You probably don’t put as much thought into whether to use sentence case or title case as I do on a daily basis. In fact, there’s a good chance you don’t even know what it is.
What Is Title Case?
Generally speaking, title case is when a writer capitalizes all words in a heading or subheading. Writers often use this to express the importance of the section following it or to make it stand out.
This is a good reason to use title case. But there’s an added wrinkle with title case – do you capitalize shorter words such as “a,” “or,” “under,” “before,” etc.?
For example, when using title case, I do not capitalize shorter words such as those I listed above (the capitalization of this subheader was purposeful), but someone else may think it prudent to capitalize every word.
It can become an issue when two people in the same firm disagree on the best way to tackle this. At the very least, shoot for consistency on each individual page. Preferably, shoot for consistency across individual projects or websites.
What is sentence case?
Writers who use sentence case only capitalize the first word in a sentence, like the subheader above. Sentence case also capitalizes proper nouns.
Writers do this because, “Do I Really Need To Go To The Doctor?” can look less natural than, “Do I really need to go to doctor?” Plus, it’s a lot easier to write.
Title case can also make pages difficult to read (refer to the example above). The capitalization can stop the flow of a page in its tracks.
Is there a rule?
There is no hard and fast rule regarding whether you should use title case or sentence case. You can use whichever you feel is most aesthetically pleasing, but you should always make an effort to remain consistent.
As usual, my recommendation is to aim for consistency.
As I stated earlier, at the very least try to use one or the other consistently on a page, but try to pick a style that you will use for the entire project or website. Some companies require one of the styles across all of their projects. Others prefer title case for everything except for headings that are in the form of questions.
Be sure to come back next week to learn about pronoun-antecedent agreement and check out last week’s post about the difference between affect and effect. And as always, if you need help with content writing, give us a call at 888-521-3880.