Rules for Capitalization

In our text message based world, informal grammar and spelling have become the norm.  While that’s okay for informal settings like text messages, chatting, and social media – when it comes to presenting yourself well in a college classroom, getting the rules of capitalization right is critical!  Below is a checklist you can use to ensure you’ve capitalized all the words in your posts or papers correctly!

  • The first word of every sentence should begin with a capital letter.

The fox jumps over the stream.

  • Proper Names should always begin with a capital letter.  Proper names include things like the names of people (Susan, Bill), the names of cities (Rome, Springfield), or any other labels that distinguish them.  Other examples of proper names include specific places, days of the week, months, names of planets, countries, nations, races, etc.

Mars is red while Saturn is blue.

After the race, Bill felt tired

  • Any time you are referring to yourself in the first person, you should capitalize “I”.  Anytime “I” stands alone (not part of another word), it should be capitalized.

I was fixing my car yesterday.

Wes and I took turns driving.

  • Anytime you mention a specific deity, the deity’s name should begin with a capital letter.

Throwing fire down from heaven, Zeus displayed his anger.

If you would like help automatically finding words that need to be capitalized, check out

Download this Checklist


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