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
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
two words as a noun or adjective
Healthy Aging Series, Healthy Aging Series lecture(s)
use initial caps for the name of this Wisconsin Alumni Association-sponsored program; lowercase lecture or lectures
In general, hyphens are joiners. Use them to avoid confusion or to form a single idea from two or more words: much-needed clothing (clothing is badly needed) versus much needed clothing (the clothing is abundant and needed). Do not use them in pairs to create an em dash.
Hyphenate compound modifiers preceding a noun: well-run establishment, ill-fitting garment, full-time job, smoke-free restaurant. A compound modifier following the noun it describes does not require a hyphen, but it is not incorrect to use one: The restaurant is smoke free. When a modifier that would be hyphenated before a noun occurs instead after a form of the verb to be, the hyphen is usually retained to avoid confusion: The man is well-known, The woman is quick-witted.
Compounds formed by an adverb ending in -ly plus an adjective or participle are not hyphenated before or after a noun: fashionably dressed. See also em dashes, en dashes, and CMS 6.76–6.77