Formatting Titles

It is often difficult to remember how to format the different types of titles (e.g., titles of books, articles, journals, book series, and conferences) encountered in academic writing. In hopes of helping authors, editors, and copy editors quickly discover the answer to such questions when they arise, we offer this quick-reference guide to title formatting. For more information, see CMS §§8.154–195 (Note that all the examples are set title case, on which see here and SBLHS §6.1.3.3.)

1. Titles Set Italics

  • book

Ron Hendel’s Steps to a New Edition of the Hebrew Bible

  • journal

the Journal of Biblical Literature

  • ancient text cited by author

Philo’s De vita contemplativa

  • movie

Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator

  • television series (for an episode, see below)

HBO’s Game of Thrones

  • painting

Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa

  • musical collection (e.g., album or CD)

Sinéad O’Connor’s How about I Be Me (and You Be You)?

  • blogs

SBL Handbook of Style blog

For further information on citing films and television shows, see the blog post “Citing Films” here.

2. Titles Set Roman with Quotation Marks

  • article

Steven L. McKenzie’s JBL article “Elaborated Evidence for the Priority of 1 Samuel 26”

  • chapter

chapter 3, “The Idea of a Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible: A Genealogy,” in Ron Hendel’s Steps to a New Edition of the Hebrew Bible

  • essay title

Margaret Aymer’s essay “Outrageous, Audacious, Courageous, Willful: Reading the Enslaved Girl of Acts 12,” in the volume Womanist Interpretations of the Bible

  • section within a book

part 3 of Womanist Interpretations of the Bible, “Foregrounding Women on the Margins”

  • section within an article, essay, or paper

section 3.1, “Challenging Traditional Gender Paradigms”

  • conference paper

Gale A. Yee’s paper “‘He Will Take the Best of Your Fields’: Royal Feasts and Rural Extraction”

  • titled lecture and address

Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza’s presidential address, “The Ethics of Biblical Interpretation: Decentering Biblical Scholarship”

  • dissertation or thesis

Frank Ritchel Ames’s “Women and War in the Hebrew Bible”

  • section of a webpage or blog posting

the blog post “Formatting Titles” on the SBL Handbook of Style blog

  • individually titled conference

the “Metaphorik und Narrativität in der Logienquelle Q/Metaphor and Narrative in Q” conference

  • television episode (for a series, see above)

the episode “Book of the Stranger” in the television series Game of Thrones

  • poem

Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall”

  • song

Bob Dylan’s “Yea! Heavy and a Bottle of Bread”

3. Titles Set Roman with No Quotation Marks

  • book series

Semeia Studies, Coniectanea Biblica: Old Testament Series

  • ancient text not cited by author

Enuma Elish, Gospel of Thomas, Res gestae divi Augusti

  • recurring conference

the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale

  • website

the Perseus Digital Library

  • award

the Krister Stendahl Medal in Biblical Studies

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