Basic Rules of Capitalization
Using proper capitalization is one of the easiest ways to show that you are a professional writer. Here are a few simple rules to help you use capitals correctly.
Rule 1: Always capitalize the word “I.” Always!
Rule 2: Capitalize the first word of a sentence. Always!
Rule 3: Capitalize proper nouns (names of specific people, places or things–Google, George Washington, Albany, OR).
*NOTE: Common nouns, such as a president, a country, a business, a college, DO NOT get capitalized.
Rule 4: Don’t use capitals for emphasis. Writing in all caps is hard to read, and it can seem like you are yelling.
Incorrect example: I am sending you an Important Message about our Meeting (no proper nouns).
Incorrect example: I AM SENDING YOU AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE (all caps).
Correct example: I am sending you an important message.
- “Capitalization Quiz,” an ungraded practice quiz on capitalization.