Rules for Capitalization
- Capitalize the first word of a sentence.
- Always capitalize nationalities, races, languages, and religions. For example, American, African American, Hispanic, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and so on.
- Do not capitalize nouns for people, places, things, streets, buildings, events, and titles when the noun is used in general or common way.
- Capitalize days of the week, months of the year, and holidays.
- Capitalize titles of positions when they are accompanied by proper names.
- Examples: President Obama, Governor Scott Brown, Judge Wheeler.
- Capitalize the names of specific movements or events.
- Examples: the Civil Rights Movement, World War II, D-Day
- Capitalize the letters that make up abbreviations for organizations or agencies.
- Examples: FEMA, EPA, NFL. CNN.
- Computer-related words such as “Internet” and “World Wide Web” are usually capitalized; however, “email” and “online” are never capitalized.
- Proper nouns—the names of specific people, places, objects, streets, buildings, events, or titles of individuals—are always capitalized.
|Common Noun||Proper Noun|
|museum||The Art Institute of Chicago|
|book||Pride and Prejudice|
|war||the Spanish-American War|
|historical event||The Renaissance|
- Learning and applying the basic rules of capitalization is a fundamental aspect of good writing.
- Identifying and correcting errors in capitalization is an important writing skill.