Although there are many specialized rules for capitalizing
letters, the following four are the most common.
- Capitalize the first words of sentences, including sentences cited in quotations:
- Capitalize proper names, including any particular person, object, place, project, institution, river, vessel, genus, culture, ethnic group, or formal job title:
The QA engineer has been quoted as saying, “The main source
of connector failure found in the analysis is seal deformation
caused by pressures in excess of 1000 psig.”
Project Athena Operation Empty Space National Aeronautics and Space Administration the aircraft carrier Kittyhawk Asian-American the White Nile Mars the University of California at Santa Cruz Air Force One Dean for Undergraduate Education Director of Operations
- A Handbook of Chemical Processes
- Journal of the American Chemical Society
A Report to the President on the Explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger
- “Report of the O-Ring Seal Design Team” [unpublished report]
- Benefits of Caloric Restriction [section of an article]
- Chapter Two
- Equation 36
- Figure 10-3
- Appendix C
Rules for Capitalizing Multiple-Word Titles and Proper Names
Unless you are following a documentation style that specifies otherwise, observe the following
rules for capitalizing multiple word titles and proper nouns.
- Capitalize all nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and subordinating conjunctions.
- Capitalize any word, regardless of the part of speech, if it is the first or last word of the title or subtitle or a proper name or if it follows a punctuation mark indicating a break in the title.
- Do not capitalize articles, coordinating conjunctions, prepositions, and the word to in infinitives unless they appear as the first or last word of a title or subtitle.
- The Making of the Atomic Bomb
- “Learning to Write Compact C++ Code”
General Guidelines for Capitalizing Scientific Terms
Each discipline has its own specific conventions for determining which terms should be
capitalized. In general, scientific writing tends to minimize capitalized nouns. The following list
summarizes some widely observed practices.
- Capitalize and put in italics the phylum, class, order, family, and genus of plants and animals. Do not capitalize the species.
- Homo sapiens
- Esox lucius
- Capitalize the names of geological eras, periods, epochs, and series but do not capitalize the word indicating the amount of time:
- Jurassic period
- Cenozoic era
- The sun is an ordinary star.
Venus and Earth differ significantly
in the composition of their atmospheres.
- infectious mononucleosis
- brachial plexus
- Parkinson's disease
- special theory of relativity
- Boyle's law
- the third law of thermodynamics
- Avogadro's number
## Capitalization ##
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Breaking it Down: An Introduction to APA Capitalization Rules
APA rules can sometimes be confusing, including rules about capitalization.
Despite slight variations, the main capitalization rules can be broken
down into two format categories: title case and sentence case.
is when you capitalize the first letter of all words that are 4 or more letters
- Title case is used for:
Title of Your Paper
Level 1 Section Headings
Level 2 Section Headings
There aren’t as many rules for the title case in
APA, simply because most capitalization rules will focus on the second category
of rules: The sentence case.
follows standard sentence capitalization rules where capitalization is used only
for the first letter of the first word, proper nouns, and the first word after
- Sentence case is used for:
Sentences within your paper
Level 3 headings
Level 4 headings
Titles of sources in APA-style reference
Let’s take a closer look at the sentence case rules
as they relate to the sentences in your
paper. After explaining the rule and providing an example, I will also
share with you two contrary rules
that exist in special circumstances. Let’s face it, the longer you learn about
APA style, the more contrary rules you will find.
- Within sentences, APA capitalization rules state that you would capitalize each of the following:
- The first letter of the first word
- The first letter of the first word after a colon
(including trade names and specific
by numerals (because they refer to specific
The color-code corresponds to the matching portion of the example sample:
According to the American Psychological Association
(APA, 2010), writers need
to “Capitalize nouns followed by numerals or letters that denote a specific
place on a numbered series” (103). Here is one example provided: “On Day 2 of Experiment 4” (103).
And as usual, there are some exceptions to the rule.
rule #1: Titles of written works (such as books and article
titles), follow title case rules as well as “Capitaliz[ing] all verbs (including linking verbs), nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns” (APA, 2010, p. 101).
In her book, Scholars’ Attitudes About
When you are referring to the title of a source in
the sentences of your paper, make sure you capitalize. Unless, of course your
subject is related to the next contrary rule.
Rule #2: “Do not capitalize the names of laws, theories,
models, statistical procedures, or hypotheses” (APA, 2010, p.102) since they
can be understood to serve more as common nouns as opposed to proper nouns.
Maslow’s (1943) hierarchy of needs
According to the classical conditioning model, …….(Watson, 1924)
There are, of course, other capitalization rules.
Aside from the Writing Center’s overview of capitalization rules, and the APA style blog, students can also find a breakdown of the rules
with examples in the APA Manual (6th ed.), on pp. 101-104 (or
We also have an interactive lesson on capitalization
on our website. Make some time to take our APA capitalization quiz and let us know how you did in the
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Capitalization – Other APA Guidelines
Didn't find what you need? Search our website or email us.
As announced in February, Walden University will use the new, seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association as the accepted standard for citations, references, and writing style guidelines starting in the summer terms (May 4 for semester-based programs and June 1 for quarter-based and Tempo programs).
So, what does this mean for doctoral students writing their capstones? Students actively working to complete their doctoral capstone studies or projects will have a grace period during which they have the option of continuing in APA 6 or moving to APA 7. This grace period will end on December 31, 2020.
If a student will have final URR approval of their final study or project by the end of 2020 (after Final Overall Quality Committee Rubric Analysis and before CAO Approval), they have the option of completing that study in APA 6 or APA 7, and they should consult with their chair while making this decision. Beginning January 1, 2021, all capstone writers will follow APA 7 guidelines.
The Walden form and style editors will provide support for both APA editions beginning with summer term starts through the end of the year, with templates in both editions beginning June 1. They will also provide instructions for adjusting text in an APA 6 doctoral capstone template to comply with APA 7 guidelines so students in progress can avoid needing to start with a new template.
- For the remainder of 2020, when uploading capstone manuscripts at any stage in Taskstream, committee chairs, second committee members, and URRs should indicate which edition of the APA style manual a student used in the General Comments section by writing “APA 6” or “APA 7.”
- The Writing Center is providing webinars to help capstone students and their committees make the adjustment from APA 6 to APA 7.
- APA 7 at a Glance: Changes and Support for the Switch for Doctoral Capstone Students
- May 6, from 1-2:00 p.m. ET
APA 7 at a Glance: Changes and Support for the Switch for Doctoral Committees
- Monday, April 27, from 1-2:00 ET
Update from March 17, 2020. Edited May 1, 2020.
Capitalization: Meaning, Theory and Concepts
The objective of every business is to maximize the value of the business. In this respect the finance manager, as well as individual investors, want to know the value created by the business. The value of business relates to the capitalization of the business.
The need for capitalization arises in all the phases of a firm’s business cycle. Virtually capitalization is one of the most important areas of financial management. In this article we will discuss various aspects relating to capitalization.
Concept of Capitalization:
Capitalization refers to the valuation of the total business. It is the sum total of owned capital and borrowed capital. Thus it is nothing but the valuation of long-term funds invested in the business.
It refers to the way in which its long-term obligations are distributed between different classes of both owners and creditors.
In a broader sense it means the total fund invested in the business and includes owner’s funds, borrowed funds, long term loans, any other surplus earning, etc. Symbolically:
- Capitalization = Share Capital + Debenture + Long term borrowing + Reserve + Surplus earnings.
- Different authors have defined capitalization in different ways but the theme of those definitions remains almost same. Some of the important definitions are presented below:
- According to Guthmami and Dougall, ‘capitalization is the sum of the par value of the outstanding stocks and the bonds’.
In the words of Walker and Baughen, ‘capitalization refers only to long-term debt and capital stock, and short-term creditors do not constitute suppliers of capital, is erroneous. In reality, total capital is furnished by short-term creditors and long-term creditors’.
Bonneville and Deway define capitalization as ‘the balance sheet values of stocks and bonds outstanding’.
Hence capitalization is the value of securities and may be defined as the par value of various obligations of a firm distributed over various classes of stocks, bonds, debenture and creditors.
Theories of Capitalization:
We have seen that capitalization refers to the determination of the value through which a firm is to be capitalized. In the context of capitalization there are two popular theories: Cost Theory and Earning Theory.
i. Cost Theory:
This theory is focused on the cost of acquiring assets. The total value of capitalization under the Cost Theory is the sum total of costs of acquiring both fixed and current assets. Under this theory the costs incurred for issue of shares and other securities are also included in capitalization.
Hence capitalization is the sum of land and building, plant and machinery and other fixed assets, stock of raw materials, debtors and other current assets and preliminary expenses. This theory is best used by a new firm as it helps to find the total amount of capital needed for establishing the business.
- The theory suffers from the following limitations:
- a) It highlights only the cost aspect but not the capacity of the assets;
- b) It remains silent about time when the asset becomes obsolete; and
- c) For a firm having fluctuating earnings, the theory loses its importance.
- i. Earning Theory:
Under this theory the earning capacity of the business is considered as the basis of capitalization. According to this theory the capitalized value of earning of the firm is the amount of capitalization. Industry’s representative rate of return is taken as the rate of capitalization.
- The value of capitalization is calculated thus:
- Capitalization = Average Annual Future Earnings / Capitalization Rate x 100
- This theory also suffers from the following limitations:
- Estimation of future earning for a new company is very difficult;
- Rate taken for capitalization may not be proper representative of the firm; and
- Mistake committed at the time of estimating the earnings will directly influence the amount of capitalization.
As a technical writer, who must often refer to such things as geographic locations, company names, temperature scales, and processes or apparatuses named after people, you must learn to capitalize consistently and accurately. What follows are ten fundamental rules for capitalization. Check out the first rule. It gets fumbled in papers all the time.
Capitalize the names of major portions of your paper and all references to figures and tables. Note: Some journals and publications do not follow this rule, but most do.
|my Introduction||Airshaft 3|
|see Figure 4||Table 1|
Capitalize the names of established regions, localities, and political divisions.
|Wheeling Township||the French Republic|
|Lancaster County||the United Kingdom|
|the Wheat Belt||the Arctic Circle|
Capitalize the names of highways, routes, bridges, buildings, monuments, parks, ships, automobiles, hotels, forts, dams, railroads, and major coal and mineral deposits.
|Highway 13||Route 1|
|Michigan Avenue||the White House|
|Alton Railroad||the Statue of Liberty|
|Herrin No. 6 seam||the Queen Elizabeth|
Capitalize the proper names of persons, places and their derivatives, and geographic names (continents, countries, states, cities, oceans, rivers, mountains, lakes, harbors, and valleys).
|Howard Pickering||Great Britain|
|New York Harbor||Gulf of Mexico|
|Aleutian Islands||the Aleutian low|
Capitalize the names of historic events and documents, government units, political parties, business and fraternal organizations, clubs and societies, companies, and institutions.
|the Second Amendment||the Civil War|
|Congress||Bureau of Mines|
|Republicans||Ministry of Energy|
Capitalize titles of rank when they are joined to a person’s name, and the names of stars and planets. Note: The names earth, sun, and moon are not normally capitalized, although they may be capitalized when used in connection with other bodies of the solar system.
|Professor Walker||President Barron|
Capitalize words named after geographic locations, the names of major historical or geological time frames, and most words derived from proper names. Note: The only way to be sure if a word derived from a person’s name should be capitalized is to look it up in the dictionary.
For example, “Bunsen burner” (after Robert Bunsen) is capitalized, while “diesel engine” (after Rudolph Diesel) is not. Also, referring to specific geologic time frames, the Chicago Manual of Style says not to capitalize the words “era,” “period,” and “epoch,” but the American Association of Petroleum Geologists says that these words should be capitalized.
I choose to capitalize them, as those who write in the geological sciences should by convention.
|Coriolis force||Fourier coefficients|
|English tweeds||Walker Circulation|
|Hadley cell||Petri dish|
|Boyle’s law||Russell volumeter|
|Planck’s constant||Klinkenberg effect|
|Middle Jurassic Period||Mesozoic Era|
|the Industrial Revolution||the Inquisitio|
Capitalize references to temperature scales, whether written out or abbreviated.
|10 oF||Fahrenheit degrees|
|22 oC||Celsius degrees|
Capitalize references to major sections of a country or the world.
Capitalize the names of specific courses, the names of languages, and the names of semesters.
|Spring semester 2009||Fall term, 2006|
Common Capitalization Errors
Just as important as knowing when to capitalize is knowing when not to. Below, I set forth a few instances where capital letters are commonly used when they should not be. Please review this advice carefully, in that we all have made such capitalization errors. When in doubt, simply consult a print dictionary.
Should Theories Be Capitalized APA? – Ecommerce
- In APA style, you will most likely need to describe a number of tests, measures, and theories, among other things.
- Here’s a brief guide to capitalization in APA.
- In general, do not capitalize the words in names of theories.4 Jan 2016
Are models and theories capitalized in APA format?
Contrary Rule #2: “Do not capitalize the names of laws, theories, models, statistical procedures, or hypotheses” (APA, 2010, p.102) since they can be understood to serve more as common nouns as opposed to proper nouns. There are, of course, other capitalization rules.2 May 2016
What should be capitalized in APA?
Here are directions for implementing sentence case in APA Style in these two contexts:
- Capitalize the first word of the title/heading and of any subtitle/subheading;
- Capitalize any proper nouns and certain other types of words; and.
- Use lowercase for everything else.
15 Feb 2017
Is the word Internet capitalized in APA Style?
Yes, Internet, a proper noun, is always capitalized, whereas website is not. Some people may believe that the word Internet has taken on a more general use, but until this change is reflected in dictionaries, most style guides will continue to advise writers to capitalize it.10 Mar 2011
Should chapter be capitalized APA?
One thing you might see in your reading is capitalization for emphasis. And I want to make sure that it’s clear that that is not part of APA style. So for example, proper nouns, the job title is capitalized if it precedes the person’s name. Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, “Chapter” would always be capitalized.2 May 2016
Do you capitalize diagnosis in APA?
In a word, no, schizophrenia is not capitalized. According to APA style, common nouns aren’t capitalized; only proper nouns are capitalized (APA p.102). Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (2005) is the APA standard (along with the APA Dictionary of Psychology).
Do you italicize theories in APA?
Here’s the answer. Theories aren’t capitalized or highlighted with italics, but you do capitalize someone’s name when it’s part of a theory: Dr. Goodman’s theory of whole language. Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
Use at least two subheadings for each section and subsection, or use none. Paragraph begins below levels 1 and 2, whereas for levels 3-5, the paragraph begins in line with the headings. Capitalize each word for levels 1 and 2. Only the first word is capitalized for levels 3-5.
How do you write APA Style?
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- How to Format Your Paper in APA Style – YouTube
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How do you write titles in APA?
When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author’s last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, for example, (Jones, 1998), and a complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.
Do you capitalize titles in APA format?
In general, the title of a work is recorded just as the words appear in the publication. Capitalize only the first word of a book or article title. Capitalize proper nouns, initials, and acronyms in a title. Capitalize every major word in a journal or newspaper title, do not capitalize articles (i.e. a, and, the).
Do you capitalize abbreviations in APA references?
Do not alternate between spelling out the term and abbreviating it. How do I abbreviate group authors in in-text citations and reference list entries? If your reference has a group author, the name of the group can sometimes be abbreviated—for example, American Psychological Association can be abbreviated to APA.
Do you capitalize after a colon APA?
According to APA Style, the first word after the colon is capitalized only if it begins a complete sentence.
Capitalization in English
For capitalization guidelines on Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters).
Use of a capital letter at the head of a word
The capital letter “A” in the Latin alphabet followed by its lower case equivalent.
Capitalization or capitalisation in English grammar is the use of a capital letter at the head of a word. English usage varies from capitalization in other languages.
History of English capitalization
Capitalization in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (Ellesmere Manuscript, about 1400)
Old English did not have a distinction between uppercase and lowercase, and at best had embossed or decorated letters indicating sections. Middle English capitalization in manuscripts remained haphazard, and was often done for visual aesthetics more than grammar; in poetry, the first letter of each line of verse is often capitalized. With the development of the printing press in Europe and England capitalization of initial letters and proper nouns became more regularized, perhaps partly to distinguish new sentences in a time where punctuation remained sparse and irregularly used. The plays of Shakespeare show capitalization both of new lines and sentences, proper nouns, and some significant common nouns and verbs.
Capitalization in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (Bodleian First Folio)
With the influence of continental printing practices after the English Restoration in 1688 printing began to favor more and more capitalization of nouns following German typography. The first lines of the U.S.
Constitution of 1787 show major capitalization of most nouns: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” But by the end of the 18th century with the growth of prescriptive dictionaries and style manuals for English usage, the practice faded in Britain so that by the beginning of the 19th century common nouns were only occasionally capitalized, such as in advertisements. Yet the style lasted as late as the Civil War era in the United States, as some of Emily Dickinson's poems still capitalize many common nouns.
When to capitalize
Capital letters are used:
- at the beginning of a sentence. This in printing is known as sentence case, where the first letter of the sentence is capitalized, and all others are lower case with the exception of proper nouns. In printing normal sentence case may be substituted by UPPER CASE or “all caps” (all letters are capitalized), and Title Case (where the first letter of each word is capitalized). Capitals are sometimes used and sometimes not used after a colon, although they are used in some citation systems such as APA style when beginning an independent clause.
- with some nouns and adjectives, usually if a noun indicates a proper noun.
- pronoun “I”. One theory for this unusual usage is that in early printing lowercase i was confused with words using i as a past participle marker or first letter.
- personal and place names: “John”, “Mr. Smith”, “Amsterdam”, “Europe”, “Mount Everest”, “the Ganges”.
- compass directions when referring to geographical regions: “Western Canada”, “I was raised in the South”, but not for points on a compass: “London is west of Berlin”.
- national and regional adjectives: “an American” (noun), “an American man” (adjective).
- religions: “an Anglican curate”, “a Catholic church” (adjective), but not “a catholic gesture” in the sense of “universal.”
- the Supreme Being, deities and personifications: “God”, “Providence”, “Fame”.
- reverential pronouns: “His, Him” when referring to God or Christ
- days and months: “Monday”, “January”, but not seasons such as “autumn”.
- brand names: “Toyota”, “Nike”, “Coca-Cola”, unless the brand itself is purposely not capitalized or unusually capitalized: “iPhone”, “eBay”.
- royal titles: “King George III” but “kings and queens of England”, but only sometimes 'sir' or 'madam'.
APA Style 6th Edition Blog: Do I Capitalize This Word?
by Chelsea Lee
Dear Style Experts,
I am writing a paper in APA Style, and I have a question about the capitalization of a specific word. Can you tell me how to capitalize it? Also, I need to know what the proper APA Style spelling of the word is. Thanks for your help!
— Wally in Washington, DC
Your first stop in answering questions about the capitalization or spelling of a specific word in an APA Style paper should be the dictionary.
APA uses Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (2005) as its standard reference for capitalization and spelling, along with the APA Dictionary of Psychology for psychology-related terms. Along with the guidance provided in the Publication Manual (see pp.
101–104 for capitalization rules), follow the capitalization and spelling you see in those dictionaries for words in your APA Style paper. If more than one option for capitalization and spelling is provided, use the first entry.
Now, you might wonder, why is it helpful to look up a word in a dictionary if you want to know how to capitalize it and not just how to spell it? Well, it’s helpful because the dictionary tells you whether a word is a proper noun (i.e.
, a specific person, place, or thing), and proper nouns are capitalized in English and therefore in APA Style (see Publication Manual sections 4.16 and 4.18).
Their opposite, regular or “common” nouns (which refer to general persons, places, or things), are lowercase in English and thus in APA Style as well.
What to Capitalize
Here are some examples of different types of (capitalized) proper nouns, along with some (lowercased) regular or common noun corollaries:
|Noun type||Proper noun example||Common noun example|
|Author or person||Freud, Skinner, von Neumann||the author, the investigator, the mathematician|
|Company, institution, or agency||American Psychological Association, University of Washington, Department of Sociology||the association, a university, a sociology department|
|Product||Advil, Xerox, Prozac (brand names)||ibuprofen, photocopy, fluoxetine (generic names)|
|Test or inventory||Beck Depression Inventory, Child Behavior Checklist||a depression inventory, a behavior checklist|
|Website or database|