When conducting business, we often have to submit a lot of our work in writing. We often find ourselves writing emails, newsletters, notes, proposals, and much more. With this, capitalization rules can get somewhat messy, so keep reading to learn more about the basic capitalization rules that you should follow when writing formal content.
Capitalizing Proper Nouns
Although it may seem like common knowledge, it is important to go over some of the basics of capitalization. With this, you should capitalize any proper nouns in your writing. Proper nouns refer to a specific place, person, or thing. For instance, you would want to capitalize things such as:
- Barack Obama
- The Eifel Tower
Capitalizing these helps to let people know you are talking about something specific. Since this rule is pretty standard, most people can tell if you are doing this correctly or incorrectly. In addition to those, you should also capitalize days/months, specific holidays, city names, planets, religions, races, and other similar things.
Capitalizing Job Titles
Job titles are another aspect of formal speech that can confuse the average writer. You should capitalize all job titles that come before a person’s name, and you should not capitalize those that come after. For instance:
- John Smith, professor
- President Barack Obama
- Darlene Johnson, president
- Doctor Arnold Jackson
Exceptions To Formal Capitalization
As with almost any writing guideline, there are common exceptions in which you can bend the rules. As mentioned above, in the case of formal capitalizations, you can normally capitalize anything you want if someone of authority requires it. For instance, you may find yourself with a boss who prefers their whole name and job title capitalized even if it does not follow the rules. Similarly, you may want to capitalize all of the words on something like a business card in the name of aesthetics.
Importance Of Formal Capitalization
Although many people are flexible and have many exceptions to capitalization guidelines, they are still important in the formal writing world. In short, using proper formal capitalization creates an error of professionalism and seriousness in your work that shows others that you are invested and hard-working. Similarly, it can make your writing clear, showing distinctions to specific entities like job companies or other individuals.
Related: Capitalization in Quotes
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