How to Use Magazine Titles in Term Papers

Term papers are generally research-based works that encompass the major theme of a high school or college-level class. Term papers are usually written in two main formats: APA (American Psychological Association) and MLA (Modern Language Association). Both formats include guidelines for using magazine titles both in the text and in the end notes or bibliography. Magazines also are called periodicals.

Step 1

Determine whether your term paper should be in APA or MLA format so you'll know which guidelines to follow.

Step 2

Treat them properly. If you are merely mentioning the magazine titles in the text of the paper, treat them like proper nouns by capitalizing them, such as, "The paintings reminded me of National Geographic and Discovery magazine photos." Also, italicize the titles.

Step 3

Know how to cite in text. When you use an article from a magazine as part of your research for your term paper, you can mention it in your writing. For example, "According to Time Magazine, Ben Bernanke was the man of the year for 2009." But, if no magazine or author is included in the text, you will need to cite the author and the page number parenthetically. For example: Ben Bernanke is not a typical "Beltway power broker" (Grunwald 6). This article will need to be listed at the end of the text in the Works Cited.

Step 4

Capitalize and italicize magazine titles in the references section. The APA uses "End notes" and the MLA format uses "Works Cited," but in either case you capitalize the first letters in the words of the magazine title and italicize or underline the title when listing it. (See Steps 5 and 6 for descriptions of full citations of magazines.)

Step 5

Follow the suggested format. In MLA format, a magazine article citation starts with the author's last name, then his first name and a period. The name of the article follows, with quotation marks around it and a period after it. Next comes the capitalized and italicized magazine title, then the day, month and year of the publication with a colon following. Next listed are the page numbers (which should be listed efficiently, meaning that if you are citing pages 101 to 107, then write 101-7). Follow the page range with a period, then the word "Print" and then a final period.

Step 6

Know the other format. APA style starts like MLA, with the author's last name being followed by a comma, her first name, the year published in parentheses and then a period. Next comes the title of the magazine article with a period following. After that comes the capitalized and italicized magazine title, a comma, an italicized volume or issue number, another comma and then the pages of the article. A period ends the citation.


If you use a direct quote or statistic from a magazine article, make sure to cite the reference in the text and in the Works Cited or End notes.

Don't forget to check the spelling of the magazine titles you are using. Some magazine titles may be considered "wrong" according to spell check.

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