Good and Bad Writing -- Exercises in Evaluating Writing Samples
Grammar -- Capitalization
Using Names and Titles: In the first reference to a person, always use the full name and, if appropriate, identify the person’s position. Thereafter you may use the last name only unless reasons of clarity such as two people with the same last name require the use of first names. Do not use Mr., Miss, Mrs., and Ms. Do use titles such as Doctor, General, Reverend, etc., when they are appropriate for purposes of identification. If a first name is not clearly masculine or feminine or if someone’s name is usually associated with opposite gender, accomplish the appropriate identification obliquely by the use of he, she, her, his, etc.
Ordinal numbers of royalty and nobility are always given in Roman numerals.
Louis XIV Elizabeth II
Gustavus II Adolphus.
When used immediately before a proper name, a title should be capitalized, but when used on its own, a title should not be capitalized.
Professor Youngs sneezed the professor sneezed
by the Red Sea by the sea
Capitalize ethnic and national groups, but not socioeconomic terms.
African Americans the middle class
Canadians the have-nots
Capitalize historic periods and events but not general terms.
the Iron Age ancient Persia
World War II the seventeenth century
Prohibition the colonial period
The names of acts, treaties, and government programs should be capitalized.
the Treaty of Versailles the treaty
the New Deal the necessary and proper clause
The names of legal cases must be capitalized and italicized.
Miranda v. Arizona
The names of ships, aircraft and other vessels should be capitalized and italicized. Do not italicize abbreviations that come before the name.
USS Arizona Enola Gay
the space shuttle Columbia
When referring to governments or political divisions spell out and capitalize the numbers up through one hundred; over one hundred use numerals.
the Third Congress the 120th Congress
the Tenth Dynasty the Tenth Circuit Court
the 101st Airborne the Third Regime
Prepared by Pippin Rubin
Sources: Guide to Typing Papers in History by Dr. James K. Kieswetter.
Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, 7th ed. Revised by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, and University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.