Which Titles Are Italicized and Which Are Enclosed in Quotation Marks?
by Tina Blue
January 4, 2001
NOTE:The title of an article or essay is not enclosed in quotation marks, italicized or underlined at the top of the page. The reason for punctuating a title that occurs in a body of prose is to set it off and to identify it as a title. When the title of an article or an essay appears over the article, its position is sufficient to identify it as the title.
~Italics are used primarily to punctuate the titles of full-length works that are published separately. There are also a couple of specialized uses for italics with titles.
2. The titles of works that include shorter works are italicized. This includes anthologies and collections of songs, poems, short stories, short plays, and essays.
3. The titles of newspapers and magazines are italicized.
4. Technically, the titles of movies and television shows should be italicized, because individual scenes and episodes may have their own titles, which would be enclosed in quotation marks. The influence of newspaper reviewers, however, has undermined this principle, so you are likely to find the titles of movies and television shows enclosed in quotation marks.
5. The names of ships, trains, airplanes and spacecraft are italicized, but not H.M.S. or U.S.S.:
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Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York: Washington Square-Pocket, 1992.
I just searched for examples. I found this site: http://www.mystfx.ca/resources/writingcentre/MLA_Citing%20Sources.pdf, and I used that info. I think that most scripts of plays are republished in books or collections (which are books). You can always add more info after the date, in parentheses, if you think it's useful. I would probably add "play" at the end, so I could jump to it using a find feature in a text editor. The safer bet would be to add the info at the end, but my preference would be to add it after the title. I doubt I would receive any complaints, either way.
Also, most of the names of works in the works cited section are italicized, articles and sections being the big exception. I also remember finding some works-cited example pages at .edu websites doing a keyword search for +hamlet site: .edu or something similar. I found a site that told how to cite a "live play".
This is a quote from that site:
Hamlet. By William Shakespeare. Dir. Kenneth Branagh. Perf. Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacoby, and Julia Christie. The Globe Theatre, London. 27 Dec. 1991. Performance.