Correct Use of Capital Letters
The correct usage of capital letters is something to which you will have been introduced since your earliest days at school. Despite this, there is still confusion over certain usages of the capital letter.
Clearly, you will know that you should always begin a new sentence with a capital letter, donor ever forget this, as few things leave a worse impression than sentences carelessly begun without a capital letter.
However, there are many other occasions when a capital letter should be used:
- when using a proper noun e.g. London, Joanne
- when beginning speech within speech marks
- when beginning a new line of poetry
- for titles, either of people or books
- for acronyms, such as the N.U.T.
- for academic awards such as the B.A.
- for religions and deities
- when applying a pronoun to the deity
- for initials
- for the name and street or road in an address, as well as the district, town/city, county and postcode
- when addressing an envelope
- for dates, both day and month
- for seasons if they are forming part of a proper noun, such as 'Winter Solstice' but not when used alone.
Most of these are very obvious but it is surprising how often they are carelessly misused or overlooked. Sometimes, capitals are used when they should not be, as with the example of seasons given above. In addition, capitals should not be used to stress a point in a sentence. (It is not a good idea to use all capitals in messages such as e-mails, either, as you appear to be shouting at the recipient!)
In essays, it is particularly important to remember when capitals need to be used, especially for the beginnings of sentences, lines of poetry, speech and titles of texts. Incorrect usage of something as basic as capital letters does not create a good impression and is likely to be reflected in your marks. This is one reason why proof-reading, by yourself or a friend, is so important.
Need help with your grammar?
Are you struggerling to write an essay with the correct grammar? Our researchers are here to help. Find out more by clicking on the link below:
Essay writing service