Content writing has emerged as a lucrative career avenue today with the growing ease to write and publish content on the internet. Every content writer needs to abide by some thumb rules to thrive in the long term. But they tend to ignore such rules, with capitalization rules being the most overlooked one, even by experienced writers.
The Fundamental Rules:
Check out this blog to know the ideal set of rules that you need to follow and end your confusions regarding when to capitalize words and when not. You can also test your skill on the same by participating in a quiz provided at the end of the blog.
Here are the rules:
1. Capitalize the first word in every sentence: Whenever you start a new sentence, capitalize its first word without a miss. Apply this rule regardless of the part of speech of the word. Stick to this in your every type of writing, be it an email, online communications, text, or any other such thing.
For e.g., I will go tomorrow.
Join the class soon.
2. Capitalize the first word of dialogues or direct quotations: Remember to capitalize the first word of every quote. Follow this even when the quotation is placed in the middle of an entire sentence.
For e.g., Mahatma Gandhi rightly said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”.
However, there is one exception to this rule. Try not to capitalize the first word in cases where the quotation is the completion of a previous sentence.
For instance, “Whatever you do will be insignificant,” Gandhi once said, “but it is very important that you do it”.
3. Capitalize specific names and titles: Capitalize titles either when it is used in place of a person’s name or when attached to a person’s name.
For e.g., Have you met Dad already?
I talked to Uncle James last week.
Note: Avoid capitalizing titles when they do not act as a name or are not associated with a person’s name. To know more about this comprehensively, stream the Youtube video provided below:
4. Capitalize the crucial words in headlines and titles: If you write a news report or any other post with a title or headline on the internet, remember to capitalize its first word. Capitalize any noun or verb present in the sentence as well. Another critical thing to note here is not to capitalize prepositions or “the” if they are placed in the middle of the title/headline.
For e.g., Doctors Are Forced To Choose Who To Let Die
This sentence is not the correct way to capitalize words. The right approach would be:
Doctors are Forced to Choose Who to let Die
5. Capitalize names of countries, nationalities, and languages: It is a well-known rule that we all have been taught right from our school days. So, do not miss out doing this in the hurry of finishing your content.
For e.g., India is a hugely populous country.
6. Capitalize the Academic Subjects: Capitalize academic subjects but only when they are based on the names of countries, or maybe indicate a particular class. Remember, do not capitalize them if their names are based on a general subject.
For e.g., Have you attended Geography 103?
I never liked geography in school.
7. Capitalize all Proper Nouns: Again, a rule that we all have been taught to follow right from our childhood. Remember to keep the names of eminent persons, institutions, companies, etc. in capital letters.
For e.g., Apple is a multinational technology company.
8. Capitalize specific days, weeks, months, holidays: An important rule neglected by most of the writers today, apply capitalization on what is found on a calendar. This may include important days and holidays, or generic names of days, weeks, and months.
For e.g., Monday, January, Christmas, etc.
However, remember here not to capitalize names of seasons, such as summer, winter, or spring.
9. Capitalize the names of locations: Remember to capitalize names of cities, streets, and other such places.
For e.g, Wall Street, Angel Falls
Also, do note here that you must not write the names of directions in capital letters.
For instance, He lives in the East. (here east is a location)
He turned east. (here east a direction)
10. Capitalize names of every religion: Whenever you write a content that includes the name of any religion or deity, do not forget to capitalize it. But, remember that these names should be specific and not any general mention such as “the gods”.
For e.g, He is a Christian.
Note: There are certain writing styles that capitalize even the pronouns that refer to any deity.
11. Capitalize names of Racial and Ethnic groups: When you write a content that involves the name of any racial or ethnic group, put the first letter of those words in capital.
For e.g, Americans, Indians, Africans, and so on.
Note: The general categories of “black” and “white” can be excluded here. However, this is highly debatable, as some guides may not agree with this thing.
So, writing online content is not as easy as it appears to be. Even the best of the writers are likely to make such simple mistakes that could make their content ineffective. And although at the beginning these rules of capitalization might sound a simple concept, applying it dedicatedly in your writing may provide you with remarkable changes.
If you want to test yourself where you stand in knowing these golden rules of grammar, participate in an authentic online quiz centred on the topic of capitalization. This quiz could help you comprehend how much more you need to work to improve your grammar and writing skills.
If you feel the result is far behind your expectations, you may join a content writing course and learn the nuances of grammar and content writing in the most exhaustive manner.