Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lesson 6: Italics- when to use them

Hey guys! Today's words of advice are about italics. Have you ever asked yourself where you should use italics in your stories? I'm here to answer that!

Ok, so normally you either use italics to:

  • emphasize a particular word (ex. Mr. Scott wanted me to go up and present!?)
  • write a word in a foreign language (ex. "Buongiorno!" he said joyfully.)
  • when isolating the use of a single letter (ex. I often type w when I meant to type e)
  • 'free-standing' titles of books, movies, etc. (ex. Yesterday I did a book report on Magick)

CAUTION: Italics may be over-used. In a single paragraph, no more than a sentence or several words be italicized, never the whole paragraph.

Some authors choose only to use italics for the previous reasons, but others continue to go further.

Let's take a look at using italics in the different perspectives:

  1. First-person POV: only use italics for the above reasons.
  2. Second-person POV: only use italics for the above reasons.
  3. Third-person POV: italics can be used to quote a thought from a particular character. In this case, thoughts must be in the first-person (ex. Maria loved how she looked in her new dress. Wow, this dress really makes my figure look slim, and my legs look so much longer!)
I hope this information helped all of you, as I know doing the research helped me!
Here and here were where I found all my information about italics, I also used a bit of my own knowledge :D

Hope this helps!

-Zemmzemm :P


  1. Very well explained. You do a wonderful job!

    1. Awh, thanks! I love comments, and of course, readers as dedicated as you are Val!


  2. When you are expressing a thought you put it in italics, but do you also use quotation marks as well as italics?

    1. Dennis, I personally believe that you can either use italics OR put it in quotations... but I'm no expert... you'll have to ask someone who is... sorry I can,t help much more than that!