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6 Rules For Capitalization In Titles

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    Many writers think that they have capitalization in titles down to a science. A lot of information was drilled into the heads of grammar school students years ago that is hard to change.

    It has become habit for many to handle capitalization in titles a particular way and it difficult to move away from that.

    Taking some time to read over the basic rules might help to keep the titles coming easily.

    Capitalization Rule #1

    When writing a title you always want to capitalize both the first word and the last word of the title.

    This is one area where most people do very well because it is embedded in their brain.

    Capitalization Rule #2

    If you are working with an infinitive in a document title you will want to lowercase the word “to” within the title.

    Capitalization Rule #3

    All adjectives, verbs, adverbs, nouns, pronouns and even subordinate conjunctions should be capitalized in the title of the document.

    An example of this would be the words “as”, “although” and “because”.

    Capitalization Rule #4

    Any prepositions and coordinate conjunctions regardless of their length should always be lowercase in a title.

    This of course is not the case if they are the first or last word of the title.

    Capitalization Rule #5

    Remember that not ALL two-letter words should be lowercase even though it often feels like the natural thing to do.

    If the two-letter word is being used as a noun, pronoun, adverb or even adjective it must always be capitalized.

    Capitalization Rule #6

    It is also wise to remember that phrasal verbs should be capitalized. This again, is often hard to do because it feels unnatural.

    If a word is used with a verb to complete the action of the word then it is considered a particle and should be capitalized.

    A good example of this is the word to. If you use it in a sentence where it is helping a verb (“to run out”) then it would be capitalized.

    Practice Makes Perfect

    Taking the time to really learn the basics of capitalization in titles will go far to making your job of writing a lot easier.

    Struggling with rules versus what feels natural can be the overwhelming factor in writing a title.

    What you think feels right or looks right may not be the case so always fall back on the rules when creating your title.

    You will eventually know them inside and out and be able to break down the title to determine proper capitalization.

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