. We have hired experienced masters and Ph.D. graduates who understand everything there is to know about formatting papers and offer our movie review writing services. They can help you format and edit your paper to ensure it is standard. Besides, we have experts who can write your essay from scratch and meet the requirements of the essay. Place your order on any topic of choice, and a writer will be assigned to it to deliver outstanding results. Our services go beyond and above other assignment help services to ensure the papers our customers receive are plagiarism-free, error-free and with zero CHAT–GPT input.

Why is proper formatting important?

Formatting is the presentation or appearance of your essay and is one of the most essential elements of an accurately written paper. It is vital to note that most academic papers comprise at least four kinds of text, including quotations, titles, ordinary paragraphs, and bibliographies. You can also be asked to provide footnotes and endnotes for some papers. Formatting can also include elements like fonts to be used and pagination. One of the reasons why professors and instructors insist on appropriate formatting of any title in any paper is that it eases communication. Recall that one of the reasons for academic writing is to share ideas and communicate ideas. Proper formatting facilitates clarity in communication, showing the reader that you know how to articulate your arguments. Citation as an element of formatting enables you to find and use the right sources to improve the authoritativeness of your writing. Proper formatting is a sign of respect and professionalism in academia. According to scholars, properly formatted papers shows that you respect the program and other scholars. Besides, following citations and guidelines shows that you appreciate and are ready to adhere to the rules. Formatting consistently shows that you can follow directions. It leads to good habits that could later benefit you in your career. It also offers consistency in your writing and teaches you to adhere to standards and rules in other areas of your life. 

How to format subtitles in MLA form

Following MLA requirements in titles clarifies ideas and makes it easy for readers to find sources. Capitalize titles and subtitles and other nouns, verbs, pronouns, subordinate conjunctions. Use italics for titles and subtitles for large publications like journals and books. 

Other points of interest

There are other things you might be interested in knowing that are related to how to write a movie title in an article or essay:

How to write a quote from a movie 

Suppose you have successfully referenced a movie, and you would like to quote a line from the movie. For this, quotation marks will be used. Remember you will also need to include references in your in-text citation if you are writing an essay. 

How to write the name of an episode of a TV show

To cite a TV series, you would follow the same rules as those for citing a movie. But what do you do if you want to add the name of the episode you are referring to? Like inserting a direct quote from a movie, it is recommended to use quotation marks. Refer to your academic writing style to guide about conventions around formatting and using title case. 

Where does the word ‘movie’ come from?

It stems from the word ‘moving picture.’ Before they could be projected onto a screen for wider viewing, they could only be seen by one person at a time using a mutoscope, kinetoscope, or electrotachyscope. When writing an article, the rules are pretty much up to you if you are writing for another company, business, or manager, and check out which conventions are already in place. You should always use the structure in the academic writing style manual if writing an essay. Check the style you are expected to use. 

As you may have noticed in this guide, there are many rules to remember when you want to write a movie title in an essay. Though the rules are similar across different writing styles, they are also slightly different. To ensure you are on the right track with the recommendations of your college writing style, you must check the rules for writing movie titles. If you need help writing movie titles, or formatting your essay, we have got you covered. Our writers have been in the market for years and will not use shortcuts that will trouble our clients. Entrust us with your task, and we will deliver.

In case you can’t find a sample example, our professional writers are ready to help you with writing your own paper. All you need to do is fill out a short form and submit an order

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  1. How to Write a Movie Title in an Essay or Article

    The main things to know are: If you are writing a movie title in an article, the format you use is up to you (or the company you work for). Pick a format and stick to it. If you are writing a movie title in an essay, then you should follow your university's or employer's referencing style guidelines. Read on for suggestions of different formats ...

  2. How to Format Movie Titles in Writing: A Comprehensive Guide

    1. Capitalization and punctuation: - In general, capitalize the principal words of the movie title. - Use italics to format movie titles, unless you're writing by hand or on a platform without italics capability. - Don't place a period at the end of a movie title, even when the title itself is a complete sentence. 2.

  3. When Writing a Movie Title in an Essay: Expert Recommendations

    3. Exclude articles and prepositions: When including movie titles in your essay, exclude articles (such as "the" or "a") and prepositions (such as "of" or "in") unless they are the first or last word of the title. This rule helps maintain conciseness and clarity in your writing. For example, if you are mentioning the film ...

  4. How to Write a Movie Title in an Essay

    Quotes are also possible to use if you mention super short movie names like "It" or "M." You italicize them in APA, MLA, or Chicago. Bonus: TED Talk Citation in MLA and APA. Underlines are for handwritten essays. When written by hand, you can't italicize, huh? Use underlining instead to highlight a movie title somehow. How to Format ...

  5. Movie Titles Examples & Style Guide

    if they are the first word in the title. proper nouns must always be capitalized. For example: The 2012 Oscar for the best foreign-language film went to A Separation by Asghar Farhadi. Although a ...

  6. 7 Steps to Write a Movie Title in an Essay

    Capitalize the title of the movie. When you write the title of a movie, you will generally follow the conventions of capitalization for titles. That means that you will capitalize the first word and the last word and all proper nouns and important words in the title. Capitalization can be tricky, however, because many movies use stylized ...

  7. How To Write A Movie Title In An Essay

    Follow this with the title. Reference the medium used to watch it, for instance DVD. Specify the location of the distributor, and the name of the distributor (for instance, California: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures). In MLA, you: List the director like this: Last name, First name. Write the movie title.

  8. How to write the title of a Movie in an Essay

    The organization published the AP format for journalists to use in 1953. The correct way to write a movie title on an AP-style paper is to capitalize the first letter of the first word and all the main words. Conjunctions and prepositions more than three letters long also need their first letter capitalized.

  9. Exploring The Art Of How To Write A Movie Title In An Essay

    Three main components of a movie title in an essay. An excellent essay title is created using a formula, just like all professional writing has a framework to follow. Remember that shorter is always preferable. A title cannot contain more than 10 to 12 words. The elements that make up a movie title in an essay include: An eye-catching and ...

  10. Your Guide to Writing a Movie Title in Essay

    Writing a movie title in essay has different components that have evolved through the ages. The rise of computer technology has drastically changed how learners handle this subject. It has changed some elements, like underlining movie titles. For instance, before personal computers became common, students used typewriters to write academic papers.

  11. MLA Titles

    Use quotation marks around the title if it is part of a larger work (e.g. a chapter of a book, an article in a journal, or a page on a website). All major words in a title are capitalized. The same format is used in the Works Cited list and in the text itself. When you use the Scribbr MLA Citation Generator, the correct formatting and ...

  12. How to Write a Movie Title in an Essay

    As such, there are three formats that can be used to format a movie title. 1. Short: One Word Per Line. The shortest format for a movie title is actually one word per line. If the title is longer, it may be better to use the word first, followed by another word or two, then a colon, and then the title.

  13. How to Write a Movie Title in an Essay

    Here are some general rules to follow: Start the movie title with a capital letter; Capitalize all the nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs; Do not capitalize propositions and articles ...

  14. How to Cite a Movie in an Essay

    In MLA format, citing a movie in an essay follows a specific set of guidelines. Here's how to do it: Title of the Movie: Start the citation with the title of the movie, in italics or underlined. Director's Name: Include the full name of the director, followed by a comma. Performers' Names: If relevant, you can include the names of ...

  15. How to Say a Movie Title in an Essay: A Comprehensive Guide

    Informal Ways to Mention Movie Titles. If you're writing a more casual piece, such as a blog post or a personal essay, you may opt for a more relaxed style. Here are some informal ways to mention movie titles: 1. Capitalize the Movie Title. An easy and informal way to indicate a movie title is to capitalize it. Although it's less ...

  16. How to Write a Title of a Movie in a Paper

    In AP style, movie titles are placed in quotes. Note that the normal rules for quotes within quotes still apply. Here are two examples: "Star Wars" broke box office records when it was first released. "I am excited to work on any film as complex as 'The Prestige,'" he said. AP style uses title case capitalization for movie titles.

  17. APA Style (7th Edition) Citation Guide: Films/Videos/TV Shows

    The director should be credited as the author of a film. If the director is unknown, someone in a similar role, such as a producer and/or writer, can be credited. To clarify what role the person has in the production, their job title such as Director is put after their name in round brackets if the job title is known.

  18. How to Write a Movie Title in an Essay APA?

    First Word in Title and Subtitle: Capitalize the first word in both the heading and subheading, even if it is an article like 'A' or 'The.'. After Colon and Em Dash: The first term after a colon or em dash is capitalized. Words with Hyphens: If a major word is hyphenated, both parts are capitalized. Movie Titles in Quotes or Italics APA: When ...

  19. How to Cite a Movie in MLA Style

    To cite a movie from Netflix (and similar online streaming services), add the name of the website or app (e.g. "Netflix app"). If you watched the movie on an unofficial website or video-sharing platform like YouTube, add the website name, the uploader, the date of upload, and the URL. Night of the Living Dead.

  20. How to Punctuate Movie Titles in Writing: Get it Right!

    Tips for punctuating movie titles in essays and articles. When including movie titles in your essays or articles, it is important to properly punctuate them to ensure clarity and accuracy. Here are some valuable tips to help you navigate the world of punctuating movie titles: 1. Use quotation marks: When referring to a specific movie title ...

  21. Get Creative: Learn How to Title an Essay That Stands Out

    This can be a title by putting it in a headline, inserting a colon, and stating the purpose of your essay. 7. Movie Titles in an Essay A movie title can also be used as a title in an essay. There are some basic ways to do that. A writer can highlight the title, use a capital letter for the first letter of the movie title, and italicize its font.

  22. Writing a movie title in an essay

    MLA stands for modern language association. It is the recommended format in the humanities discipline. The appropriate way to write a movie title in an MLA style is to capitalize the first letter of the first word and all the principal words in the title and the hyphenated words like adverbs, common nouns, proper nouns, subordinating conjunctions, verbs, and adjectives.

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