How to Capitalise Your Blog Post Titles

Bloggers are always advised to think of killer titles for their articles. Strangely, no one seems to talk about how post titles should be capitalised. It's something I never really paid much attention to myself in the past.

There are two main options available to you when you are capitalising your blog post titles:

  • Sentence Case: Also known as Down Style. This is the easiest form to remember. You simply capitalise the first letter of the first word and the rest of the words are all in lower case. Newspapers use sentence case a lot.
  • Title Case: Also known as Up Style or Headline Style (more common). This form is used frequently in books and on blogs however the rules that govern this option are more difficult to remember.

Title case generally looks much better. The form requires you to capitalise the first and last word of your title. You also need to capitalise adjectives, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs and subordinating conjunctions.

The problem is, different publications have slightly different rules. For example, The Chicago Manual of Style states prepositions (like, from, as, by, on etc) are made lowercase unless they are the first or last word. Meanwhile The Associated Press Stylebook states that prepositions are capitalised if they have four letters or word.

The Chicago Manual of Style is the standard I have followed:

  1. Capitalize the first and last words in titles and subtitles (but see rule 7), and capitalize all other major words (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and some conjunctions—but see rule 4).
  2. Lowercase the articles the, a, and an.
  3. Lowercase prepositions, regardless of length, except when they are used adverbially or adjectivally (up in Look Up, down in Turn Down, on in the On Button, to in Come To, etc.) or when they compose part of a Latin expression used adjectivally or adverbially (De Facto, In Vitro, etc.)
  4. Lowercase the conjunctions and, but, for, or, and nor.
  5. Lowercase to not only as a preposition (rule 3) but also as part of an infinitive (to Run, to Hide, etc.), and lowercase as in any grammatical function.
  6. Lowercase the part of a proper name that would be lowercased in text, as de or von.
  7. Lowercase the second part of a species name, such as fulvescens in Acipenser fulvescens, even if it is the last word in a title or subtitle.

I encourage you to adopt Title Case (Headline Style) titles in your blog post titles. You should check the rules regularly if you are unsure about which words should be capitlise. Over time, writing in title case will become second nature to you. Don't sweat about the issue too much. I still make mistakes with it from time to time. It is however something you should be aware of when writing blog post titles and headlines in books.

Here are some other resources you may find useful on this subject:

Thanks for reading :)

Kevin

* Photo Credit