Editorial Manual 


Italics are used for the following:

  • Foreign words that do not appear in the twelfth edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary or in the spelling list of the Editorial Manual
  • The titles of laws and decrees in a foreign language
  • The titles of court cases, e.g. Corfu Channel case, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland v. Albania
  • The titles of books, United Nations publications, CD-ROMs, periodicals, newspapers, films, plays, radio and television programmes, podcasts (series) and works of art
  • The names of ships, e.g. HMS Frolic, the British ship Frolic; SS United States, the United States; MV Helena
  • Scientific names of animals and plants at the genus and species taxonomic levels, e.g. Rupicapra pyrenaica ornataRosa multiflora
    Note: Families (e.g. "Bovidae"), orders (e.g. "Artiodactyla"), classes (e.g. "Mammalia"), phyla (e.g. "Chordata") and kingdoms (e.g. "fauna") are not italicized (for further information, see The Chicago Manual of Style)
  • Variables in mathematical expressions (for further information, see The Chicago Manual of Style)

Note: An italicized title used within an italicized title or heading should remain italicized and be enclosed in quotation marks. Other italicized terms (e.g., non-English words, species names, ship names) used within an italicized title or heading should be set in roman.

Italics are not used for the following:

  • Emphasis
  • Non-English names of organizations, institutions and corporations

For rules on the use of italics in resolutions, see Basic documents/Resolutions and other formal decisions of United Nations organs/Drafting and editing.


Bold print

In running text, bold print is used only for conclusions and recommendations in documents submitted to legislative bodies for consideration and action (see General Assembly resolution 52/214, sect. B, para. 25).