Exploring My Ideas

Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Available to purchase: XlibrisAmazon, and BN
Trade Paperback: 978-1-9845-1842-2
Trade Hardback: 978-1-9845-1841-5
E-book: 978-1-9845-1843-9
Available for the bookstore return program from July 2018 - August 31, 2019
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Rules for Capitalization in Titles of Articles

I learned a lot when writing my upcoming published book that will be published soon--this month or next month--including writing capital letters that I have known already, but I still need to learn more detail, and I found it: Advance Rules to note (Open Compounds, The First Word Following a Colon, and Preposition That Belong to a Phrasal Verb).

Here, I would like to share from what I have learned.

Source: Your Dictionary


Advanced Rules to Note

One of the beautiful complexities of the English language is that, for every rule you learn, there's probably an exception. Here are some advanced rules for title capitalization:

Hyphenated Titles

Let's take a look at the Chicago Manual of Style's guidelines:
  • Capitalize the first element.
  • Capitalize subsequent elements unless they are articles, prepositions, or coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, or, nor).
    • High-Quality Web Services
    • First-Rate U.S. Lawyers
    • Bed-and-Breakfast Options in Savannah
  • Capitalize the second element in a hyphenated spelled-out number.
    • Forty-Ninth Street Blues
  • Do not capitalize the second element if the first element is a prefix that could not stand alone by itself (anti or pre).
    • Anti-inflammatory Dieting

Open Compounds

An open compound comes to life when a modifying adjective is used in conjunction with a noun. This creates a new noun. Hopefully warning bells will signal in your mind, as nouns are almost always capitalized.
  • Salad Dressing Recipes
  • The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year

The First Word Following a Colon

Let's take a look at both the Chicago and AP Style guidelines:
  • Capitalize the first word after a colon.
    • Feminine Poetry: Ten Women Writers from Around the World
  • Capitalize the first word after a colon if it begins an independent clause.
    • I know who you are: You are my friend
  • Do not capitalize the first word after a colon if the clause cannot stand alone.
    • I know who you are: nobody

Prepositions That Belong to a Phrasal Verb

Prepositions often find themselves on the 'do not capitalize' list. However, when a preposition becomes an important part of a phrasal verb, it does need to be capitalized.
  • How to Back Up a Computer
  • Turn Down the Heat to Save You Money

Following the Rules

If you are debating how to capitalize titles in research papers and articles, your professor or editor will most likely delegate a certain style. In that case, make sure you visit the handbook on that style guide's website. There will be ample guidance and examples. Aside from that, there are a wealth of other resources and handy tools out there. As you craft your titles, pay careful attention not only to the type of word, but also the length and placement of each word.
Furthermore, no matter your personal preference, make sure you write the exact titles of books, newspapers, journals, etc. as they are written on the original document (even if they do not follow common capitalization rules).***

Posted on June 6, 2018

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