First Word of Sentences, Statements, Quotations, Titles, Subtitles, and Table Headings - AMA Manual of Style

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First Word of Sentences, Statements, Quotations, Titles, Subtitles, and Table Headings 

First Word of Sentences, Statements, Quotations, Titles, Subtitles, and Table Headings

Chapter:
Capitalization
Author(s):

Brenda Gregoline

Page of

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Subscriber: null; date: 28 August 2016

First Word of Sentences, Statements, Quotations, Titles, Subtitles, and Table Headings

The first word of every complete sentence should be capitalized. The following should also be capitalized:

  • The first word of a formal statement that follows a colon

    Our conclusions may be stated thus: More research is needed.

  • The first word of a direct quotation (but see 8.6.1, Punctuation, Quotation Marks, Quotations)

    The report noted: “A candidate may be admitted after completing 2 years of medical school.”

    Kurt Vonnegut put it best when he said, “Writers can treat their mental illnesses every day.”

    Note: If the quotation is run into the sentence, a lowercase letter on the first word may be preferable (see 8.6.1, Punctuation, Quotation Marks, Quotations).

    The patient described her headache pain as feeling like “needles behind the eyes.”

  • Each major word in the title of a table (see 10.2.1, Titles and Headings, Titles of Medical Articles, and 4.1.3, Visual Presentation of Data, Tables, Table Components). In row headings (table stubs), only the initial word should be capitalized. If a symbol, numeral, or lowercase Greek letter begins the stub, the first word that follows should be capitalized.

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