How to Arrange a Long Title

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Regardless of the discipline the paper is completed in, the necessity of composing or citing a long title is always a possibility. Although the possibility is real, having to actually arrange a long title can seem like a fairly difficult task. Both MLA and APA have separate guidelines for formatting long titles, allowing writers from all disciplines to compose titles with confidence.

MLA Long Title Formatting

Capitalize the first letter in each word, except for articles or non-emphasized words: Keeping Solvent in Modern Economies and Governments.

Format other titles as they would appear in the body of the paper, according to MLA's newest edition: "Use quotation marks and/or italics when referring to other works in your title." A short story title within your own would appear as follows: Christmas Capote: Alliteration and Meaning within Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory."

Separate opening phrases from the main title with a colon: Keeping the Faith: Romance and Religion in The Canterbury Tales.

Center align the title on the title page; if the title requires more than one line, separate after the colon to allow the title to appear more aesthetically pleasing to the reader.

APA Long Title Formatting

Capitalize the first letter of each word, except for articles and non-emphasized words. APA's newest edition recommends that researchers "type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page."

Separate the running head from the main title with a colon.

Make the title no more than twelve words: "APA recommends that your title be no more than 12 words in length and that it should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose."

Center the title on the page, spacing it so that if it runs more than one line, the title still appears centered: "Your title may take up one or two lines. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced."


About the Author

Megan Weber began writing professionally in 2010. Her expertise is travel, specifically through Europe and the United Kingdom, and literature. Weber has a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wittenberg University, where she graduated with honors.

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