There are several ways to include a book title in an essay. The basic entry for a book is the author’s name, book title, publisher’s name, and year of publication. The MLA Handbook provides guidance in the 9th edition. The name of the author of the book should be capitalized and spell-out in full, except for affiliations and titles. The year of publication is also noted, but not capitalized.
Capitalize the first and last words
A good rule of thumb when citing a book in an essay is to capitalize the first and last words. This is because the title of the book is typically displayed prominently. Subtitled titles should also be capitalized. If the book title contains subtitles, include those as well after the main title. Titles of books or other sources should be in full form, italicized, and capitalized on the first and last words. This includes all principal words, even those in hyphenated compound terms.
The Chicago Manual of Style recommends that you capitalize the first and last words of a book or article. If the title contains a conjunction, capitalize it. Otherwise, capitalize only the first or last words. However, AP, MLA, and Chicago follow the same general rule. In any case, capitalize all words with more than four letters. Despite these differences, most style guides recommend capitalizing the first and last words of a book or article.
Spell out the full title
In an essay, you can choose to either spell out the full title of your work or shorten it. While shortened titles are less formal, they should evoke the title easily in the reader’s mind. For example, in the book An Object of Beauty, comedian Steve Martin takes on the art world, and the word “an” is capitalized, since it is the first word in the title. Subtitles, on the other hand, should be capitalized the same way as the title. To ensure that your writing is capitalizing correctly, try a free online checker to see if any words are missing.
Your title page should be in MLA format. Although there are no official guidelines for this page, you should place your full name as the first item typed on the paper. Type it out one inch from the left or top margin. Place a double space between your name and the name of your instructor. Follow this with the course or class number. You should also spell out your full name and instructor’s last name.
Reference the full title the first time you mention the book
When writing your Works Cited page, reference the full title of a book when citing a book in your essay. When writing the title, italicize the book and place it in quotation marks. Proper nouns, such as “author” and “book”, should also be capitalized. Similarly, titles of chapters and parts of a book should be in quotation marks.