Capitalization in Titles

June 24th, 2021 in Grammar by April Michelle Davis 0

For those of you who struggle with capitalization when writing titles or headlines, have no fear. There are several style guide rules you can refer to. It’s really up to you, or maybe your client or publisher, which guide you should follow.

Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition: Capitalize the first word of the title, the last word, and all nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, subordinating conjunctions, and a few conjunctions. Prepositions are only capitalized if they are used adjectivally or adverbially.

Associated Press (also known as headline style): Capitalize the first word of the title, the last word, and all principle words. Also capitalize all words longer than three letters. Essentially, everything is capitalized except: a, an, and, at, but, by, for, in, nor, of, on, or, so, the, to, up, and yet.

Sentence style, used by some newspaper and magazine websites: Capitalize the first letter of the first word and any words that would be capitalized in a sentence, like someone’s name.

Whichever guide you choose to follow, make sure you are consistent. However, don’t oversimplify by using all capital or all lowercase letters and always rewrite titles to avoid beginning with a lowercase word or name.