Books and reports – full titles
Book and report titles use minimal capitalisation and italics:
My brilliant career
Journeys: modern Australian short stories
Terrestrial animal health code
If the style you are following uses maximal capitals rather than minimal capitals (as recommended here), capitalise the first word after a colon:
The Story of Australian Art: An Illustrated Guide
When using maximal capitals, use capitals for both parts of a hyphenated compound word:
Antibiotic-Resistant Pathogens in Australian Hospitals
Books and reports – abbreviated titles
When citing a document that is also known by a shortened title, use the full title with the shortened title in brackets at the first citation. Subsequent citations of the document can use the shortened form.
Use roman type and maximal capitalisation for the shortened title:
A review of Australia’s preparedness for the threat of foot-and-mouth disease (Matthews Report)
and later …
The Matthews Report acknowledges the …
The Garnaut review 2011: Australia in the global response to climate change (the Garnaut Review)
Terrestrial animal health code (Terrestrial Code)
Parts of a book or report
Use single quotation marks and minimal capitalisation for titles of articles and chapters within a book or report:
Refer to the chapter ‘Structuring documents for readers’ in How to write a wonderful thesis.
Poems, short stories and plays
Use minimal capitalisation and italics for titles of poems, short stories and plays:
The man from Snowy River The iliad Paradise lost
For Esme – with love and squalor Hills like white elephants
Death of a salesman The importance of being earnest
Use single quotation marks and minimal capitalisation for titles within a book:
‘Mr Reginald Peacock’s day’ was reprinted in Katherine Mansfield’s story collection Bliss.
I first encountered ‘You hated Spain’ by Ted Hughes in The Oxford book of travel verse.
If discussing a short story that has been published as a standalone book (but would be more familiar as part of a collection), treat it as a book title if referring specifically to the standalone volume. If speaking about the story when it is in a collection, or when the form is not specified, use single quotation marks and minimal capitalisation:
Smith’s delightful illustrations in The loaded dog, released this month, are …
Henry Lawson’s ‘The loaded dog’ is familiar to many.
Journals, magazines and newspapers
Use maximal capitals and italics for the titles of periodicals:
In the latest issue of Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology …
… in the pages of Harvard Business Review, we find …
The results were published in Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies.
If The, A or An occur at the start of the official title, they are lower case and not italicised in text, unless the title starts a sentence:
In the Monday edition of the Canberra Times, the Prime Minister …
In the Sydney Morning Herald editorial …
The Age was first published in …
Omit The, A or An when providing source details in parentheses, unless the title has only 2 words:
The Chief Minister said (Canberra Times, 24 Jan 2014:5) that …
An update was reported last week (The Age, 31 Aug 2019:10).
Parts of journals, magazines and newspapers
The amount of bibliographic detail required to specify an article or story in a journal, magazine or newspaper may vary. Articles in technical journals usually have dates, volume numbers and page ranges. These details are usually included in a reference list, but can be cited in the text, using a format similar to that recommended in Journal and magazine articles:
In their 1996 article ‘A novel technique for the measurement of stress in thin metallic films’ in Measurement Science and Technology 7(6):939–941, Askraba and co-workers …
Here, 7 is the volume number, 6 the issue or part number and 939–941 the page numbers for the article.
For in-text citation of publications with dates, such as newspapers and some magazines, the format will vary with the numbering system used by the publication. Newspapers are dated by day, but magazine issues may be dated by month, season or quarter, or may simply be numbered sequentially with no date. Page numbers may not always be necessary:
In his story ‘The whole of the law’ in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine Jun/Jul 2004 (issue 13), Stephen Dedman wrote about …
In ‘Space station to Jamboree: we can read you’ in Jamboree Daily (8 Jan 2007:3) by Ed Herbert, the story of …
In her essay ‘The costs of not writing clearly’ in Awful Prose Monthly (Jun 2018:54), Wendy Schulz highlights the issues of …
For articles that do not have an obvious author, provide the available bibliographic information:
… appeared in the Canberra Times (9 Nov 2013:3)
Enclose the titles of comic strips in quote marks, and use minimal capitalisation and roman type:
‘Beyond the Black Stump’
Conventions and agreements
Text in conventions and agreements usually consists mostly of numbered paragraphs and sections (they look like ‘legal’ documents). Use maximal capitalisation and roman type for the titles of conventions and agreements:
Australia aims to implement its obligations under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Animal Health Australia completed the second 5-year review of the Government and Livestock Industry Cost Sharing Deed in Respect of Emergency Animal Disease Responses.
Do not list conventions and agreements in the reference list; instead, for a print document, insert a footnote providing the web address for accessing the document (see Titles of online material and websites in print documents or, for online text, hyperlink the title (see Titles of online material and websites in HTML pages or online PDFs).
See also Conventions, treaties, protocols, codes and projects.
See Legislation for formatting the titles of Acts, Regulations, Bills and so on.
Film and television
Give the titles of films, telemovies and television series in italics and minimal capitalisation. For sequels and multipart films, use the official title, including the use of numerals and punctuation:
Death in Brunswick
The godfather part II not The godfather 2
Films with part numbers and/or subtitles – for example, many sequels – must be punctuated carefully. Capitalise words after colons:
Dr Strangelove or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb
Three colours: Red
The hunger games: Mockingjay – part 2
Episodes of a television series, or parts within anthology films, are given in minimal capitalisation and single quotation marks:
‘Heavy heart’ from series 2 of The letdown
Four rooms consists of 4 segments: ‘The missing ingredient’, ‘The wrong man’, ‘The misbehavers’ and ‘The man from Hollywood’.
Larger works of music and album names use maximal capitalisation and italics.
Carmina Burana St Matthew Passion The Marriage of Figaro Born Sandy Devotional
Present titles of orchestral works in roman. Capitalise the type of work and key, but retain lower case for all other elements:
Schubert’s Quintet in A major
Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 5 in E-flat major
Beethoven’s Piano Sonata no. 14, op. 27 no. 2, in C-sharp minor
If including a catalogue number:
Schubert’s Quintet in A major, D 667
If the piece is known by another name, use maximal capitalisation and italics for it:
Schubert’s Quintet in A major, D 667 (the Trout Quintet)
Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 5 in E-flat major, also known as the Emperor Concerto
However, use minimal capitalisation without italics when the name is a description rather than a title:
Mozart’s adagio and rondo for glass harmonica, flute, oboe, viola and cello (Adagio and Rondo in C minor, K 617) was composed in 1791.
Individual song titles are given in minimal capitalisation and single quotation marks:
‘From St Kilda to Kings Cross’
‘Friday on my mind’
Give the titles of paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures and art installations in italics and minimal capitalisation:
Mardayin at Mukkamukka by John Mawurndjul AM
The origin of the Milky Way by Janet Dawson
Michelangelo’s Madonna of Bruges
Laocoön and his sons
Do not italicise a description as if it were a title:
Arrangement in grey and black no. 1
But, if the piece is known by another name, use minimal capitalisation and italics for it:
Databases, computer programs and computer products
For databases, use maximal capitalisation and roman type:
The Species Profile and Threats Database is designed to provide information …
WHO’s Global Health Observatory (GHO) database …
Caution! Check the titles of databases. The word database may or may not be part of the title.
Some computer languages are defined by international standards that include how to present the name:
Fortran not FORTRAN
COBOL not Cobol
For others, use the product information as a guide:
R is a language for statistical computing and graphics …
InDesign not Indesign
Photoshop not PhotoShop
Some product names begin with a lower-case letter; avoid placing them at the beginning of a sentence:
Some computer command and program names are case-sensitive – that is, they will not work in a command line to run a program if the case is incorrect (this occurs on macOS and Linux, for example). Use the correct capitalisation in text describing a program’s use, such as a computer program manual, and use a different font to distinguish the command:
Use the find command to search for files.
Find is a command to search for files.
find is a command to search for files.
The product name and the name of the file that is run may be different:
Type inkscape on the command line to launch the Inkscape vector drawing program.
Some terms are both names and descriptions. UNIX is the trademarked name of a computer operating system that is built on code developed at Bell Labs. A unix is an operating system that follows the design principles of UNIX – for example, Linux and macOS are unixes. Capitalise unix (Unix) if it begins the sentence.