Answered By: Jeneen LaSee-Willemssen
Last Updated: Nov 29, 2016     Views: 6637

Do not italicize short story titles.

Here is our reasoning:

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association does not address short story titles in specific. However, section 4.21 of the Manual addresses the use of italics. They specifically say that the titles of books, periodicals, films, videos, TV shows, and microfilm publications should be italicized.

The official APA blog addresses the issue of italicizing titles more deeply in their March 1, 2012 entry titled: "How to Capitalize and Format Reference Titles in APA Style."  Unfortunately for all of us, they do not address short story titles. They do, however, provide guidelines on what to do if your specific case isn't addressed:

The titles of works that stand alone (such as a book or a report) are italicized in both the text and the reference list. In contrast, the titles of works that are part of a greater whole (such as an article, which is part of a journal, or a book chapter, which is part of a book) are not italicized in either place, and only in the text are they put inside quotation marks. If you are having difficulty determining whether something stands alone (such as a webpage that may or may not be part of a greater website), choose not to italicize.

So, you can see that you will need to figure out whether or not your short story is part of a greater whole (like a collection of short stories, an anthology) or whether it stands alone (published independently). And, if you can't tell or it just gets confusing (We're confused at this point), APA gives us an out by saying "choose not to italicize."

For more information about what titles to italicize in the body of your paper, see our Answer here:

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