That’s Capital!

Okay, I couldn’t resist the title. All joking aside, I thought I knew the rules of capitalization. Then, while I was editing Fiona’s story, I learned a few new things. So I spent my time researching to see what I knew and learn what I didn’t.

First the no-brainers.

1) The first word in a sentence, salutation or close needs to be capitalized. (Good thing spell check can do that automatically, since sometimes I write faster than I can hit the shift key)

2) Proper names and titles/high ranking government officials (before a name, but–wait for it–NOT after the name, unless it’s in the signature line). Also words derived from proper names and specific course titles.

Example: I’m taking economics and Art History 101.

3) First and last words in a title of a book, magazine, etc. Do not capitalize the words a, an, but, as, if, and, or, nor and preposition in the middle of the title.

4) Titles when used as a direct address.

Correct: Stop criticizing me, Mom.

Incorrect: My mom can’t stop criticizing me.

5) Points on the compass that refer to specific regions but are not adjectives.

Example: Although I was born in Maryland, I grew up in the Southwest.

Okay, so that’s not a comprehensive list, but I think I’ve covered ninety percent of the situations I’ll encounter in my writing.

About Linda Andrews

Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounce: "What else would she write? She’s never been normal." All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion. So just how did a scientist start to write paranormal romances? What other option is there when you’re married to romantic man and live in a haunted house? If you’ve enjoyed her stories or want to share your own paranormal experience feel free to email the author at She’d love to hear from you.
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