D1: Capitalization

D1: Capitalization: Follow the proper rules for when to capitalize words.  See Writing for Success Section 2.4 pp. 72-75 or the following: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/capitals.htm


Capitalize the first word of every sentence.

 Narwhals are the unicorns of the sea.  They live in cold waters. (Correct)

 narwhals are the unicorns of the sea.  they live in cold waters. (Incorrect)


 Capitalize proper names of specific people, places, and things.

George Washington was the nation’s first president.

Mount Vernon was Washington’s estate in Fairfax County, Virginia, near Alexandria, on the banks of the Potomac River, which is a very scenic river.

In 1960, the United States Congress named Mount Vernon as a National Historical Landmark.

She struggled in Physics 101 before she got the job at the Coca-Cola factory.


 Capitalize titles of people only if presented as part of their name.

 Many believe that President George Washington was a good first president.

 All agreed that Pastor Steve Austin should be the chief executive officer.


 Capitalize the titles of articles, publications, movies, works of art, songs, etc. (but don’t capitalize internal articles and prepositions)

In one of his most famous books, The Machine in the Garden, Leo Marx paints a picture of early America.

The idea was raised in Michelle Cottle’s article, “Two-Timing: Life Lessons from Big Love.”

She was horrified by Rubens’s Massacre of the Innocents.

Most people in Doug’s age group knew the Beatles’ song “A Day in the Life.”


Capitalize races, nationalities, religions, and languages

 They spoke English at the club, and my Arab-American friend enjoyed himself.

 Her mother was Jewish, and her father was Catholic, though they all identified as German.


Capitalize the pronoun I and the letters of acronyms.

 Students know that I expect them to follow MLA or APA guidelines.



Share This Book