Writing the Titles of Sources

Writing the Titles of Sources

Generally speaking, business writing does not necessitate the same strict adherence to the rules for citing sources that must be followed when composing academic papers and research studies. Business documents are usually forwarded to other people in business, who are interested solely in the content, and not to university professors and academic committees, who pay a great deal of attention to format and the rules of source citation. Nevertheless, for the sake of the clarity of your business documents, it is important to know how to properly write the names of newspaper articles, full-length books, and other sources.

Full-length books should be written in italics, as in the following: Achieve Maximum Success at Work by Marcus Buckingham. Although italicizing is the preferred method, it is also acceptable to underline the name of a full-length book, as in the following: The Strategy Paradox by Michael E. Raynor. In either case, the name of the author should always be included. In fact, the name of the writer, if available, should be included when citing any and all sources. The names of periodicals and newspapers should also be italicized or underlined, as in The Wall Street Journal.

The titles of lengthy reports and other long business documents, whether or not they have been published, should also be italicized or underlined, as in Five Year Strategy for Effective Growth for ABC Corporation.

Shorter business documents may be enclosed in quotation marks, as in “Short Summary of March 2007 Training Session” or they may be written without any special notation or punctuation.

Newspaper and periodical articles should always be enclosed in quotation marks, as in “Big Money Still Learning to Lobby” by Jenny Anderson (The New York Times, March 13, 2007, page C1).

Even though it does not happen often in business writing, in the event that the title of a short story, play, musical piece, movie, television or radio program, or piece of art is to be included, it should be enclosed in quotation marks, as in the following example: “The New Colossus.”

As noted earlier, even though the rules for citation that are so strictly observed in academic writing are followed much more loosely in business writing, it is still important to follow the suggestions for the writing of sources as indicated in this article.