How to Capitalize Titles of Books, Articles, Plays, Poems, Programs, Lectures, etc.

How to capitalize the titles of books, articles, poems, lectures etc.

Title capitalization rules vary depending on the style guide you use, but this cannot be taken as an excuse for ambiguity. It's safer to follow the style guide used by the majority of people on the planet. The Associated Press (AP) style guide is generally followed by a larger number of people globally compared to the Chicago Manual of Style and the Modern Language Association (MLA) style guide. This preference is primarily due to AP style's widespread use in journalism and news writing, which reaches across different regions and languages. Let's follow the crowd and adopt AP as our guide.

Here are the capitalization rules applicable to the titles of books, movies, plays, poems, albums, songs, operas, radio and television programs, lectures, speeches, and works of art:

Capitalize all words in a title except the following.
Articles (a, an, the);
Prepositions of three or fewer letters (for, of, on, up, etc.);
Conjunctions of three or fewer letters (and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet, etc.)
But if the title begins or ends by any of the above exemptions, capitalize them also.

In other words,
Capitalize prepositions of four or more letters (above, after, down, inside, over, with, etc.) and conjunctions of four or more letters (because, while, since, though, etc.)

Capitalize both parts of a phrasal verb:
“What to Look For in a Mate”; “Turn Off the Lights in Silence.”

But in the following examples 'for' and 'off' are not parts of phrasal verbs:
“A Life of Eating Chocolate for Stamina”; “Living With Both Feet off the Ground.”

Capitalize to in infinitives: “What I Want To Be When I Grow Up.” 

Put quotation marks around the names of all such works except the Bible, the Quran and other holy books, and books that are primarily catalogs of reference material, almanacs, directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, gazetteers, handbooks and similar publications.
Do not use quotation marks for sculptures: The Thinker, Michelangelo’s Pieta.

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