Lesson 5

Academic subjects

Do not capitalize the names of academic subjects unless they specify a particular language.

  • mathematics
  • Spanish
  • physics
  • French
  • geography
  • English
  • literature
  • German

Capitalize courses that are numbered.

  • Math 101
  • Physics 312
  • Geography 220
  • Literature 1102

Educational institutions

Capitalize the names of schools, colleges, universities and libraries.

  • Mount Pearl Senior High
  • Conestoga College
  • Queen's University
  • Kingston Frontenac Public Library

Educational degrees

Capitalize the letters of an educational degree.

  • BA
  • MA
  • MD
  • PhD
  • Robert B. White, LLB, attended Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Note that degrees are written in lowercase when they are referred to generically.

  • bachelor of arts
  • master of arts
  • doctor of medicine
  • doctor of philosophy
  • Robert B. White obtained his bachelor of law degree from Dalhousie University.

Organizations, associations, and clubs

Capitalize the important words in the names of organizations, associations, and clubs.

  • Boy Scouts
  • Girl Guides
  • Ontario Paramedic Association
  • Lions Club
  • Kinsmen Club

Historical events, documents, and periods

Historical events

Capitalize important words in the names of wars, battles, riots, rebellions, and crises.

  • the Second World War
  • the Crusades
  • the Battle of Normandy
  • Pompeii Riot
  • Taiping Rebellion
  • the Crusades
  • the French Revolution
  • the Suez Crisis

Historical documents

Capitalize the important words in historical documents.

  • the Treaty of Versailles
  • the Monroe Doctrine
  • the Edict of Worms
  • the Camp David Accords

Historical periods

Capitalize the important words in historical periods.

  • the Golden Age
  • the Renaissance
  • the Dark Ages

Government bodies and departments

Government bodies

Capitalize the important words in government bodies.

  • the House of Commons
  • the Senate
  • Parliament
  • Congress

Government departments and offices

Capitalize the important words in government departments and offices

  • the Department of Finance
  • the Department of Defense
  • the Office of the Prime Minister

Political parties and electoral districts

Capitalize the important words in political parties and electoral districts.

  • the Progressive Conservative Party
  • the Republican Party
  • the Green Party
  • the electoral district of Calgary Northeast

Government programs

Important words in the names of government programs are capitalized.

  • Old Age Security
  • Canada Pension Plan
  • Employment Insurance

Acts, bills, laws, and legal codes

Important words in the names of acts, bills, laws, and legal codes are capitalized.

  • the British North America Act
  • Bill C-464
  • the Statute of Limitations
  • the Criminal Code of Canada


Important words in names of conferences are capitalized.

  • the Canadian Domestic Violence Conference
  • the Canada International Conference on Education

Test your skill

Now that you have studied the rules of capitalization, it is time to test your knowledge of these rules. Click on the button to the right to take a test of 20 sentences in which you apply these rules.

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