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Capital Letters

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:

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.

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