For something smaller and less ambitious, e.g., a short story as opposed to a sprawling novel, put the title in quotation marks. Pop quiz Place italics and quotation marks where they should go. Elvis Presley sang Love Me Tender in the movie Love Me Tender. Chapter 4 of Beautiful Ruins is called The Smile of Heaven. If the article or the existing discussions do not address a thought or question you have on the subject, please use the "Comment" box at the bottom of this page.An error in the use of italics or quotation marks—using one rather than the other or not using either when their use is required—is not likely a problem that will have an agent or publisher turning down your manuscript, especially if your manuscript isn’t bulging with other errors.Up until a few decades ago, writers had two choices: write in longhand or use a typewriter. Writing in italics was all but impossible, except for professional printing companies.
This is only a very short list, but most named nouns are treated similarly.
Long poems, short films, and the extended stories known as “novellas” are a gray area; some people italicize the titles, others put them in quotation marks.
You won’t go wrong with this policy: For a full-blown composition, put the title in italics. If you wish to respond to another reader's question or comment, please click its corresponding "REPLY" button.
By “composition” we mean a creative, journalistic, or scholarly enterprise that is whole, complex, a thing unto itself.
This includes books, movies, plays, TV shows, newspapers, magazines, websites, music albums, operas, musical theater, paintings, sculptures, and other works of art.