Is Not Capitalized in a Title? Answered

As you are trying to write an article or a book chapter, you may wonder is not capitalized in a title? Learn more about this below! 

You have probably written the body of your work and sentence case. Now, it is time to switch the title case for your title, subtitle, heading, and subheading. As you take a look at your words, you may instinctively avoid capitalizing short words. Then, you might cause when you see the word not. 

Is not capitalize in a title? Usually, you should capitalize not in title case. Not is an adverb, which is why you need to capitalize it. Some parts of speech are capitalized while others parts of speech are not capitalized. 

If you are having a difficult time figuring out when you should use an uppercase letter or a lowercase letter, take a look at some important rules below! That way, you can set yourself up for success! 

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Numerous Style Guides

Is not capitalized in a title?

When you are trying to figure out when you should use a capital letter, you should refer to a stylebook for help. There are a lot of style guides out there, and many reputable organizations, such as the New York Times, the Associated Press, the American Psychological Association, and even the Chicago Manual of Style, have written their own style guides.

Whether you are following APA style, AP style, or the MLA handbook, the title capitalization rules are going to be similar. It all comes down to the part of speech of the word you are using. 

Want to learn more? Read our article about style guide templates.

We also explain how to write a style guide for a business. The Rules Regarding Title Case

There are several important rules you should follow. These include: 

  • You should always capitalize the first word of the title and the last word of the title. 
  • You could always capitalize words that are longer than three letters, regardless of where they fall in your title, heading, or subheading.
  • You should always capitalize those words that are part of a hyphenated compound. 
  • You need to capitalize words that immediately follow end punctuation. This includes periods, exclamation marks, and question marks.

With these rules in mind, it is time to learn the difference between major words and minor words. All major words need to be capitalized, regardless of where they fall in the title or how long they are. Examples of parts of speech that are major words include nouns, pronouns, proper nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. All of these words should always be capitalized in a title. 

Minor words should not be capitalized unless they fall under one of the exceptions above. Examples of minor words include short prepositions, articles, subordinating conjunctions, and coordinating conjunctions. Keep in mind that a minor word should still be capitalized if it is four letters long or longer. 

Should You Capitalize Not?

Is not capitalized in a title?
The word not still needs to be capitalized because it is an adverb

So, as you take a look at the word “not,” should this word be capitalized? It is true that this word is only three letters long; however, it still needs to be capitalized because it is an adverb.

All adverbs are major words, and all adverbs need to be capitalized, regardless of where they fall in the title. Therefore, if you are using “not” in a heading, title, subtitle, or heading, it always needs to be capitalized if you are following title case. 

Final Word on Is Not Capitalized in a Title?

There are several important title capitalization rules you need to know. In general, you will use title case in your title, subtitle, headings, and subheadings. You always need to capitalize the first word of a title in the last word of a cycle. You also need to capitalize all major words. This includes words such as “not.”

In the English language, “not” is an adverb. Because adverbs are major words, you need to capitalize them in title case. You may have a difficult time switching between sentence case and title case. Therefore, as you are working on a writing assignment, it might be helpful to use a grammar checking tool or a title case converter that can help you. 

Need help with fixing capitalization issues in your sentences? A good grammar checker is ideal. It'll help you find and fix odd capitalization issues fast.

To find out more, read our Grammarly review.

FAQs About Is Not Capitalized in a Title

Do I need to capitalize short words in a title? 

There are some situations where you still need to capitalize short words in a title. For example, you should still capitalize short words if they are used at the first word of a title or the last word of a title. You should also capitalize short words if they are major words. 

What part of speech is the word not? 

Not is considered an adverb. This is a term that usually describes a verb. Adverbs are major words. This means that they need to be capitalized if you are following title case. 

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