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APA for Nursing

Assistant Director of Library Services

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Cynthia Hunt
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Common problems with capitalization

Are the resource titles in your reference list capitalized correctly?

There are many types of titles which may appear in the reference list including titles of articles, journals, books, book chapters, webpages, and reports. 

1. Titles of journals are written in title case which means that most words are capitalized. The only words not capitalized are small words like a, of, an, the, on, in, etc. These words are not capitalized unless they are the first word in the title or the first word after a colon.

Examples (all are journal titles):

Nursing Standard

Issues in Mental Health Nursing

Emergency Nurse: The Journal of the RCN Accident and Emergency Nursing Association

2. All other resource titles including titles of articles, books, book chapters, reports and webpages are in sentence case which means that most words are not capitalized. Only the first word in the title, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns are capitalized.  


Book -- Gerontologic nursing

Book chapter -- Implementing an evidence-based detoxification protocol for alcoholism in a residential addictions treatment facility

Report -- Long term care services in the United States: 2013 overview

Webpage -- Health communication and health information technology

More information about capitalization and italicization (including a chart with instructions for in-text use as well as reference list use) is available here,