How to Write the Name of a Movie in an Essay: Formatting and Styling

23 May 2023

When writing an essay that discusses or references a movie, it is essential to know how to properly write and format the name of the film. Accurate formatting not only demonstrates your attention to detail but also enhances the overall professionalism and clarity of your essay. In this article, we will explore the essential techniques and guidelines for correctly writing the name of a movie in an essay, ensuring that you adhere to the appropriate formatting and styling conventions.

Understanding the Importance of Proper Formatting

Properly formatting the name of a movie in your essay serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it helps to distinguish the title from the rest of the text, making it stand out to the reader. Additionally, following the correct formatting guidelines showcases your proficiency in academic writing and attention to detail. Whether you are referencing a movie in the body of your essay or including it in your works cited or reference list, proper formatting is crucial for clarity, consistency, and adherence to academic standards.

Formatting the Title Within the Text

When incorporating the name of a movie within the text of your essay, it is important to follow specific formatting conventions. Generally, the title should be italicized or written in quotation marks, depending on the style guide you are following. For example, in MLA style, italicization is used, while APA style employs quotation marks. It is important to consult the specific guidelines provided by your instructor or the style guide required by your academic institution to ensure accurate formatting.


In MLA style: The character development in “The Shawshank Redemption” is a testament to the film’s powerful storytelling.

In APA style: According to Smith (2018), “The Social Network” provides a compelling portrayal of the rise of Facebook.

Formatting the Title in Works Cited or Reference List:

When including the movie in your works cited or reference list, it is crucial to follow the appropriate citation style guidelines. The formatting will vary depending on the citation style, such as MLA, APA, Chicago, or Harvard. Generally, the movie title should be listed in italics, followed by the director’s name, release year, and other relevant information as per the citation style’s requirements. Consult the specific guidelines provided by the citation style guide to ensure accurate formatting.

In MLA style:

Title: The Shawshank Redemption.

Director: Frank Darabont.

Release Year: 1994.

In APA style:

Title: The Social Network.

Director: David Fincher.

Release Year: 2010.

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Mastering the art of writing the name of a movie in an essay is crucial for maintaining proper formatting and adhering to academic conventions. By following the appropriate guidelines for formatting the title within the text and in your works cited or reference list, you demonstrate your attention to detail and enhance the professionalism of your essay. Remember to consult the specific style guide required by your academic institution and seek reliable resources or assistance, such as professional essay writing services, when needed.