Aug 16 2011
Everything but articles, coordinating conjunctions and prepositions should be capitalized in titles.
Which words should not be capitalized in a title?
- Articles: a, an, & the.
- Coordinate conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet & so (FANBOYS).
- Prepositions, such as at, around, by, after, along, for, from, of, on, to, with & without. (According to the Chicago Manual of Style, all prepositions should be uncapitalized in a title. NIVA and I recommend capitalizing prepositions 5+ letters long).
Which words should be capitalized in a title?
- The first and last words should always be capitalized, even if they’re in the above list.
- All nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs should be capitalized.
- Subordinate conjunctions, such as after, as, because, how, who, if, than, what, why, that, when, where, whether & while.
- Commonly missed words: it (pronoun), is (verb), be (verb) and their/our/my (adjective) should all be capitalized.
In most nonprofessional settings (such as schoolwork and blogging), you’ll be fine as long as you’re pretty close. In professional publishing, it’d be advantageous to know the finer points, but I think a minor error would be excusable in a novel manuscript.
- INCORRECT BUT PROBABLY CLOSE ENOUGH: Keep it Close. (Pronouns like it should be capitalized).
- INSTANT REJECTION: the legend of Slaughter hill. This author obviously didn’t proofread and/or is entirely clueless.