Chapter, Section, Subsection [capitalization]

Discussion in 'English Only' started by panevino, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. panevino Senior Member

    spanish and catalan - Spain
    Should I capitalize Chapter, Section, Subsection? <——-Question from original thread title added to post by moderator (Florentia52)——->

    In the previous chapter, a method for the design of shell structures...
    In the previous Chapter, a method for the design of shell structures...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2018
  2. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    There's a general guideline for kings and queens: if you're taking about them in general, they's common nouns and you give them a small letter, as I did at the beginning of this sentence. But if you're naming a specific one, like King Arthur or Queen Elizabeth, they're part of a proper noun and so they take a capital.

    So in your example: "In the previous chapter, a method for the design of shell structures... :tick:...In Chapter 2, a method for the design of shell structures... :tick:
     
  3. panevino Senior Member

    spanish and catalan - Spain
    Very clear thanks!
     
  4. lingobingo

    lingobingo Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    I would do it that way too. The initial capital is especially justified if each chapter is headed Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc.

    But in the thread title you also mention sections and subsections. Unless those words are actually used in headings/subheadings — rather than just figures: 1, 2, etc. (denoting sections), 1.1, 1.2, etc. (denoting subsubsections) — I would leave them in lower case within the main text. The golden rule, of course, is to be consistent throughout the document.
     
  5. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    I don't disagree with Lingobingo - good modern usage is not to waste capitals where they're not needed. Even "Chapter" may be an extreme example, and nobody could be blamed for "subsection 2".
     
  6. Linkway Senior Member

    British English
    If you are writing an academic thesis for assessment, you need to follow the guidelines that the relevant university stipulates.

    In general, although I agree with Keith's example using kings and queens, I would prefer to use lower case when identifying sections of a thesis, dissertation or book.

    In the introduction, the author claimed....
    In chapter 4, he seems to contradict himself when he says....
    In subsection 3 of section 1, item 7 specifically excludes...
     

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