Capitalization Rules

Rules of Capitalization

  1. Capitalize the first word of a quoted sentence.
  2. Capitalize a proper noun.
  3. Capitalize a person’s title when it precedes the name. Do not capitalize when the title is acting as a description following the name.
  4. Capitalize the person’s title when it follows the name on the address or signature line.
  5. Capitalize the titles of high-ranking government officials when used before their names. Do not capitalize the civil title if it is used instead of the name.
  6. Capitalize any title when used as a direct address.
  7. Capitalize points of the compass only when they refer to specific regions.
  8. Always capitalize the first and last words of titles of publications regardless of their parts of speech. Capitalize other words within titles, including the short verb forms Is, Are, and Be.
  9. Capitalize federal or state when used as part of an official agency name or in government documents where these terms represent an official name. If they are being used as general terms, you may use lowercase letters.
  10. Do not capitalize names of seasons.
  11. Capitalize the first word of a salutation and the first word of a complimentary close.
  12. Capitalize words derived from proper nouns.
  13. Capitalize the names of specific course titles.
  14. After a sentence ending with a colon, do not capitalize the first word if it begins a list.
  15. Do not capitalize when only one sentence follows a sentence ending with a colon.
  16. Capitalize when two or more sentences follow a sentence ending with a colon.

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