Rules for Using Capital Letters
Capitalize the first letter of words in the following situations:
- the first word of a sentence:
- Put the dog in the crate.
- proper nouns and proper adjectives, including historic events and documents, days of the week, months of the year, associations, nationalities and their languages, trade names, and celestial bodies:
Note: centuries, seasons, academic years or terms are not capitalized: seventeenth century, summer, freshman year, fall semester.
- Milton, Freud, Freudian, Minnesota, Minnesotan, United States, American, the Civil War, the Tower of London, the Middle Ages, Friday, April, the House of Representatives; Native American; Irish; African-American, Gaelic, Ford, Frisbee, Mars, the Big Dipper.
- Mom and Dad are capitalized when they are used as names: When is Mom going to be home? (but When will my mom be home?)
- the first and every important word of titles
- Guinness Book of World Records
- The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
- "Mysteries of Hide-and-Seek"
- the first word in directly quoted sentences or dialogue:
- the personal pronoun I when used alone or in contractions:
- personal titles when they come before proper names:
- Professor Justin Blessinger, but Justin Blessinger, professor of English
- abbreviations for academic degrees when they come after proper names
- abbreviations that indicate time, divisions of government, organizations, businesses, and call letters of radio and television stations:
- 1000 B.C., YMCA, IBM, KELO
- the names of educational institutions, departments, specific courses, and degrees
- History Department, Bachelor of Arts, Sociology 101; Dakota State University