Even yet, italics or underlining are the recommended techniques to highlight words or phrases, particularly in academic writing. Writers often select one of two methods and utilize it consistently throughout an essay. Italics are typically utilized in the final, published edition of a book or article. Underlining is used more frequently in student essays and other writing that will be read by others.
The choice of either technique should be made based on how the word or phrase is intended to be emphasized. If you want to draw attention to a particular word or phrase, then using either italics or underlining is appropriate. However, if you simply want to note the presence of the word or phrase, but not call special attention to it, using bolding is sufficient. Finally, if you intend to use a specific color in your printed piece to flag certain words or phrases, then this too can be done with either italics or underlining.
In general, when selecting between these three methods, try to be consistent within your essay. This will help readers understand what message you are trying to send them.
However, some words or phrases may demand another method of emphasis. For example, if you were to write "George Washington was born on February 22nd, 1732," most readers would not notice this fact since an entire year is missing from his birth date.
Italics can be used to emphasize a word or a specific fact in a phrase. However, italics and other font alterations lose their impact when used excessively. To get your argument clear, utilize such methods sparingly and rely on good writing and intelligent word placement.
So the advice is straightforward: if you want to highlight certain content, use italics or bold. Indeed, I've noticed that certain new writing apps (including Medium) now only provide bold and italic text formatting options. Congratulations, I say!
The MLA style opposes the use of italics to accentuate or make a point in academic text because they are unnecessary—most of the time, unadorned words perform the job without typographic aid. If they don't, rephrasing is frequently the best option. However, if you must use italics, be sure to follow these rules of usage.
If you're writing for a popular audience, it's unlikely that you need to use this tool. Instead, simply write in a clear, straightforward style and your readers will understand you well enough.
When writing an academic paper, using proper formatting is very important. This includes using italics appropriately. While there are times when italics are necessary (for example, to highlight a word or phrase that may not ordinarily receive attention), overuse of this tool can look sloppy and distract from the main ideas being expressed.
Thus, while you can use italics in academic essays, it is best used only occasionally and with care for clarity and readability in mind.
Book titles should be italicized or underlined. (Titles of tales, essays, and poetry are enclosed in quotation marks.) Depending on what it is, refer to the work as a novel, tale, essay, memoir, or poem. Use the author's surname in subsequent references to him or her. Books that have not been published when you write about them cannot be cited by name; instead, describe the book and its contents in detail enough for your readers to understand what you're talking about.
Books can be classified according to subject matter or purpose. Reference books are those that provide information regarding subjects or topics covered in essays or reports. Non-reference books include cookbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias, fiction, history, and poetry collections. Always be sure to identify book titles for other types of literature: poems for poetry, novels for novels/tales.
In addition to giving their title names, authors also give their books descriptions designed to help people find them in libraries or bookstore shelves. These descriptions may mention characters, themes, or sources of information about the book; they often include only a few paragraphs of text. As you write about books you have read, think about ways that you could describe the work to others. You could use facts from the book or examples from the text to do this. For example, you might say that Brave New World is set in London during the 1930s because it mentions events that happened in that time period.
(For example, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain.")
References should include the author's last name, the title of the work being referenced, and the page number. For example, "See Jack B. Weinstein, A Manual of Style for Writers of Research Papers (New York: Garland Publishing, 1990), 20-24." An alternative reference format is to use the author's first name and the year of publication if they are the same; for example, "See Jane Singer, A Handbook of Style (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 1996), 20-24."
Books may be referenced in two ways: directly or indirectly. Direct references are made when the text itself is quoted or paraphrased. Indirect references are made when the text influences another work or argument but is not cited explicitly. For example, one might say that George Orwell's 1984 was a dystopian novel because it portrayed a world where Big Brother watched everyone constantly and controlled what people did with their lives.