How to Use Quotations for Book Titles

When we reference the title of a book in our writing, the book’s title should appear in italics. If italic is not a formatting option, then the book’s title should be underlined. In some circumstances quotation marks can be used instead of underlining or italics.

Enclose the book title in quotation marks if you believe it is more appropriate to the overall appearance of your document. This would not apply to reference books. Book titles from books that are part of a collection would need to be underlined or in italics.

Be consistent in your style. Do not underline book titles in one section of your document, and enclose them in quotation marks in other sections of the same document.

Enclose the chapter title of a book in quotation marks. For example: My favorite chapter in the book was “Learn to Laugh.”

Use single quotation marks if the book title is contained in a quotation, and you have chosen not to use underlining or italics. For example: She said, “I loved the book ‘Where the Red Fern Grows.’"

Do not use quotation marks to enclose the Bible or other books that are considered sacred.

About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.