Title Capitalization: Proper sentence capitalization is one of the most important cornerstones of good grammar. Not every word requires capitalization. In writing, capitalization is reserved only for special words. Also, to keep in mind, we have four basic title capitalization styles: the Chicago, APA, MLA, and AP styles. These all styles have guideless that are slightly different from each other.
However, in general, here are some of the capitalization rules we need to keep in mind.
Title Capitalization Rules and Examples
- Capitalize The First And Last Word
- Capitalize Nouns And Pronouns
- Capitalize Verbs, Adverbs, And Adjectives
- Do Not Capitalise Articles
- Do Not Capitalize Short Conjunctions
- Do Not Capitalize Short Prepositions
- Numbers That Are Spelled-Out
- Closing A Letter With A Valediction
- Capitalization of Directions and Regions
- Capitalize Countries, cities, Nationalities, and languages
- Do Not Capitalize Centuries
- Do Not Capitalize After Colons, Semicolons, And Commas
- Capitalization Of The First Word Of Quotations
- Book and Movie Title
- Acronyms, Initialism, and Initials
Generally, the first and the last word in the title is always capitalized.
- Into the Unknown
- One Summer Day
- Ten Beautiful Places to Visit in Japan
- Why Do People Lie?
Nouns and Pronouns are important details of a title and are always capitalized. They include both proper nouns, common nouns, and all forms of pronouns.
- John and Jane
- How She Made Him Fall
- The Billionaire and His Lover
Verbs are essential parts of the title as it determines the basic action. Adjectives and adverbs serve as modifiers of the noun, pronoun, or verb that they particularly follow.
Also to note linking verbs are also included in this rule.
- The Three Little Pigs
- How Often Is Sometimes?
- A Series Of Unfortunate Events
There are three articles a, an, and the. The articles should always be written in a lowercase format but can be written in capitals at the beginning of the title.
- To Find an Everlasting Love
- The Perks Of Being a Wallflower
- The Reasons Why You Should Adopt a Dog
- The Cat and the Rat
Conjunctions are a part of speech that is used to connect words, phrases, and clauses. Short Conjunctions Include The terms and, but, or, nor, and for.
- Good and Bad
- Beauty and the Beast
- Love or Money
It isn’t easy to capitalize prepositions. Generally, the prepositions are written in lowercase. The prepositions are of, to, in, at, into, for, and many others.
But there are still some prepositions that are used as adverbs. It is easy to identify if a preposition functions as an adverb if a noun does not follow it. In this situation, it’s always capitalized.
Also, note that if the term is both acting as preposition and adverb, it is said to be a part of an infinitive. If it’s employed as such, then it is never capitalized.
- Don’t Talk to Strangers
- The True Meaning of Success
- A Day in the Life of a Celebrity
Other Important Rules
For Hyphenated Compounds
The first element of a compound word with a hyphen should always be written in uppercase.
The other elements can also be capitalized if they do not function as conjunctions or prepositions.
The Full-Blooded Vampire
The Actor and His Co-star
The Process of Re-election
Both the elements of a simple fraction or spelled out linked by a hyphen always require capitalization.
The Three-Fourths Rule
Twenty-One Thousand Roses
For Scientific Names
The first element of a scientific name is always written in uppercase. But the second is always written in lowercase.
The Effects of Citrus Fruits on Staphylococcus aureus
Behavioral Study on the Life of Hippopotamus amphibious.
When we generally sign letters, we close them with valedictions such as “Regards,” “best,” “Sincerely,” or “cordially” yours. The first word in these farewell or complementary should always be capitalized, just like the beginning of any sentence.
Capitalize north, south, east, and west. When we refer to a direction or any designated area, it is an integral part of a proper name.
- I live in the South of France.
- First, go north on I-94 and then east.
However, capitalization is only required when these words are part of a proper name or refer to a specific region.
- The South Pole is claimed by seven nations
- He’s from the Far East, not from the Middle East.
- Winds are expected to become northerly later today.
The names of countries, nationalities, and languages are considered proper nouns and should always be capitalized.
- My father is Irish, and my mother is British.
- I am studying French, German, Latin, and Greek.
Centuries and the numbers coming before them should never be capitalized.
During the eighteenth century, slave trading and human trafficking expanded on a global scale.
Unlike words after quotation marks, words after a colon do not require capitalization. Colons are often used as an introduction to a list. Similarly, no capitalization is required after a semicolon because a comma doesn’t end the sentence.
When the quote is a complete sentence, you should always capitalize the first word of the quote.
James said, The motorcycle slid sideways and skidded approximately 50 meters.
However, the first word of partial quotes is generally not capitalized.
The motorcycle slid sideways, “James said, ‘and skidded approximately 50 meters .”
Books, movies, poems, and other creative works often require capitalization for their titles, but the following words often require capitalization:
The first word
Meanwhile, we are not required to capitalize :
Articles ( a, an, the )
Fools Rush In
Of Mice and Men
A few Good Men
Acronyms where the first letter of each word comes together in a new word, which are always capitalized.
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
2.FIFA (Federación International de Football Association)
DARE(Drug Abuse Resistance Education)
They are often pronounced as a single word, and the same rule also applies for initialism, in which we pronounce each letter as:
USA (United States of America )
CIA (Central Intelligence Agency )
Finally, initials are also capitalized when a person goes by the first letter of their name.
JKF (John Fitzgerald Kennedy)
MLK (Martin Luther King)
FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt )