If you want to get your title capitalization correct, you could be wondering, is my capitalized in a title, subheaders, and headers? Learn more in this article!
When you write an article, a blog post, essay, or even a journal entry, there are two separate cases. The first is called sentence case, which you use when you write your narrative. The second is called title case, which you use for headings, subheadings, and titles. When you follow title case, should you capitalize the word “my?”
Even though there are a lot of style guides including AP Style (The Associated Press Stylebook), MLA Handbook, and APA Style (American Psychological Association), you should capitalize the word “my” in title case. What else do you need to know about title case? Take a look at some key information below.
Grammarly is a top spelling, grammar and plagiarism checker. It'll help you find and fix errors fast, and it works everywhere. It's trusted by millions of writers for a reason.
Understanding Major Words and Minor Words in Title Case
A lot of people assume that all short words are supposed to be lowercase in title case. In reality, this is not the case. To figure out whether you should capitalize certain terms in title case, you need to understand the difference between major and minor words.
Major words include pronouns, nouns, verbs, adverbs, proper nouns, and adjectives. Furthermore, linking words are also considered major words. No matter how long or short a major word might be, it is supposed to be capitalized in title case.
Minor words include coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, short prepositions, and articles. If a word falls under one of these categories and is three letters or fewer, then it should not be capitalized in title case.
Therefore, if a word is more than three letters long, it should always be capitalized. Furthermore, even if a word is three letters long or shorter, it should be capitalized if it is a major word. The biggest differentiating factor between major words and minor words involves parts of speech.
When Are Short Words Capitalized?
There are situations where short words need to be capitalized in title case. Of course, if a short word is a major word, then it has to be capitalized. On the other hand, there are situations where a minor word might have to be capitalized even if it is short. These include:
- If a minor word is the first word of a title or the last word in a title, then it needs to be capitalized no matter what.
- If a minor word comes after an em dash or colon, then it needs to be capitalized.
- If a minor word is involved in a hyphenated compound, then both parts of the hyphenated compound need to be capitalized, including the shorter word.
- If a minor word comes after an end punctuation mark such as an exclamation point, a question mark, or a period, then it needs to be capitalized as in sentence case.
You should keep these factors in mind when you are trying to figure out if you need to capitalize a short word in title case.
Why Is “My” Capitalized in Titles and Headers?
So, now that you understand the difference between major words and minor words, you might be wondering why the word “my” is capitalized in titles and headers. This is because “my” it a pronoun.
Because all pronouns are major words, they need to be capitalized in titles and headers. While “my” is only two letters long, it should always be capitalized if you include this word in title case.
Avoiding Common Mistakes When Using Title Case
Clearly, there are a lot of rules to follow when you are using title case. Even though the rules can vary slightly depending on the style guide you follow, most of them are the same. There are a few common mistakes you should avoid when it comes to title case. These include:
- You should not capitalize every word in title case. Even though it can be tempting to do so, you need to think carefully about which words should be capitalized. Otherwise, the work might look unprofessional.
- Just because of word is short does not necessarily mean it needs to be lowercase. Make sure you think about major words and minor words when deciding what to capitalize.
- If a word is short, it still needs to be capitalized if it is the first word of the title or the last word of the title. Think carefully when you are capitalizing your words.
If you think about these common mistakes ahead of time, you should be able to use capital letters properly in your title or subtitle.
Final World on Is My Capitalized In A Title?
It can be difficult to remember which words you should capitalize in title case. Remember that all words longer than four letters need to be capitalized in the title. Words that are shorter than four letters still need to be capitalized if they are major words or if they are minor words that follow end punctuation or are at the beginning or end of the title.
“My” needs to be capitalized in title case at all times because it is a pronoun. Even though “my” is a short word, pronouns are considered major words. Therefore, make sure you capitalize “my” in titles, headers, and subheaders.
FAQs About Is My Capitalized in A Title
What parts of speech are considered major words?
If a word is a noun, pronoun, adjective, adverb, or a verb, then it is considered a major word. Furthermore, words that are four letters long or longer are always considered major words, so they need to be capitalized in title case.
Do you need to capitalize the first and last word of a title, header, or subheader?
Yes, no matter how long or short the word is, it needs to be capitalized if it is the first or last word in title case. You might even want to use a title capitalization tool to help you, such as CapitalizeMyTitle.
Join over 15,000 writers today
Get a FREE book of writing prompts and learn how to make more money from your writing.