Writer Wednesdays: Italic or quotes?

As some of you might know, I started out in journalism, so I was well steeped in AP style. Then I switched to fiction, which sadly uses Chicago style. I had to learn a whole nother list, and there are some big differences.

One such difference is italic vs. quotes. And in this case, I prefer Chicago.

A lot of people find italic vs. quotes to be a pain in the butt. It’s just not intuitive, and that’s probably because AP is old-school, i.e. before computers and the ease of making something italic. Chicago is more current with technology.

But it’s actually not that difficult. Basically, keep in mind the rule, “the part gets the quotes; the whole gets the italic.” You can’t go much wrong with that. A song title is quoted; an album title is italic. Makes sense: the songs are the parts of the whole that is the album. A chapter is quoted; a book title is italic. A scene title is quoted; a movie title is italic.

As for underlining, just don’t do it. Ever.

For a great post on the differences between AP and Chicago on this subject, try the post below:


About alisaacarter

I am a writer of young adult novels, wife, mom of three, lover of animals, former magazine editor, reader of anything paranormal, and coffee fanatic.
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