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Head and Shoulders Above the Rest
Rules for Capitalization of a Headline

As you produce your newsletter, there is one thing that you must do over and over again. Every article, large or small, must have a headline written for it. In this two part series, we begin by looking at the technical part of headline writing—capitalization.

There are some basic rules for capitalization of a headline. As you place your headlines into your newsletter, follow these guidelines:


All principal words should be capitalized. This includes the first and last words of a headline, and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinating conjunctions (if, because, as, that, etc.).


Do capitalize the first word after a colon.


Articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, for), and prepositions of any length, are to remain lowercased. However, if any of these are the first or last word of the headline, they should be capitalized.


If you have an abbreviation in your headline that is normally lowercase, it should be left lowercase, particularly abbreviations for units of measure.


Two part words separated by a hyphen should have both words capitalized.

Come Join Us for a Celebration
Caring for Your Houseplants
We're Getting Ready for an Early Spring
The Forecast for Summer: Hot!
As the Wind Blows

Spraying Schedule Posted on Office Memo Board

Remember to Observe All Parking Rules
What Are They Fighting For?
A New Record: 37-in. Snow Fall Accumulation
Tick-Tock: It’s Daylight Savings Time Again!


Now that you know the basics of headline grammar and capitalization, we’ll move on to the more creative side of headline writing. Next month, we’ll look at ways to write effective and interesting headlines for your newsletter.

Want some creative ideas for writing and using headlines? Check out our article on attention grabbing headlines.


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