Capital letters are used with:
- the first word in a sentence or direct quotation
- They like hamburgers.
- names of persons and the word “I”
- Jerry, Jill and I went shopping.
- names of particular places
- We like to go to the Abbey in Ely Center.
- names of the days of the week, months, and holidays
- Christmas falls on December 25 every year.
- names of commercial products
- Our copy machine is made by Xerox.
- names of organizations such as religious and political groups, associations, companies, unions and clubs
- Many people are members of the National Association of the Deaf.
- words in titles of books, magazines, newspapers, articles, stories, poems, films, television shows, songs, papers that you write
- Gallaudet Today is an informative magazine.
However, a word like a, an, the, but, for, and is not capitalized unless it is the first word of the title or the first word after a colon.
Perspectives on Deafness: A Deaf American Monograph was edited by Mervin D. Garretson.
On the Green is an in-house Gallaudet publication for faculty and staff.
The two main uses of the apostrophe are:
- to show the omission of one or more letters in a contraction
do + not = don’t
is + not = isn’t
that + is = that’s
- to show ownership or possession
Use quotation marks when you want to show the exact words of a speaker or writer. Place all commas and periods inside of the quotation marks.
|Incorrect:||“The only dumb question”, the instructor said, “is the one you don’t ask”.|
|Correct:||“The only dumb question,” the instructor said, “is the one you don’t ask.”|
Use quotation marks when you want to quote or show the titles of short stories, novellas, articles, chapter titles in books, poems, television shows, songs, and papers that you write.
|Incorrect:||I read the poem The Tyger, the other day.|
|Correct:||I read the poem “The Tyger,” the other day.|
Use italics or underline to show the titles of books, magazines, newspapers, plays, art masterpieces, and long musical compositions.
|Incorrect:||The novel, “Gone with the Wind,” was extraordinary.|
|Correct:||The novel, Gone with the Wind, was extraordinary.
The novel, Gone with the Wind, was extraordinary.
Commas often show a pause in a sentence. There are nine main uses of the comma:
- to separate items in a series
- I like swimming, summer, and vacations.
- to set off introductory material
- First, let me explain our cut policy.
- on both sides of words that interrupt the flow of thought in a sentence
- The Tutorial Center, a division of the School of Undergraduate Studies, is a place where students can get one-on-one help.
- between two complete thoughts connected by and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet
- I love to watch basketball, but I do not play it.
- to set off a direct quotation from the rest of a sentence
- According to I. King Jordan, “Deaf people can do anything — except hear.”
- in dates
- April 6, 1976
- in addresses
- My address is P.O. Box 250, Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C., 20002.
- in the openings and closings of letters
- Dear Judith, . . . Sincerely yours, Ellen