How to Cite the Title of a Book and the Author in an Essay (2023)

How to Cite the Title of a Book and the Author

The basis of academic writing lies in how to cite the title of a book and the author. It recognizes effort and research done previously and acts as a basis from which successive essays are done. Knowing how to cite the title of a book depends on the type of essay you’re writing. Our professional essay writers have developed this guide to help you understand how to cite the title of a book and the author using different referencing styles. If you need help citing a book and the author, talk to us and we will help you out

General Guidelines On How to Cite the Title of a Book and The Author

  1. Italize the names of self-contained and independent volumes, such as plays, collections of poems, extended stand-alone poems, and plays. Examples include John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and John Donne’s Holy Sonnets.
  • Enclose all titles of chapters in books, titles of acts or scenes in plays, titles of short poems, and titles of songs contained within collections in quotation marks. For instance, the Knight Bus from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban or “The Tyger” from the Songs of Experience collection.
  • A book’s title may occasionally appear inside another title (for example, a monograph about a novel or a poem). In this instance, you should use italics for the phrase “Unbearable Weight of Authenticity: Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Theory of “Touristic Reading.”

If the title stated within the title is typically included in quotation marks, use single quotes rather than double quotations. “Individualism in O’Connor’s ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find,” for instance.

  • Titles of stand-alone books and sections of larger works should be capitalized: The poem “A Narrow Fellow on the Grass” by Emily Dickinson

Unfortunately, the capitalization requirements for implementing title cases differ significantly from style guide to style guide; thus, based on the style required for your article, you should choose one of the potential approaches from here.

Types of Book Title in an Essay

When creating a book title, authors can use their imagination to create something that will draw readers in and pique their curiosity. Writers use this independence to several diverse.

Here are a few examples of book titles that we encounter

The “Random Fantasy Generating” Title:

It appears that authors randomly select edgy, catchy words from the dictionary and combine them with fantasy novel titles. To draw readers in, authors employ terms like “throne,” “ash,” “red,” “crown,” “shadow,” and “king” or “queen.”

The “Name” Or “Event” Title:

Stories are frequently given names based on the protagonists’ names; alternatively, occasionally, the most important event in the book is included in the title. Percy Jackson and Harry Potter are two examples of literature that fit this genre.

The ‘Name and The Life Event the Story Is Revolving Around’ Title differs from the previous one in that it begins with the name and lists the major event the book is centered around. This category includes books with titles like The Adoration of Jenna Fox, The Half-Life of Molly Pearce, etc.

The “Sound Familiar” Title:

Some writers muddle titles to mislead their audience. It prompts readers to consider where they may have heard it before, which is a great way to encourage them to consider the book’s title.

The “One Word” Title:

There are advantages and disadvantages to using a single word as your book’s title. The fact that it is simple for readers to remember is a plus, but because it is simple, occasionally, people forget it. However, recalling which term corresponds to which book title can be challenging.

The “Sneakily Clever Reference” Title:

These headings allude to the book’s content. Sometimes writers may employ double meanings to draw the reader in.

The ‘thing and thing’ Title:

It is as easy as that, just as the header implies.

The title that says “Not Related to The Book” The author gave the book these beautiful titles. It provides figurative illumination regarding the book to the audience for the readers.

How to Write a Book Title in an Essay

Grammar rules do not always determine how you compose a book title. An author has complete creative control over creating their book’s title. It aims to grab the audience’s interest and highlight the narrator’s point of view. The procedures listed below should apply while creating a book title for an article.

Choose Your Book’s Goal:

The author chooses the title of your book based on its goal. You must structure the book’s title based on your intended readership. When choosing the objective of your book, ask yourself the following questions.

Which age group do I want to reach with this message?

How eagerly am I anticipating book promotion?

Is the title I’m considering revealing too little or way too much about the book?

Just Start Writing for Fun:

Anything that comes to mind should be your first choice. Start throwing in words and sentences haphazardly. It is shocking by how many original and beautiful titles you can generate from such a bizarre practice.

Find Fixed Formulas or Fixed Phrases:

Try experimenting with a few basic formats, but avoid plagiarism. There are other ways besides these predetermined patterns to title your book. Specific genres will benefit from this technique.

Use Your Characters as Inspiration:

If your main character in the novel has a funny or interesting name, you can use it as inspiration. The best strategy for writing some titles is to use the characters’ names as the book titles.

Find Inspiration in Other Works:

It’s amazing how many thoughts and inspirations you may acquire just by looking at other works by different authors. You don’t have to replicate the full concept, just some of it.

Avoid Confusion with Other Book Titles:

To prevent readers from becoming perplexed between two books, you should use a title for your book that is distinct and distinctive from those of other books. Discoverability is important, especially for authors who self-publish. You want people who read your book to be able to find it and not a book that sounds similar to it.

Generate as many concepts as you like as the book’s author and its creator. The best source of creativity is you. Make a list of all the intriguing titles you can think of. Ask yourself, “What’s the point of your book?” and respond with three to four words.

The Title of the Book in Essay Format

Since authors have the creative freedom to express themselves, there is no set format for a book title. However, the ideas listed below might help create a book title.

  1. A distinctive title catches the reader’s attention and conveys the core of the work. Without knowing exactly what is inside, a reader should have a general impression of the book’s subject matter after finishing it.
  2. Create a Title That Is Simple to Recall and pronounce: Readers are more likely to remember book titles that are brief, distinctive, and pleasant to the ear. If your book’s title is simple to recall and pronounce, readers are likelier to discuss it with others.
  3. Remarkable, Searchable, And Educational: try to choose a title for your book that people will remember because it will serve as both the initial impression readers get of it and the cue that will prompt them to return to it. When looking for a book in a bookstore or online, searchable “book covers” and make it simpler to find. Making the book title educational is crucial, especially for non-fiction books. You are more likely to bring in a larger audience if you make it easier for your readers to understand the topic of your book.
  4. Use relevant keywords in your book title, especially for non-fiction works, and be plain and direct. Start with a lengthy title, then change it to make it shorter. The title should be brief and to the point. You can also promise your readers a benefit, but be careful not to lie. Maintain the truth and avoid misleading your viewers.

Most Common Essay Formats

APA, MLA, and Chicago style are prominent essay forms in American schools, universities, and higher education institutions.

Your professor’s choice of format will be based on the topic, the department, the essay’s goal, and their preferences. Each has a different approach to how to cite a book and the author, but they all capture the same information.


The American Psychological Association (APA) is the recommended structure for all scientific writings, including those in the social and behavioral sciences.


The MLA format, which stands for the Modern Language Association, is common in courses in the humanities and liberal arts, such as literature and history.


Chicago format is prevalent in the publishing industry and fields like anthropology, history, and some social sciences. Turabian is another name for the format that honors its founder, Kate L. Turabian.

Why Is It Crucial to Use the Right Format?

The gist of the answer is that failing to do so will result in a worse grade.

Of course, there are numerous reasons why it is crucial to structure papers and essays properly.


A stringent set of guidelines is provided by formats like APA, MLA, and Chicago, ensuring consistency. Consistency keeps the reader alert and makes it simple to understand what the writer is attempting to express.

Research and References

It is simpler for readers to check citations and conduct more research on the topic when you stick with one style or format.

Exhibiting Comprehension

Following a certain style manual, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago, in academic settings shows you know the guidelines and standards for writing in that field. It demonstrates that you not only comprehend the subject but can also effectively write about it.

Getting Ready for Future Studies

Imagine you’re a high school or college student understanding the fundamentals of essay formatting. So, if you intend to continue to graduate or postgraduate school, it is a perfect way to prepare for your future academic endeavors.

How to Cite the Title of a Book and the Author in APA Style

Following the guidelines below when writing book names in the body of an APA-style essay:

  • Put quotation marks (not italics) after the book’s title on either side (except the holy texts like the Bible and reference works like dictionaries and almanacs).
  • Capitalize the title’s first word.
  • Capitalization is required for words and phrases with more than four letters or symbols.
  • Capitalize the hyphenated two-part terms.
  • Likewise, capitalized words should follow a colon or a dash.

You shouldn’t capitalize the following small words:

  • Articles in the title’s midsection 
  • Three-letter or shorter conjunctions
  • Prepositions with no more than three letters

How to Cite the Title of a Book and the Author Using MLA Format

The Modern Language Association (MLA) first handbook was launched in 1977. We are currently in its eighth version, released in 2016. The English studies, linguistics, literature, cultural, and media studies MLA recommendations made there have come to be accepted as the standard in the humanities.

According to MLA, you should always capitalize the following in the title:

  • The title’s initial and last words; 
  • Proper names
  • The main words are nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.
  • Conjunctive subordinating (because, although, if, unless)

DO NOT capitalize the title.

The articles (unless they come first or last). For instance, “The” is capitalized in the title “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” since it is the opening word, while “a” is not because it is an article in a title.

Adjectives (unless they come first or last) coordinating conjunctions such as “for,” “and,” “nor,” “but,” “or,” “yet,” and “so”; and “to in infinitives.”

How to Cite the Title of a Book and the Author Using Chicago Style

The University of Chicago’s The Chicago Manual of Style is a style manual for American English first released in 1906. The seventeenth edition, released in 2017, is the current one. Chicago (CMOS or CMS) is a prominent style widely used in academia, particularly in business, history, and the fine arts, while not as well-known as APA or MLA.

Chicago advises capitalizing all words in the title case, except: 

  • Articles 
  • All conjunctions (regardless of length), every preposition (regardless of length). 

That is a refreshingly simple statement. Furthermore, The Chicago Manual of Style is so lax to suggest breaking a rule when it doesn’t apply.

How Do I Put the Title of a Book in the Body of a Handwritten Essay?

Handwritten essays were common, but they are now definitely the exception. Even so, you can occasionally be required to handwrite an essay rather than type it; in this case, you should adhere to the guidelines below.


In the body of a handwritten essay, book titles should be capitalized according to the same standards as those for typed essays.

Ensure you capitalize the initial letter of the first word in the title and every word with more than four letters if you’re writing an APA-style essay by hand.

Additionally, when penning an essay in the MLA or Chicago styles, capitalize the first letter of the title and all other words besides articles, prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions.


Underline book titles in handwritten essays, regardless of format.

The title should be underlined, including any words that follow a comma or dash.

Underline any punctuation in the book’s title.

Never use individual word underlining; always use one continuous line.

Using a ruler or adhering to the line on the paper will help you make your line as straight as feasible.

How to Cite the Title of a Book and the Author in a References or Works Cited Page?

The process above shows you how to cite the title of a book, which is the same as referencing in an essay’s body.

However, how do you reference a book and its author in your works cited or references page?

I’ll use Anne of Green Gables, a beloved children’s book by Lucy Maud Montgomery in 1908, as an example for each essay form to clarify things.

APA Book Citation Format

The APA standard for citing authors and the titles of their books is as follows:

First names and last names. (Year the book came out), book’s name.

Lucy Maud Montgomery, as an illustration (1908). Green Gables’ Anne.

Book References in MLA Format

The MLA standard for citing authors and the titles of their books is as follows:

First names and last names, book’s name. City, publisher, and year of publication are listed for the book.

The city of publishing is only required if the book was released before 1900 or if the publisher is not in the US.

Montgomery, Lucy Maud, and Anne of Green Gables are a few examples. 1908 L.C. Page & Co.

Chicago Style Book Citations

The right way to cite authors and the titles of their books in Chicago style is as follows:

First names and last names, Subtitles, and a book title. Publisher, City of Publication, and Year of Publication for the Book.

Similar to MLA format, the city of publishing should only be included if the book was published before 1900 or if the publisher is headquartered outside of the US.

Lucy Maud Montgomery, as an illustration. Green Gables’ Anne. 1908 L.C. Page & Co.

References to Books in Handwritten Essay

If you pen your essay, you will undoubtedly handwrite your references or works cited page.

In this scenario, you should adhere to the formatting above guidelines in light of the selected essay style.

In contrast, a title italicized in a printed essay should be neatly underlined in a handwritten essay.

Lack of Information

It’s often permissible to omit information about a book’s publisher, release date, or publication location if you’ve looked everywhere but still can’t find it.


It takes experience to become good at writing essays. At first, it may seem difficult to understand the concepts and guidelines of the various formats. This is particularly important when discussing how to cite the title of a book. Perhaps this post has helped to clarify the frameworks utilized in each of the most popular formats so that you can feel certain the next time you write an essay that you’re doing it correctly. However, if you are still facing challenges citing a tittle of a book and the author, you can seek help from our team of expert writers.

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