A Little Help with Capitals
This resource details standard capitalization rules.
Contributors:Chris Berry, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2013-07-12 11:45:25
This handout lists some guidelines for capitalization. If you have a question about whether a specific word should be capitalized that doesn't fit under one of these rules, try checking a dictionary to see if the word is capitalized there.
Use capital letters in the following ways:
The first words of a sentence
The pronoun "I"
Proper nouns (the names of specific people, places, organizations, and sometimes things)
Family relationships (when used as proper names)
The names of God, specific deities, religious figures, and holy books
Exception: Do not capitalize the nonspecific use of the word "god."
Titles preceding names, but not titles that follow names
Directions that are names (North, South, East, and West when used as sections of the country, but not as compass directions)
The days of the week, the months of the year, and holidays (but not the seasons used generally)
Exception: Seasons are capitalized when used in a title.
The names of countries, nationalities, and specific languages
The first word in a sentence that is a direct quote
The major words in the titles of books, articles, and songs (but not short prepositions or the articles "the," "a," or "an," if they are not the first word of the title)
Members of national, political, racial, social, civic, and athletic groups
Periods and events (but not century numbers)
Words and abbreviations of specific names (but not names of things that came from specific things but are now general types)