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What to Capitalise and When

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The advent of marketing and our digital lifestyles has conjured up some very interesting ways that people capitalise today. In academic essay writing, however, the rules are there to be followed; and these rules can be very different from the rules of advertising where capitalisation is used to make words stand out on a page. Proofreading will help to make sure you have capitalised in all the right places.

It Is Not Correct To Capitalise Everything Like This When You Are Writing. There are seven steps to capitalisation, and the easiest one is to remember to capitalise the first word in a sentence. Hello, how are you today? We are going to the theme park. The University is conducting elections. Usually, if your spell check is on, the first word of your sentence will capitalise itself. All proper nouns should be capitalised. Proper nouns are different to a common noun, and are specific things, people, places, and objects. For example: her name is Beth; we all went to Spain; he lived in London; I use Firefox and don’t use Explorer; they bought a Ferrari; today is January 1st. Proper adjectives are usually adjectives that are derived from proper nouns, and should be capitalised like their descendants: I will go to France to learn French. Watch out for specific personal titles, as they need to be specific to the person.

For example: which queen? The Queen of England. The Captain is here to see you, Mr Eliot. Some abbreviations are capitalised and it depends entirely on what it is you are abbreviating. Acronyms are usually capitalised: The Central Intelligence Bureau becomes The CIA; The Ministry of Defence becomes The MOD. If you are unsure about how to capitalise abbreviations, Google the word and check how it is presented in a scholarly paper. Publications can often confuse people, but a rule to remember is that you can’t get it wrong if you follow the how the publisher capitalised the book or article. It has been noticed that many literary books and articles are strict on capitalisation, whereas sociological and psychological capitalisation can be much different.

Furthermore different publishing houses can and will use capitalisation differently, so it is always worth checking. Many words that you will encounter will have odd capitalisation. Although you may feel that the capitalisation is incorrect, it would be incorrect of you to not capitalise it in the manner it is presented to you.

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What To Capitalise And When. (2020, February 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from
“What To Capitalise And When.” GradesFixer, 26 Feb. 2020,
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