Chalmers Writing Guide

Capital letters in titles

Which words should have capital letters in a document or chapter title?

There are 2 possibilities in English, title case and sentence case (see below). Both possibilities are equally used. The 2nd option is probably easier to follow since there are fewer words to capitalise but different journals / disciplines have their own requirements. For example, the APA system uses both depending on where in the text the title appears  (APA style). 

1. Title case: Capitalising all significant words i.e. most words apart from articles (a/the), linking words (and, but) and prepositions (e.g of, in, at)

Modelling and Analysis of Urban Flooding

Management in Sweden and China: a Comparison of Cultures

Note: Since "in", "a" "and" and "of" are not significant words, there is no capital letter. Note in the 2nd example that there is no capital letter after the colon (British English). In American English, there would be a capital "A" since this is the start of an independent clause. If the subtitle came on the next line, it would start with a capital letter.


2. Sentence case: Capitalising the first word and all proper nouns

Modelling and analysis of urban flooding

Management in Sweden and China: a comparison of cultures

Note: In the 2nd example, since "Sweden" and "China" are proper nouns, they have capital letters but none of the other words need a capital.