Whether the abbreviation etc., meaning “and so forth,” should be capitalized in a title depends on its location in the title. In our publications, we capitalize etc. when it appears at the end of a title because in MLA style the last term in a title is always capitalized: “Treaty with the Dwamish, Suquamish, Etc.” When etc. falls in the middle of a title, we may capitalize or lowercase it: “Treaty with the Dwamish, Suquamish, Etc., 1885.” or “Treaty with the Dwamish, Suquamish, etc., 1885.” Whichever styling is chosen, it must be applied consistently throughout one essay or book.
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In our publications, we follow the recommendations in The Chicago Manual of Style (“Generation”). We generally lowercase generation names such as baby boomers and millennials, but we capitalize generation names that include letters, such as Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z. Student writers could follow Chicago as well or consult another reliable source, such as Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Work Cited “Generation.” The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., sec. 8.42, U of Chicago P, 2017, www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/book/ed17/part2/ch08/psec042.html.
A modern editorial style keeps capitalization to a minimum. In MLA style, a movement or school of thought is only capitalized when it could be confused with a generic term–for example . . .
MLA style’s rules for capitalization are intended to help authors remain consistent while also respecting the ways in which titles have traditionally been styled in different languages. The history of capitalization in . . .
We follow the guidelines in The Chicago Manual of Style, which notes that full names of most wars are capitalized and that generic terms are lowercased (“Wars”). The manual offers various options for referring to the two world wars; choose either roman numerals (World War I, World War II, World Wars I and II) or words (the First World War, the Second World War, the First and Second World Wars, the two world wars) to name these wars consistently throughout your paper. Work Cited “Wars and Revolutions.” The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed.,
When Merriam-Webster indicates that a term is “capitalized” or “usually capitalized,” the MLA capitalizes the term in its publications. When Merriam-Webster indicates that a term is “often capitalized,” our practice varies. We usually lowercase sun, moon, and earth, but, following The Chicago Manual of Style, when the does not precede the name of the planet, when earth is not part of an idiomatic expression, or when other planets are mentioned, we capitalize earth: The earth revolves around the sun.
. . . the name of a unique entity and is thus written with initial capital letters. “The Web” is the short form of the name. In MLA publications, the capitalization is retained in the short form for the same reason that, for example, baseball fans refer to the San Francisco Giants as “the Giants,” not “the giants . . .
Why is the label before a contributor’s name sometimes capitalized and sometimes lowercase in MLA works-cited-list entries?
Whether the label before a contributor’s name–for example, edited by or translated by–is capitalized or lowercase depends on its position in the MLA format template. In the following example, the label is capitalized because the contributor’s name follows the “Title of source” slot. Since the title of a source is always followed by a period, the label before the contributor’s name must be capitalized: Cervantes, Miguel de. Don Quijote. Translated by Burton Raffel, W. W. Norton, 1999. In the example below, the label is lowercase because the contributor’s name follows the “Title of container”
If a direct question contained in a sentence is long or has internal punctuation, set the question off with a comma and begin it with a capital letter: The question posed to the MLA editors was, How should a question contained in a sentence be punctuated? The teacher wondered, Will my students ever understand how to incorporate a question in a sentence, or will they always do it incorrectly? A single question contained in a sentence can also be preceded by a colon as long as the word before the question is not a verb. The question should start with a capital letter: The answer left us with another question: When can a question be preceded by a colon?
Whether to capitalize or lowercase the first letter of the first word of a quotation depends on how the quotation is integrated into your prose and what appears in the original. After a Verb of Saying Capitalize the first letter if the quotation appears after a verb of saying, regardless of the case used in the source–but flag any alterations you make. A quotation that follows a verb of saying (e.g., writes, says, states, exclaims) and is run in to your text is introduced with a comma and begins with a capital letter.