Capitalisation. Titles

    The content of these guidelines is taken from the third edition of the Vives University Network’s Interuniversity Style Guide for Writing Institutional Texts, an interuniversity project in which the UPC participates with the support of the Secretariat for Universities and Research of the Government of Catalonia.



    • Traditionally, the titles of works published in English are given maximal capitalisation. That is to say, capitalise the first word and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs. Do not capitalise articles, conjunctions or prepositions.

      The Strategic Plan for Teaching and Learning

    • However, the first word of a subtitle after a colon is generally capitalised, whatever part of speech it may be (see also Other uses of colons).

      Strategic Planning: An Approach to the Future

    • Remember, too, that when writing individual titles you can often exercise a certain amount of personal judgement. A short title, for example, may look better if words that are often lowercased are capitalised.

      All About Erasmus

    • In the headings of document sections, however, use sentence-style capitalisation (first word and proper nouns) instead of title-style capitalisation (first word and all nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs), although the exact style will also depend on the number of levels of hierarchy. Capitalise the first letter of the first word, but lowercase the rest, including the first word after a colon (except for those words that would normally be capitalised in running text).

      Teaching vision
      Strategic goals: a necessary evil
      Core teaching values and the Dublin Declaration

    • The first element of a compound word is always capitalised in a title; the second element is also capitalised unless it is an article, a preposition or a coordinating conjunction.

      The Role of Computer-Assisted Translation in the Internationalisation of European Universities
      Greater European Integration Gets the Thumbs-up from Catalan-Speaking University Students

    • Second elements that are hyphenated to prefixes are capitalised only if they are proper nouns or nouns used as adjectives.

      Competencies: A Comparison between Pre- and Post-Erasmus Students
      Post-examination Opening Times for University Libraries


    • Capitalise and set in italics the titles of all sorts of published works (books, theses, audiovisual material, journals, paintings, etc.).

      the book Landscapes: A Guide to University Architecture
      the thesis Fabrication of Bulk and Interdigitated Organic Solar Cells
      the film American Beauty
      the Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon
      the journal Analytical Chemistry
      the Dalí painting The Persistence of Memory
      Harold Pinter’s play The Birthday Party
    • However, only capitalise the first word of the titles of articles, chapters and other sections of a publication, and enclose them in inverted commas.

      The research group wrote the article entitled "The dynamics of charge carriers".
      Before the next class, please read the chapter "Revising prose structure and style".