Mastering MLA: How to Write a Book Title in an Essay

When writing an essay, it is essential to adhere to the specific formatting guidelines provided by the chosen citation style. In the Modern Language Association (MLA) style, correctly formatting book titles is crucial for maintaining consistency and ensuring proper citation. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to write a book title in an essay following MLA guidelines, enabling you to accurately and confidently reference books within your writing.

Understanding MLA Formatting

MLA style is widely used in academic writing, particularly in the humanities. When referencing a book title within an essay, it is important to follow specific formatting rules. By correctly formatting book titles, you demonstrate your attention to detail and adherence to scholarly conventions.

Italicizing or Using Quotation Marks

In MLA style, book titles are typically italicized, indicating their prominence within the text. Italicizing book titles helps distinguish them from the surrounding content and emphasizes their importance. For example, “To Kill a Mockingbird” would be written as To Kill a Mockingbird.

Alternatively, if you are unable to italicize the text (e.g., in handwritten or typewritten documents), you can use quotation marks to enclose the book title. For instance, “To Kill a Mockingbird” would be written as “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Capitalization Rules

When writing a book title in an essay, it is important to follow specific capitalization rules outlined by MLA style. Generally, you should capitalize the following:

The first and last words of the title

Nouns (including pronouns), verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and subordinating conjunctions

Any other words longer than three letters

Conversely, you should not capitalize the following:

Articles (a, an, the)

Coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, or, nor)

Prepositions, regardless of length, unless they are the first or last word of the title

For example, the book title “The Great Gatsby” would be written as The Great Gatsby.

Essay Writing Service

If you find yourself struggling with formatting or any other aspect of writing your essay, you may consider utilizing the services of a professional essay writing service. These services provide expert assistance in various aspects of essay writing, including formatting, research, and content development. By engaging an essay writing service, you can ensure that your essay meets all the necessary requirements and is of high quality. However, it is important to choose a reputable and reliable service to guarantee the best outcome for your academic work.


Properly formatting book titles in an essay is essential to maintain consistency and adhere to MLA style guidelines. By italicizing or using quotation marks, as well as following the specific capitalization rules, you can accurately reference book titles within your essay. Remember to pay attention to these details as they contribute to the overall professionalism and scholarly credibility of your work. If you require assistance with any aspect of essay writing, including formatting, consider engaging an essay writing service to ensure that your essay is well-crafted and meets all academic requirements. With proper formatting and attention to detail, you can confidently incorporate book titles into your essay while following MLA guidelines.