avoid unnecessary capital letters: use them only when one of the principles listed in this guide, the dictionary, or the Chicago Manual of Style justifies their usage.
In particular, the following should be capitalized:
- Proper nouns for people, places, or things: Allison, Atlanta, the Alamo
- Proper names: when they are an official part of the full name of a person, place, or thing: Democratic Party, Lake Mendota, Park Street, Charles River, West Virginia, College of Letters & Science, University of Wisconsin–Madison. Lowercase when these stand alone in subsequent or generic references: the party, the lake, the street, the river, the state, the college, the university. Per CMS 8.56 and 8.66, uppercase these words in plural usages: the Democratic and Republican Parties, Langdon and State Streets.
See the lists below as guides to using lowercase or uppercase when these words appear in headlines and subheads. CMS 8.59 is recapped below; CMS 8.160 gives examples; CMS 8.161 discusses hyphenated compounds in headline-style titles. The cover of On Wisconsin follows sentence-style capitalization rather than headline style. For headlines in news releases and Inside UW–Madison, capitalize only the first word, proper names, and proper nouns.
- articles (a, an, the)
- prepositions, regardless of length, except when they’re used adverbially or adjectivally, when they’re stressed, or when they make up part of a Latin expression used adverbially or adjectivally: De Facto, In Vitro, etc.
- the coordinating conjunctions for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so
- to and as
- the part of a proper name that would be lowercased in text: de, von
- the second part of a species name, even if it’s the last word
- the first and last words in headlines and subheads, regardless of length
- all other major words: nouns, pronouns, verbs (including Is, Are), adverbs, adjectives
- some conjunctions