Formatting Tip: Capitalization

Posted March 28, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Formatting Tips, Self-Editing, Writing

Oh lord, just when you think you know what you’re doing…along comes the rules on capitalization. Sure we know how to do this. Only, there pops up those nitpicky rules about when, where, and how.

How to address people depending on how much of their name you use or if they’re merely referred to, when you need to capitalize directions whether they’re compass or street, rules about products and compound words, generics versus brand names, if the title or name comes before or after ???, and so much more.

This could be one of those pages that should be bookmarked for quick reference!

Formatting Tips started…

…as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with words that should have been capitalized or italicized, in quotes or not, what should be spelled out and what can be abbreviated, proper styling for the Latin names of plants, the proper formatting and usage of titles and more in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end. Consider sharing this style tip with friends by tweeting it.

Credit to: Grammar; Chicago; American Psychological Association
General Rule: Sentences, direct quotes, and dialog begin with a capital letter.
Capitalize lowercase
Steller’s jay
Siberian tiger
German shepherd
Siamese cat
Thoroughbred horse
red-tailed hawk
cocker spaniel
calico cat
mustang horse
If you have a question as to whether a species is capitalized or not, check with an official site such as the American Kennel Club. A breeding site is not necessarily reliable as their emphasis is on the breed, and they may capitalize it simply because the animal is important in their eyes.

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Days of the Week, Months of the Year Rule: Always capitalize them.

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Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

January, February, etc.

Month + Day Rule: The date, or day, when combined with the month depends on if you are spelling the date out or using an Arabic figure (Skillin, 129):

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Spell It Out Use an Arabic Figure
fifteenth of March March 15
March 15, 1995
Holiday, Festival, Other Special Days Rule: Always capitalize them. See C.S.Lakin’s post, “Capping the Holidays” for further examples.

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Christmas, Rosh Hashanah, Valentine’s Day, Ramadan, D day, Fourth of July
Seasons Rule: Seasons of the year are not capitalized.

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spring, summer, fall, winter
For the rules on capitalizing a title, see Title Case.
Sentence Case Definition: Capitalize the first word of a sentence, eve if the word normally begins with a lowercase letter.

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Iphones are great cellphones.

I love my iPhone.

Books are a great way to travel, to experience different cultures, and to explore other perspectives.

Have you heard the news about Mary?

Companies and Products
Company Names Rule: Capitalize company names.

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Sears, Target, IBM, Apple, Microsoft

Exceptions include eBay…

Exceptions: ALL CAPS
Rule: AP on Acronyms:
Use all caps IF each letter is pronounced as a separate letter.

Use initial caps IF pronounced as a word.

Each Letter Pronounced Separately Pronounced as a Word
Products Caution: Companies tend to protect the name they give to their products by using a trademark, making it a proprietary name protected by law. This means they can sue your ass if you don’t provide proper attribution (Skillin, 171).

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Wrong Fix It Easy Way Out
“Quick, grab some band-aids.” “Quick, grab some BAND-AID Brand Adhesive Bandages.” “Quick, grab some bandages.”
Trademark, Registered, Service Mark Rule: It’s not yet completely international, but close enough that technically, you must use the ™, ®, ® ℠, or ℠ after a brand name whenever you type or write it. It is honored more in the breach than in reality, but now ya know and you can save yourself some grief!

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Ideally, you will use the mark appropriate to the local language(s) or otherwise meaningful to your readers and/or the people in the country in which the products or services you are writing about are advertised and sold. The International Trademark Association points out that the mark isn’t required for every single occurrence within your story, but at a minimum, it should be used at first mention or where it is most prominently mentioned. If you’re not sure, mark the ones you feel are prominent or mark ’em all.

Your best bet is to use a generic term or make up your own product or company name.

Use ®, register mark, to indicate that the name/logo/product is formally registered with the government. 1. Most countries use ® or ® ℠ as a registered trademark or service mark. Other proper forms of notice for registered trademarks in the U.S. include: Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.

Different countries may have other symbols or designations:

  • Spanish-language countries use Marca Registrada or MR
  • French-dominant countries use Marque Déposée (MD) or Marque de Commerce (MC)

Use ™, trademark, to indicate that you consider the name/logo/product to be a trademark (you have to use this for a period of time before you can formally “register” it), and most countries recognize it. 1

Use , used to identify an unregistered service mark, if your name/logo/product is actually not a product, but a service, 1.

1 These symbols — ™, ®, ® ℠, and ℠ — “have no legal significance, their use does have the preventative effect of indicating possible claims to trademark rights in the designations with which they are used” (International Trademark Association).

Some useful resources and articles include the International Trademark Association and posts by Mark Fowler and Michy.

Examples of registered names include, but are NOT limited to:
Registered Name Generic Name
Baggies® plastic bags
Band-Aid® adhesive bandages
Chap Stick® lip balm
Coca Cola® cola, soft drink, pop
Formica® laminated plastic
Jell-O® gelatin dessert
Kleenex® tissues
Kool-Aid® soft-drink mix
Ping-Pong® table tennis
Q-tips® cotton swabs

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) owns the term Realtor, and it only applies to the group’s members.

real estate agent
Saran Wrap® plastic wrap
Styrofoam® plastic foam
Tampax tampon
Taser stun gun
Teflon non-stick pan
Thermos vacuum flask
Visa® credit card
Xerox® copier, duplicator, photocopier, copy machine, photocopy
The Language Log has a list of phrases co-opted by institutions which can’t be used.
Some useful links to see what else is considered trademarked include: The Guardian/Observer Style Guide.
Exceptions include:
Rule: The company chose to start with a lowercase letter.

Exceptions: Starting a sentence with a word like iPhone or eBay, then you must capitalize the initial lowercase letter.

Within a Sentence Starting a Sentence
eBay, iPod, iPhone, iPad EBay has some great deals on computers.

I need a new iPad.

IPods are on sale!

Rule: The trademark name has passed into the public domain.
milk of magnesia
raisin bran
Rule: Never capitalize the common-noun part of the trademark.
Campbell’s soup
Doublemint gum
Eagle pencil
Ford station wagon
Beer, Cocktails, Wine Rule: APA is all over the place with this one. Chicago says not to capitalize. The general consensus is that you choose and then stay consistent with it.
Beer Rule: Proper names are capitalized while the generic name should be in lowercase.

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Proper Name Generic Name
Budweiser beer
Sam Adams ale
St. Pauli Girl stout
Heineken pale ale
Cocktail, Hard Liquor Rule: Proper names are capitalized while the generic name should be in lowercase.

* Exceptions to the proper name rule include names that no longer are associated with their origin.

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Proper Name Generic Name *
Bloody Mary
Buck’s Fizz
White Russian
white russian (can go either way)
wine cooler
Wine Rule: To cap or not to cap is confusing when it comes to wine. AP and the New York Times uppercases regional names and lowercases varietals. The rest of the world capitalizes everything.

When it comes to novels, I’d suggest following the notes in the first two columns of the following table. If your characters are drinking an Italian Asti Spumante, cap it. If they’re drinking a California chardonnay, don’t cap it, etc. And no, this is not a comprehensive list, but an example of what to pay attention to.


Wine named for a place AND it comes from that place

Wine named for a place, but doesn’t come from that place

Wine named for a grape AND the grape is named for a place AND the wine comes from the place

Variety (type of grape)
Asti Supmante is made in the village of Asti in Italy asti spumante is not from Asti in Italy moscato, muscat grape
Bordeaux is from the Bordeaux region in France bordeaux is from countries such as the U.S., Argentina, Australia, Canada, Israel, and Mexico merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, muscadelle, sémillon, sauvignon blanc
Brunello di Montalcino is made with a brunello grape and comes from Tuscany brunello, a.k.a., sangiovese
Burgundy is from the Burgundy region in France burgundy is NOT from Burgundy in France chardonnay, pinot noir, gamay, aligoté, sauvignon, césar, pinot beurot, sacy, melon,
Cabernet Sauvignon is from Bordeaux, France cabernet sauvignon is from the U.S., Argentina, South Africa, etc. cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, malbec, petit verdot, carménère,
Capri is from the island of Capri capri is from anywhere but the island of Capri piedirosso, falanghina, greco bianco
Chablis is from the Chablis region in France chablis is from everywhere but the Chablis region in France chablis
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is made in and around the town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and is a varietal. Primarily grenache
Champagne is from the Champagne region in France sparkling wines (commonly referred to as champagne) are grown in the U.S., Spain, Australia, etc. chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier
Chardonnay is produced in the Chablis region in France chardonnay is produced anywhere but the Chablis region in France chardonnay
Chianti is from the Chianti region in Italy chianti is from the U.S., Argentina, etc. sangiovese, canaiolo, malvasia bianca
Cognac is from the Cognac region in France brandy, cognac, grappa, and marc are not from Cognac in France ugni blanc, a.k.a., trebbiano, folle blanche and colombard with a bit of folignan, jurançon blanc, meslier St-François, a.k.a., blanc ramé, sélect, Montils or sémillon
Concord grape wine is from Concord, Massachusetts concord grape wine is not from Concord, Massachusetts concord grape
Madeira is from the island of Madeira madeira is not from Madeira Primarily malvasia, bual, verdelho, sercial
sauterne is a non-French wine and is considered a semi-generic label catawba, Niagara, Delaware, sémillon, sauvignon blanc, and ??
Sauternes is from the Sauternais region in France sémillon, sauvignon blanc, and muscadelle grapes that have been affected by noble rot
Tokay is from the Tokaj region in Hungary tokay is not from Tokaj furmint
Compound Word
Beginning of a permanent compound Each word in a temporary compound
Rule: If it’s in the dictionary with a hyphen, it’s permanent. Rule: Capitalize each word in a temporary compound word.

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Country, Ethnicity, Language
Spain, Spaniards
Japan, Japanese

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Cultural, Philosophic, and Scientific Movements

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College Degree
Capitalize lowercase
Rule: If the type precedes “degree”: Rule: If the type follows degree:
I have a Technical Writing and Editing degree. I hold a degree in technical writing and editing.
Rule: If the degree is abbreviated:
Charles Black, LL.D.
Rule: If the degree is part of the person’s official title:
Dr. Livingstone, Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society

Kathryn Davie, Bachelor of Science

Field of Study

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physical therapy
Name of a Specific Course or Subject

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Biological Sciences
English Literature
International Technical Communication – COM 3310 – 001
See also rules on italicization.

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Capitalize lowercase
Names of software games (Daily Writing Tips)

Trademarked games such as (they may also be italicized):

  • Monopoly
  • Scrabble
  • Ouija
  • Ping-Pong

Games using a proper noun:

  • Texas Hold’em
  • Russian roulette
Card games such as:

  • blackjack
  • poker
  • bridge
C.S. Lakin has more detail in her post, “Point Me in the Right Direction
Entire Geographic Names

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Platte River
Black Sea
Rocky Mountain National Park
Atlantic Ocean
Bering Sea
Rocky Mountains
Popular Names of Geographic Areas

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Dust Bowl
the Dairy State
Region or Section of a Country Rule: Generally, “if you can put the in front of the name, it’s capitalized” (Quick and Dirty Tips).

East, North, South, West

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The West is generally associated with cowboys, skiing, and movie stars.

Are you from the South?

Out on the West Coast, we have to drive to get to a season.

He’s from back east somewheres.

Residents of Regions / Sections Rule: It depends on which style guide you’re using: “the Chicago Manual of Style prefers southerner, whereas the Associated Press prefers Southerner (Quick and Dirty Tips).

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Them southern boys know their barbecue.

Not all farmers are midwesterners.

Compass Point east, west, south, north

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Head east until you get to the southeast end of Georgia, then turn north.
Street Address
AP Rule: Street names used without a numbered address are capitalized and spelled out.

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Southeastern Road
East Fourth Street
Rule: When used with a numbered address, directions and avenue, boulevard, and street are abbreviated while any other street designation is spelled out.
1011 S. Heron Ave.
1011 S. Heron Drive
509 W. 10th St.
391 Forest Circle
Rule: When the generic street name is used alone or in the plural, it’s lowercase (Chicago, 8.60).
street, road, drive, alley, etc.

It’s between Eighty-eight and Eighty-ninth streets.

Genera (plants)
Rule: Always capitalize the Genus, the Cultivar, and the Name of the person who discovered or created the plant, but NEVER capitalize the specificEpithet, the subspeciesEpithet, or the variety.

Used by APA, AP Style, Chicago.

See italicization for proper use of italics and abbreviations for proper shortening usage.

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Genus specificEpithet ssp. subspeciesEpithet

Trogon Genus collaris specificEpithet ssp. puella subspeciesEpithet

Genus specificEpithet var. variety ‘cultivar’

Lavandula Genus angustifolia specific epithet ‘Munstead’ cultivar

Rule: Capitalize and use a roman font for:

  • Phylum, Subphylum
  • Class, Subclass
  • Order, Suborder
  • Family, Subfamily
The Pharamachus Genus belong to the family Trogonidae Family.
Rule: Names of developed and trademarked varieties take initial caps.
the popular Knee-Hi sweet pea
the Crimson Glory tea rose
juicy Winesaps
Turkey Red wheat (National Geographic: Flowers, Fruits, and Plants)
Group: Religious and Political
Christian Scientists

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Historical Periods and Eras
Rule: When a word refers to a period or era with a specific and limited scope in certain fields, it should be capitalized. When used in a more general sense, it is lowercase.
Capitalize lowercase
Great Depression
the Renaissance
Middle Ages

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Rule: Generic honorifics are lowercase unless they begin a sentence or if the honorific is used as a specific name or nickname for a particular person.

One example which Jane Davitt (@janedavitt) points out in her comment in the post, “To Cap or Not to Cap: Honorifics“, about the BDSM world in which a submissive may be required to address her/his Dom/Domme as Sir.

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sir, my lady, señor, mademoiselle, my lord, miss, …
Capitalize lowercase
Sir, will you excuse me? Excuse me, sir, may I get by?
Oh, Señor Ortega, I was thinking of you. I was just thinking of you, señor.
My lord, there is someone at the door for you. There is someone at the door for you, my lord.
Oh, Miss Smith, that is the loveliest dress. Oh, miss, that is the loveliest dress.
Civil and Noble Title (President, Queen, King)
Capitalize lowercase

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Rule: The title is before the person’s name.

Exception: Turkish titles as the title follows the person’s name

Rule: The title follows the person’s name (appositive phrase serving as an identifier).
President Kennedy
Kemal Pasha
Chairman Mao
Chief Executive Officer Truman Harris
Kennedy is president…
Is Kemal the pasha?
Mao is the chairman of China.
Truman Harris, chief executive officer for Xydeco…
Rule: One-of-a-kind titles.
Pope AP:
Rule: Directly to the person in speech/dialog. Rule: It’s a general job description or when referring to the person.
Your Majesty
Your Royal Highness
Your Excellency
Your Honor
Your Grace, etc.
her majesty
her royal highness
my lord
pasha, bey, hakim, sultan, prime minister, governor, councilman, kaiser, dictator, mayor
Rule: When in their country. Rule: When not in their country.
[Britain] Queen [U.S.] queen
Professional Title See Abbreviations for rules on abbreviating professional titles.

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Capitalize lowercase
Excuse me, Professor, what was the homework again? Did you ask the professor about our homework?
So, I have to have surgery, Doctor? The doctor says I have to have surgery.
Military Title

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Capitalize lowercase
Rule: Always cap the highest ranks before a name, after a name, or standing alone. Rule: When used without a name and NOT in direct address.
Supreme Allied Commander
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, etc.
lieutenant, etc.
Rule: Lower ranks are capped only before a name or in direct address.
General Adams
Lieutenant Steele
Examples in a Sentence
Capitalize lowercase
Lieutenant, have the men shorten the spinnaker. Have the lieutenant tell the men to shorten the spinnaker.
Have you spoken with Supreme Allied Commander Nikolavich, yet? Have you spoken with the supreme allied commander, yet?
Did General McKinley sign off on this, sir? Did the general sign off on this?
Sergeant, you’ll have to take command of the battalion. Get the sergeant to take command of the battalion.
Personal “Title” Definition: Personal titles are mom, father, sister, brother, aunt, cousin, etc.

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Capitalize lowercase
When did you say you’d be home, Mom? My mom said she’d be home at five.
Wait a minute, Dad… My dad won’t let me go.
Hey, Mom, where are the sandwich fixings? Ask my mom where the sandwich fixings are.
Aunt Sally said she’s bring the tomato salad. Which aunt is bringing the tomato salad?
Dear John, My dear wife is running a bit late.
Term of Affection Definition: Terms of affection include bro’, honey, sis, sweetie, baby, etc., and are never capitalized, unless—

Do remember to treat such terms as vocative case.

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Capitalize lowercase
Rule: When used to begin a sentence.

Exception: when the term is exclusively applied as a nickname to one individual.

Rule: Use lowercase when it doesn’t begin a sentence.
Honey, can you take out the garbage? Aww, honey, now don’t be like that.
Sis, you are lookin’ good! Hey, bro, how’s it hangin’?
Baby, c’mere. Hey, baby, c’mere.
The Nothing was the great evil in The Neverending Story. There’s nothing on television to night.
Country: Spain Rule: Show great respect by using Don with the man’s first or full name and Doña with a woman’s full name.

See Abbreviations for those rules.

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Use Don or Doña Do Not Use with Only the Surname
Don Patricio  
Don Patricio Galvez y Torres Don Galvez y Torres
Doña Luisa de Castaneda Doña de Castaneda
Rule: If you are well-acquainted with the woman, you may use the honorific + her first name.

See Abbreviations for those rules.

Doña Luisa
Rule: Use Señor for men and Señora for women and only with their last name.
With Surname Not with a First Name
Señor Galvez y Torres Señor Patricio
Señora de Castaneda Señora Maria
Partial List of Organizational Names
street, etc.
Capitalize lowercase
Rule: When used as part of a title. Rule: When used alone to refer to a group.
Association for the Defense of Nerds the association
Board of Trustees the board
Memorial Hospital Building the building
Center for the Prevention of Whale Drool the center
City Council the council
Departments Definition: Official names of governments, organizations, and corporate departments.

Rule: Such departments are normally capitalized, however, never capitalize the name when it is used informally.

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Department of Defense
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
Capitalize lowercase
He works for the Department of Defense. He works in the defense department.
He works for Defense.
Generic Government Reference Rule: Do NOT capitalize a reference to a non-specific government entity.

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federal government
U.S. government
state government
Chinese government
Military Organization Rule: Capitalize only branches of the armed forces when preceded by the name of the country. There are always exceptions; verify the usual practice of any organization.

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Capitalize lowercase
U.S. Army army
British Air Force air force
Army Ranger
Army Green Beret
Air Force Blue Angel
Personal Pronoun
The personal pronoun I

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Proper Name
Rule: Proper names are always capitalized. Unless the person, organization, product, building, or place prefers a lowercase.
George Jones
Santa Claus
Pope John Paul
e.e. cummings
Milan, Italy
Museum of Modern Art
Red Cross
Empire State Building
Article Rule: Also known as prefixes, particles, or they may be referred to as prepositions, the individuals/families’ preference always take precedence. And, of course, there are general rules for different situations or countries as well as rules for alphabetization.

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Rule: In general (and per the Chicago Manual of Style), follow the user’s preference:

  • If a lowercase particle is used, then it’s lowercase everywhere
  • Capitalize IF:
    • Last name alone is used, then capitalize
    • Last name starts a sentence
    • A Dutch or German name using van or von is:
      • Capitalized IF that’s how the family uses it AND is part of the surname, so include it if using the person’s last name to start a sentence! (This is particularly handy when alphabetizing.)
      • Lowercase IF that’s how the family uses it AND is NOT part of the surname if alphabetizing or starting sentence
User’s Preference Last Name Alone
Walter de la Mare De la Mare
Stephen Ten Eyck
John Le Carré
Daphne du Maurier Du Maurier
Ludwig van Beethoven Beethoven, Ludwig van
Dick Van Dyke Van Dyke, Dick
APA Rule: Capitalize the article if it:

  • Begins a sentence
  • First word of an independent clause that follows a colon

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De la Mare made the final decision: The earthquake victims would receive food and medical supplies.

Du Maurier’s autobiography, Growing Pains, ignored most of her later life: “Here there be dragons”.

There is one artist in particular who was instrumental in the birth of the Renaissance: Da Vinci was a genius in many fields from art to philosophy to science.


  1. Green indicates the colon
Rule: In reference list entries, keep the author’s original capitalization.
de Haan, A. D., Deković, M., & Prinzie, P. (2012). Longitudinal impact of parental and adole…
Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish Rule: Not usually capped IF a forename or title precedes. Do capitalize the article if used without a first name or title or drop the particle.

There are exceptions in Arabic and French.

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Don’t Cap Cap Drop the Article
(Unless it’s an individual/family preference)
Catherine de’Medici
M. de Tocqueville
Lucca della Robbia
Leonardo da Vinci
Ludwig van Beethoven
Herr von Ribbentrop
Miguel de la Torre
Maxime Du Camp
Edmondo De Amicis
Comte de Grasse
General von Kleist
Mme. du Barry
Count von Moltke
De Grasse
Du Camp
Von Kleist
Du Barry
Arabic Exceptions Rule: Treat al- and el- as you would the French de and d’ (see below).
French Exceptions Rule: In French names, Le, L’, La, and Les are usually capped; however, de and d’ are not.

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Comtesse de La Fayette
Jean de La Fontaine
Alexis de Tocqueville
Philibert de L’Orme
Charles Le Brun
Charles de Gaulle
Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Religion: Names of Gods, Goddesses, Prophets
Jesus Christ
God (when referring to God the Almighty; see God versus god)
The Chaldean Oracles of Zoroaster

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Theories, Models, Instruments
Definition: xx

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Capitalize lowercase
APA: (6th ed.)
Names of instruments, tests, or scales
APA: (6th ed.)
test, scale when referring to subscales of tests of an overall instrument
Socially Responsible Leadership Scale
MMPI Depression scale
Leadership Practices Inventory
social change model of leadership

Astin’s theory of involvement
social learning theory
Title Case
Definition: Title case refers to the titles of books, magazines, movies, music, newspapers, plays, poems, software, songs, speeches, and titles of their parts such as scenes, articles, chapters ++

General Rule: Never capitalize the articles, conjunctions, and short prepositions, except when different organizations and companies have different capitalization requirements including:

  • Capping the first letter of every word in a title
  • Capping all words that are more than four- or five-letters long. Follow their preference and stay consistent

Preposition Rule:

  • APA (5th ed, §3.13) prefers to cap prepositions that are four or more letters long
  • Some organizations prefer the “5 and up” guideline (prepositions five letters or longer should be capped) unless a client specifies that all prepositions should be down
Book Rule: Book titles are almost always italicized.

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Death is Not the End
No Nest for the Wicket
Towers of Midnight
Rule: Papal encyclicals require different handling.
  1. Italicize the Latin
  2. Leave the English in roman
  3. Do not use quotation marks
  4. Capitalize per standard capitalization rules
Rule: Sacred texts are capped, but not italicized.
the Bible
the Koran
Magazine Rule: Magazine titles are always italicized.

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Ladies’ Home Journal
Play Rule: Play titles are either italicized or put in quotes (see the rules on Italicizing a Play), but they do follow book capitalization rules.

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Death of a Salesman
Plays & Poetry Rule: Use lowercase when referring to divisions in a play or poem, i.e., acts, cantos, or stanzas UNLESS the text uses uppercase. See “Numerals” for the rules on using numbers with a play or poem.

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act 3
canto 2
stanza 5
Song Rule: Song titles are always encased in quotation marks.

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“Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”

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Capitalize lowercase
Rule: Effective June 1, 2016, members of the Associated Press:
You might not think this is a big deal. But journalists do.

Writing like they write and following their rules shows you know how to play their game.

Use AP style in your press releases, letters to the editor, articles, and anything you submit to them- — even pitches.

To do: Invest in the spiral-bound AP Stylebook or the iOS app. But wait until the new 2016 edition is ready, about June 1.

Domain Name Definition: A name owned by a person or organization and consisting of an easily remembered sequence followed by a suffix indicating the top-level domain. It used as an Internet address to identify the location of a particular web site, e.g.,

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Capitalize lowercase
Rule: Within text, use the easily recognized domain name. Rule: If you include the www or http://www., then lowercase it.