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This Is Auburn Auburn University Libraries LibGuides

Communication

This guide provides you with an overview of library resources and services for Communication

Communication, Journalism & Theatre Librarian

Barbara Bishop's picture
Barbara Bishop
Contact:
RBD Library
231 Mell Street
Auburn University, AL 36849-5606
(334) 844-1690

Common problems with capitalization

Are the resource titles in your reference list capitalized correctly?

There are many types of titles which may appear in the reference list including titles of articles, journals, books, book chapters, webpages, and reports. 

1. Titles of journals are written in title case which means that most words are capitalized. The only words not capitalized are small words like a, of, an, the, on, in, etc. These words are not capitalized unless they are the first word in the title or the first word after a colon.

Examples (all are journal titles):

Communication Quarterly

Media and Communication

Discourse: Berkeley Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture

2. All other resource titles including titles of articles, books, book chapters, films, reports, and webpages are in sentence case which means that most words are not capitalized. Only the first word in the title, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns are capitalized.  

Examples:

Book -- Routledge handbook of family communication

Book chapter -- Mothers and fathers coparenting together

Film -- Gone with the wind

Report -- Social media conversations about race: How social media users see, share and discuss race and the rise of hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter

Webpage -- Health communication and health information technology

 

More information about capitalization and italicization (including a chart with instructions for in-text use as well as reference list use) is available here, http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2012/03/how-to-capitalize-and-format-reference-titles-in-apa-style.html

Common problems with italicization

Are the resource titles in your reference list italicized correctly?

Titles are italicized according the independence of the source, in other words does it stand alone or is it part of a larger work? Works which stand alone are italicized; works which are part of larger works are not italicized.

1. Generally journals, books, films and television shows, and reports are not part of larger works so their titles are italicized. 

Examples:

Journal – Communication Quarterly

Book – Engaging theories in family communication: Multiple perspectives

Television show – The big bang theory

Report – Social media conversations about race: How social media users see, share and discuss race and the rise of hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter

2. Articles do not stand alone, each is part of a journal just as book chapters are parts of books, television episodes are parts of television shows, and webpages are parts of larger websites, so titles of articles, book chapters, television episodes, and webpages are not italicized.

Examples:

Journal article – Constructing 'nerdiness': Characterisation in The Big Bang Theory

Book chapter – Mothers and fathers coparenting together

Television episode – The meemaw materialization

Webpage – Tim Kaine says millennials agree with Clinton, not Trump, on big issues

More information about capitalization and italicization (including a chart with instructions for in-text use as well as reference list use) is available here, http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2012/03/how-to-capitalize-and-format-reference-titles-in-apa-style.html