Italics or Quotes: The Basic Rules for Titling Songs

It’s a common question for many music fans out there – when it comes to writing out the titles of songs, are they italicized or quoted? The answer may be different depending on who you ask, but the standard answer is that song titles should alwys be placed in quotation marks.

This rule applies to both long and short song titles. For example, if you’re talking about “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen or “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears for Fears, those titles should be placed in quotation marks. It doesn’t matter if it’s the title of an EP, single, album, or even a mixtape – all of them should go into quotation marks.

The same rules apply to other forms of music as well, such as musical theater and classical pieces. If you need to refer to an aria from an opera or a movement from a symphony, make sure to place those titles in quotation marks too. That way readers can tell that you’re referring to specific pieces of music insted of just generic terms.

Now what about larger works such as albums and movies? Well for those types of works the titles should be italicized instead of quoted. So if you want to refer to albums like Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles or films like Star Wars: A New Hope, those names should be italicized instead of quoted.

So when it comes down to it, the rule is pretty simple – if you’re referring to any type of song (or even individual movements within classical pieces), then make sure to place them in quotation marks. For larger works like albums and films however, go ahead and italicize the titles instead. Hopefully this guide has cleared up any confusion you may have had on this matter and now you can feel confident when writing out song or film titles!

Should Songs Be Italicized?

A song should not be italicized. The titles of songs should be placed within quotation marks. For example, you would write “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen rather than Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.

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Formatting the Song of Songs

No, song titles are not italicized. Instead, they should be enclosed in quotation marks. This applies to titles of songs from any genre, including rock, pop, classical, and hip hop. Additionally, the same rule applies to album titles; these should also be enclosed in quotation marks instead of being italicized.

Formatting Songs in MLA Style

In MLA style, songs should be placed in quotation marks. This applies to titles of individual songs, as well as album titles. Titles of larger musical works, such as operas or albums that conain many songs, should be italicized. For example, the title of a single song would appear in quotation marks (“Where Is the Love?”), while an entire album would appear italicized (The Emancipation of Mimi).


In conclusion, it is important to know how to properly format titles of different kinds of works. When it comes to songs, you should always use quotation marks when writing out the title of the song. This ensures that your work looks neat and professional, and also conveys the correct meaning. Additionally, when referring to a song as part of a larger work, such as an album or soundtrack, be sure to place the title of the song in quotation marks as well. Following these simple rules will guarantee that your work looks polished and professional.

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William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.