Writing Titles (Capital Letters with Title Case)

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Writing Titles (Capital Letters with Title Case)

Titles are most often written in uppercase or title case. Title case is a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters.

In title case, only the principal words are given capital letters. Prepositions (e.g.,in, on, under, at) and articles (i.e., the, a, an), and conjunctions (e.g., and, or, but) are written with lowercase letters (unless they start the title).

Common Title Conventions

The two common conventions for titles are:

Uppercase Titles

For example: With uppercase titles, all words are capitalized. Often, they are bolded and underlined. Whatever style you use, be consistent.

Title Case Titles With title-case titles, only the principal words are capitalized. Prepositions (here, with, of), articles (here, a, the) and conjunctions (here, and) are written with lowercase letters. These can be bolded and underlined too. Whatever style you use, be consistent.

When one of the non-principal words (i.e., a preposition, an article, or a conjunction) starts the title, it is given a capital letter. For example:

Titles As Adjectives

A title in title case can be used as a compound adjective. For example: Interactive example:

I love your Thomas the Tank Engine bag. [show me the title case adjective]

Read more about compound adjectives.
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YOU CAN USE AN APOSTROPHE IN A PLURALIZED ABBREVIATION IN AN UPPERCASE TITLE

When a pluralized abbreviation features in an uppercase title, it is acceptable to use an apostrophe to show the plural. Be aware, however, that this might annoy some of your readers. For example:

DO NOT USE THE WORD THE TWICE WHEN A TITLE IS USED AS AN ADJECTIVE

When the word The is the first word of a title used as an adjective, logical thinkers might feel the need to use the word the twice. For example: The version above is logically sound, but it's messy. Have the confidence to break logic and write:


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See Also

What are prepositions? What are articles? What are conjunctions? What are compound adjectives? Glossary of grammatical terms