Unpacking CMOS: Titles of Works
We all judge books by their titles. The name Tales of the Bounty Hunters will lead you to different assumptions than The Kiss Quotient.
But what if you couldn’t distinguish the title from the rest of the sentence? If the sentence above had said, “Tales of the bounty hunters will lead you to different assumptions than the kiss quotient,” would the meaning have been clear? Probably not.
Standards for writing titles, such as capitalization and italicization, make it easier for the reader to understand what the writer is communicating. Yet with the rise of easily published, unproofed text and social media that doesn’t allow for italics, a writer can miss a lot of these standards—or simply not know them. That’s why CMOS offers style guidelines for titles in sections 8.156–8.201. That’s a lot of rules, so let’s break them down to the basics.
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