How to Format Subtitles in MLA Form

••• ClaudioVentrella/iStock/Getty Images

Documentation format based on the Modern Language Association helps readers understand what ideas writers borrow from other sources. Following MLA requirements in titles clarifies the ideas, making it easier for readers to find the sources. Within the text and on the Works Cited page, separate titles and subtitles with a colon. Capitalize the first word in both the title and subtitle and any subsequent important words, and use either quotation marks or italics for published works.

Format Subtitles Appropriately

Capitalize the first word in both titles and subtitles as well as other nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and subordinate conjunctions. Articles (a, an, the), prepositions (such as "in" and "toward"), coordinate conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) and "to" when followed by a verb should all appear in lower case unless they function as the first word in the title or subtitle. Italicize titles and subtitles of large publications, such as books and journals. Put titles of shorter pieces, such as articles and short stories, in quotation marks. For instance, an article title might appear, "The Long and the Short of It: A Speaker's Tale."


About the Author

Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado.

Photo Credits

  • ClaudioVentrella/iStock/Getty Images