In addition to having a catchy title, writing it correctly with proper capitalization is a must in every article. Capitalization of titles is another one of the many things that are mistakenly done in writing. If you’re one who has a difficult time judging whether a specific word should be capitalized or not, feel free to continue reading this article. Below are the rules that you must follow in writing titles with correct capitalization.
Title Capitalization Rules
There are actually four main title capitalization styles: the Chicago, APA, MLA, and AP style. They have guidelines that are slightly different from each other. However, in general, here are the common capitalization rules that you need to remember.
Capitalize the First and Last Word
In all of those mentioned styles, the first and last word in the title is always capitalized.
- The Owl and the Pussycat
- Into the Unknown
- Why Do People Lie?
- One Summer Day
- Ten Beautiful Places to Visit in Italy
Capitalize Nouns and Pronouns
- The Billionaire and His Lover
- John and Jane
- The King Who Stole the Hearts of the People
- How She Made Him Fall
- From Him and Her to Them
Capitalize Verbs, Adverbs, and Adjectives
Verbs are essential parts of a title as it determines the action. Adjectives and adverbs serve as modifiers of the noun, pronoun, or verb that they follow. These three also need to be in the uppercase when applied in a title. Linking verbs are included in this rule.
- How Does Ironing Damage Your Hair?
- The Three Little Pigs
- A Series of Unfortunate Events
- Rules in Writing Titles Correctly
- How Often Is Sometimes?
Do Not Capitalize Articles
Articles include the words a, an, and the. They should be written in lowercase unless they are found at the beginning of the title.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower
- From the Other Side of the World
- To Find an Everlasting Love
- The Reasons Why You Should Adopt a Dog
- The Cat and the Rat
Do Not Capitalize Short Conjunctions
- Good and Bad
- Waiting for Love
- John, Johnny, and Johanna
- Love or Money
- Beauty and the Beast
Do Not Capitalize Short Prepositions
Title capitalization regarding prepositions is quite tricky. Generally, short prepositions are written in lowercase. These include the words of, to, in, on, at, for, and many others. However, there are prepositional words that are being used as adverbs. You can tell if the preposition functions as an adverb if it is not followed by a noun. In this case, it should be capitalized. A term that can play both as a preposition and adverb is to. Additionally, it can also be used as part of an infinitive. If “to” is employed as such, it should not be capitalized.
- Don’t Talk to Strangers (“to” is used as a preposition)
- Write to Express, Not to Impress (as an infinitive)
- Moving To and Fro (as an adverb)
- A Day in the Life of a Celebrity
- The True Meaning of Success
1. For Hyphenated Compounds
The first element of a compound word with a hyphen should always be written in uppercase. The other elements are also capitalized unless they function as prepositions or conjunctions. If the first element is a prefix that cannot stand by itself, the second element should be written in lowercase.
- The Process of Re-election
- The Actor and His Co-star
- The Full-Blooded Vampire
- Story of the Soft-Hearted Queen
2. For Spelled-Out Numbers
Both elements of a spelled-out number or simple fraction that is linked by a hyphen require capitalization.
- Twenty-One Thousand Roses
- The Three-Fourths Rule
3. For Scientific Names
The first element of a scientific name is always written in upper case. The second is written in lowercase.
- The Effects Of Citrus Fruits on Staphylococcus aureus
- Behavioral Study on the Life of Hippopotamus amphibius
For more specific rules on title capitalization, handbooks are available for different styles. Be sure to note the appropriate guidelines according to the style you want to follow.
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