Proper Title Case For Writing

Different people have different ideas on the topic, but I can’t help wondering if there’s a standard on what words do not get capitalized in a title.

I always thought the short words like “and”, “or”, etc. didn’t get capitalized, but I had an issue publishing one of my books because they said that all the words needed to be capitalized. Some people seem to play free and loose with title case rules. If you consult most word processing programs, they capitalize every single word, no matter what.

I have taken to capitalizing all words in a title, but some I feel shouldn’t be, but at the same time it looks odd when some are capitalized and some aren’t. It’s kind of a pain when you want to do things properly, but you don’t know exactly what that means.

As it turns out, there are no hard and fast rules about capitalization. Different people and publications have different ideas of right and wrong, but there are no specific, absolute rules. It actually makes things quite difficult.

Here’s a good article on the topic: Daily Writing Tips: Rules For Capitalization in Titles

One of the things that makes “title case” or “up style” difficult is that you need to know what all the kinds of words are, like prepositions, articles and adverbs. Let’s face it, not everyone knows what part of grammar every word they use fits into.

I’ve seen some people try to get around the issue by making their titles all caps, but that just looks bad. It’s almost as bad as using all caps in your general text.

How careful are you about your titles? Is there a standard you prefer to follow?


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