How to Put a Movie Title in an Essay


Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to put a movie quote in your reference? Most media students can relate to this situation. Probably at least in one course, you were required to write an essay on a particular movie. The task seemed very easy at first, but the rules and technicalities made it difficult for you with time.

However, it is not only the media studies students that find themselves in this puzzle. For instance, if you have an assignment on writing about a narrative essay on your visit to a theater, you will have to write about the movie you watched and throw in the movie title in your narrative. But how are you going to write this? You are probably confused about how you will tackle this, but it is only a game of a matter of minutes, as you will see. So without much further ado, let us look at the rules for writing movie titles in an essay.

General Rules in Punctuating Movie Titles

Generally, there are some basic ways of writing punctuating titles. You have to write either in Bold, Italics or Underlined. There are some simple ways used in writing and punctuating movie titles. You can capitalize the very first letter and italicize the font.

The other technique is applying the proper sentence structure in writing. For instance, you can say, “We watched two consecutively; Titanic and Shrek.”

Using quotation marks and underlining is also a workable technique.

Never put colons in the title, such as Game of Thrones: Episode 1. This is one of the common mistakes in writing. The movie’s name should be in italics, while a section of the film should be in quotes. For instance, we can say the Lost TV series but in the “numbers” episode.

Writing a Movie Title in MLA Style

Movie titles in APA, Chicago, and MLA writing styles are formatted in the same manner. The title is in italics in the body of the essay. For instance, you can mention, we watched Wolf of Wall Street and Titanic. All these writing styles specify the uses of the Title cases in the films quoted.

However, if your Professor in school has limited you to using the MLA style, you need to consider factors. You need to know the following information:

  • Movie title
  • Name of the Director(s) and Main Screencast
  • The studio where the movie was produced
  • Film distributor(s)
  • Date of release

You need to take these factors into consideration in the reference list. However, do not confuse the format in writing between the body paragraphs and reference list.

The first letter of all the nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs should be capitalized. However, avoid replicating this rule on prepositions, conjunctions, and articles even if they are present in the movie title.

In APA style specifically, regardless of a word, as long as the name is tailed by more than four letters, it must be capitalized. In the APA reference, only the first letter of the movie title is capitalized, so do not confuse the writing style between the body paragraphs and the references.

The titles of long works should be italicized, but they are put in quotes in shorter works.

Writing a Movie Title in AP Style

I know you think I missed an ‘A’ at the end of AP. It’s AP. It is an abbreviation for Associated Press. This is the style used for press releases or papers written for the public. Just like any other scientific style, rules are bounding the AP style.

In AP, you should capitalize prepositions that are three letters and longer. Also, for the articles and words that are shorter than four letters, they are first or last in the title.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do we italicize essay titles?

The essay title should not be italicized or underlined. It is at the top of the content page. The main reason for movie title punctuation is just for providing identity.

Do we capitalize movie titles?

Depending on the writing style, the capitalization of movie titles varies. Little words such as conjunctions and prepositions are usually written in lower case unless they are movie titles. In MLA, APA, and Chicago styles, all other terms are capitalized.

What format is used in movie review essays?

There is no fixed format, but there is the information needed necessary for the movie. This includes the movie name, director, major actors, and the launch year.

Rules to follow

Knowing how to quote your movie title is essential, but the scenario you mention your movie title is most important. You can stick to guidelines to keep you on track. If the title is bounded, ensure you perform detailed research. Writing without prior knowledge is dangerous.

You should know the writing style needed and the writing tone needed for your paper.

Finally, you should rigorously proofread. Do not leave anything to chance. Some students fail to impress because they allow a few general mistakes in their essays. Proofread to perfection.

Alongside the tips and tricks for quoting movie titles, you should be careful in the contextual placement. Before writing an essay that includes a movie title, make sure you stick to some guidelines as follows:

  • If bound by a movie title, ensure you thoroughly research it. Writing blindly could be very detrimental to your essay
  • Ensure you follow the writing style your teacher wants, as different writing styles have additional requirements. You need to answer your essay in a coherent tone and naturally include your answer.
  • Proofreading should be a must for you. Sometimes you might have impeccable content but fail to move your reader because of a few bad mistakes. Proofread your paper to perfection.

These tips should help you get that flawless piece of copy. However, if you are still struggling with adding movie titles to your script, you can order a custom written essay from expert writing services to give your manuscript the sincere feel it needs. The essay can be tailor-made to your specific needs ranging from the guidelines to the formatting rules.


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