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Important notice

Writing Tips has been archived and won’t be updated before it is permanently deleted.

For the most up-to-date content, please consult Writing Tips Plus, which combines content from Writing Tips and The Canadian Style. And don’t forget to update your bookmarks!

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

indexes: capitalization

The first letter of a main heading is capitalized, except in certain French and foreign names, the names of chemical compounds with an italicized prefix, and standard symbols with a lower-case first letter:

  • van Willebrand disease
  • p-Aminobenzoic acid
  • pH

In scientific texts it is important to distinguish between common and proper nouns. The first letter of a generic or family name in biology is capitalized, but that of a specific epithet or common name is not:

  • spirochetes
  • Sporotrichinaceae
  • Sporotrichum schenkii