Should the abbreviation etc. be capitalized in a title?

Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.

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.”


“Treaty with the Dwamish, Suquamish, etc., 1885.”

Whichever styling is chosen, it must be applied consistently throughout one essay or book.