How to write a proper name in a paper


In an academic paper, how do I label a proper noun that is the name of a software system?  Do I underline the name or do I put it in quotes?  Do I put the word in italics? Or is it just capiltalized and that's it?

asked Feb 02 '12 at 21:14 Janis Allen New member

2 answers


You would capitalize all major words in the name, e.g. Adobe Photoshop, Firefox, Linux, Microsoft Office, Return to Zork, Windows Media Player.

link comment answered Feb 03 '12 at 00:38 Mb Swartz New member

Proper nouns are always capitalized.  They do not get underlined, italicized, or put in quotes.  A title of a book, a movie, or an article have different rules that use those formats.  It may seem that software titles may follow those rules since they were written by a person and have the common description of being a title.  But it isn't so. 


To understand the difference...

A software program is distinctive enough to earn a proper noun, just as the Washington Monument is the name of one specific monument.  There is not likely to be another software program or monument by the same name.  A book, article, or movie title can't make the same claim. 

link comment answered Feb 03 '12 at 02:00 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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