The rules of capitalization can be extensive, varying on
the context in which words are used. Writing Quick Tips
is meant to provide simple, functional rules that will suffice for most
writing tasks. Capitalization Tips suggests some clear-cut rules that will allow
writers to quickly verify
that words are being capitalized when appropriate.
- First words. Capitalize the first word in
every sentence, including the first word of every quote that
represents a complete sentence, unless the sentence is in
- We are going to the zoo.
- He asked which zoo we were going to (he never pays
attention to what I tell him) but he did not really care.
- Quotations. Capitalize the first word of a direct
quote. Do no capitalize fragments of quotations
or quotations resumed within a sentence.
- Mary stated, "These rules are easy to follow."
- "If not sure," she said, "check the Web."
- "I don't need to know everything," Matt said,
"if I can find information when I need it."
- Capitalize the word "I."
- In case you were not sure, I provided some additional
resources you can check.
- I went to the store, but I did not buy ice cream.
- Capitalize proper nouns. Always use capitalization
for the deity, place names, street names, persons' names,
organization names, brand names, languages, and specific course
- He prayed to God to help him meet the challenges in his life.
- No one in their right mind would swim in the Rock River.
- John Nicks was a member of the Knights of Columbus.
- I was always good at algebra, earned an "A" in
Beginning Algebra; but I struggled in English, so I
signed up to take Basic Writing 101.
- Capitalize important historical events, documents and time
- The Magna Carta precedes our Declaration of Independence.
- I have never read anything about the Victorian Era.
- Capitalize days of the weeks, months, and holidays.
- I enjoy May, especially when Memorial Day falls on a Monday.
- For teachers, it is an October nightmare when Halloween falls
on a Wednesday.
- Capitalize east, west, north, and south only when used as sections
of the country. Do not capitalize them when they are used
to refer to directions.
- He said he would move to the West if he could not buy land in
- He took the highway west, but then got off at the second exit
and headed south to the gas station.
- Capitalize the first word and all important words in titles of
books, plays, poems, magazines, etc.
- Return of the Jetti
- The Land of Oz
- The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
- Capitalize the middle initial in names and titles when they
accompany names. Do not capitalize the title if it does
not refer to a specific person.
- The ship was captained by Captain J. B. Smith.
- He was the captain.
- Capitalize the first word in each line of a poem.
- Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
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