Unless they appear at the start of a title, however, shorter linking words (e.g., articles, conjunctions, and prepositions) should begin with a lowercase letter:
Tea and Crumpets: A Guide to Buying British Food and Drink
Here, we see that the capitalized words are mostly nouns (e.g., “Tea” and “Guide”), along with one verb (“Buying”), one adjective (“British”), and the first word of the subtitle. The conjunction “and” and the preposition “to,” on the other hand, are left uncapitalized.
The system above is a good rule of thumb for title case capitalization. However, some style guides vary on the details, such as whether to capitalize longer prepositions like “between.”
To ensure your title capitalization is always correct, then, you may need to check your style guide or use a title case convertor tool with the correct settings for the style guide you are using.
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Sentence case is so called because it involves capitalizing titles as if they were sentences. The only words that should begin with a capital letter are:
If we were to rewrite the title above using sentence case capitalization, then, we would write it as follows:
Tea and crumpets: A guide to buying British food and drink
Here, other than the first letters of the first words of the title and subtitle, the only word that begins with a capital letter is “British.” This is because “Britain” is a proper noun.
Title Case or Sentence Case?
If you are using a style guide from a specific organization (e.g., your college or publisher), it should specify whether to use title case or sentence case. It should also set out particular conventions for which words to capitalize (see above regarding variations between style guides).
If you are not using a style guide, the choice is entirely yours! Simply pick the title style that suits your document best, then make sure to apply it consistently. And if you need help checking the title capitalization in your document, get in touch with Proofed today.