Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to identify titles of documents.
The ability to know what type of punctuation (e.g. underlining, quotation marks, or italics) should accompany a title of a document, depending on the type of document and the context in which it is presented.
Search through non-fiction books, whether at home or at the library. Look in the back of the books for reference or bibliography pages. Compare the references cited – whether books are underlined or italicized, how articles are in “quotation marks”, and how the newspapers or magazines the articles are from are italicized.
Show the difference between short stories and novels, symphonies and songs, & epic poems and short poems. Understanding the nuances of length in these same categories will help the child understand why some titles are simply “quotes” while others are italicized or underlined. For example, stories are short tales that could be passed down verbally from memory (which is why there are many versions of them), while novels are usually long, involved texts such as chapter books. Some long poems are long enough to be books, such as Beowolf, The Iliad by Homer, etc. Also, some symphonies by Beethoven and Mozart are a dozen minutes long (or longer!), which is equal to several short songs.
Make sorting cards from colored papers. Write a single title of favorite or well-known documents on each card. Make poems one color, books another color, and newspapers and magazines another color. Have the child sort them in three categories: titles to be underlined, titles to be italicized, and titles to be in quotation marks. This could be done with a triple Venn diagram, as titles of books, newspapers, and magazines can be in more than one category (underlined and italicized) – so they could be in the overlapping section.
Examples (and answers):
“A Light in the Attic” by Shel Silverstein
The Iliad by Homer
Newspapers and magazines:
The Washington Post
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Practice making your own bibliography, or at least typing different kinds of titles in Microsoft Word. Practice using the toolbars and shortcuts to underline and italicize documents. The shortcut for italicize is: Ctrl + I. The shortcut for underline is: Ctrl + U.
Have fun making up your own titles! Use common, everyday objects as inspiration. Then decide what document it would be best as – a book, article, etc. and add the appropriate punctuation. Examples: “The Lonely Toothbrush,” a poem; “The Fly Who Wouldn’t Die,” a short story; “What You Shouldn’t Put Down Your Garbage Disposal,” an article; The Broken Printer, a novel; My Best Friend’s Picture Frame, a children’s book; etc.
Are book titles shown in text by italicizing, underlining, or with quotation marks (“ ”)? (italicizing or underlining)
What is the difference between an italicized title and an underlined title of a book? (nothing if it is a book or novel – a book title can be underlined or italicized; depending on the machine or hand used to do the typing or writing, sometimes italics are not available and thus, underlining is acceptable)
Why do authors or artists sometimes capitalize all words in a title? (to emphasize the text; because they’re not sure of capitalization rules)
What are some magazine titles that should be italicized when referred to in text? (Teen, People, Newsweek, National Geographic, etc.)
What are some newspapers titles that should be italicized when referred to in text? (Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, etc.)
Are newspaper titles shown in text by italicizing, underlining, or with quotation marks (“ ”)? (italicizing)
Are magazine titles shown in text by italicizing, underlining, or quotation marks (“ ”)? (italicizing)
While newspaper and magazine titles are italicized in text, what punctuation is used to refer to an article within a newspaper or magazine? (quotation marks)
If you’re not sure whether to capitalize a title or not, where could you look? (in an encyclopedia – written or online)
Why might an author or artist purposefully not capitalize a word that should be, or capitalize a word that shouldn’t be? (to add style; to make a statement; because they don’t know the rules, etc.)
Why do authors or artists sometimes capitalize all words in a title? (to emphasize the text; because they’re not sure of capitalization rules, etc.)
Why aren’t articles, conjunctions, or prepositions capitalized in names or titles? (they are not considered to be “major” words)
What are examples of articles? (a, an, the, etc.)
What are examples of conjunctions? (but, nor, and, for, or, etc.)
What are examples of prepositions? (of, by, out, over, etc.)
Are poem titles shown in text by italicizing, underlining, or with quotation marks (“ ”)? (quotation marks)
Are epic poem titles shown in text by italicizing, underlining, or with quotation marks (“ ”)? (italicizing)
Are essay titles shown in text by italicizing, underlining, or with quotation marks (“ ”)? (quotation marks)
Are speech titles shown in text by italicizing, underlining, or with quotation marks (“ ”)? (quotation marks)
Is the beginning of a title always capitalized, even if it begins with an articles (e.g. a, an, the, etc.), a conjunctions (e.g. and, for, or, etc.), or a prepositions (e.g. of, by, out, etc.)? (yes)