Capitals or not in a Hubtitle?

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  1. Escobana profile image76
    Escobanaposted 6 years ago

    In the last Hubpages Weekly I noticed the title: Is paranormal mere hocus-pocus? next to other titles without capitals in This week's Rising Stars.

    For a Hub of the Day and any other Hubtitle I was told to use capitals mainly but even with the Hub of the Day I see a mix of both.

    I'm confused. What's the rule on this?

    1. WalterPoon profile image73
      WalterPoonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Escobana, the hub " Is paranormal mere hocus-pocus?" was written by me. I used to write for Wikipedia and this is the format they used, unless it's a book title, e.g. "Gone With the Wind". As far as search engines are concerned, it doesn't really matter whether you capitalize it or not. Hope I answer your question.

      1. Escobana profile image76
        Escobanaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks for your response. It doesn't really answer my question though. I'm certain Hubpages has their set of rules for Hubtitles. Maybe I should go back and read about it the learning center because I'm sure there is a standard way of using capitals for Hub of the Day and any other Hubtitle.

        1. Escobana profile image76
          Escobanaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          I think in Hubpages your title should be - Is Paranormal Mere Hocus-Pocus? But I must be wrong somehow because else you wouldn't have been selected as a Rising Star.

          Congratulations by the way for winning in your category!

          1. WalterPoon profile image73
            WalterPoonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            Hi Escobana, thank you very much. I didn't expect it. But looking at how you capitalize the title, it looks good. I will just change it accordingly, since most people here prefers capitalization. I was too influenced by the Wikipedia style of writing, after being with them for 2 and a half years.

            1. Escobana profile image76
              Escobanaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              You're welcome Walterpoon. Wikipedia I'm not familiar with as a writer and I'm hoping someone of the Hubpages staff will answer this thread as well.

              To avoid future confusion about Hubtitles:-)

              1. WalterPoon profile image73
                WalterPoonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                Escobana, I've changed all my titles to title case. I only have 15 hubs so far, so it didn't take me long. It looks much better now. As a matter of fact, I prefer title case but this was not allowed in Wikipedia.

                1. Escobana profile image76
                  Escobanaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                  Great job! The only thing that will stay the same is your original URL for the title. I've tried changing the URL once because I didn't like a title I chose, but found out the URL stays the same.

                  Good to see you changed your preferences:-) Hubpages is a great community to me because of many small and big reasons:-)

                  1. WalterPoon profile image73
                    WalterPoonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                    Escobana, you are right... I've learned a lot, ever since I came here last month. As for the URL, I tend to think that it may actually be good for SEO, if the URL and the title is slightly different, so long as the meaning is more or less the same. If it is not, then the best thing to do is to transfer the contents to a new hub and delete the old one.

    2. Christy Kirwan profile image95
      Christy Kirwanposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Escobana,

      We don't have any specific rules about what Hubbers can and can't do with Hub titles, but it is a good idea to use proper title capitalization, spelling, and grammar, and we do strongly encourage everyone to do so. A professional-looking concise, descriptive title is one of the major ways to help your Hub do well in search results. smile

      That said, the Rising Star competition is intended mainly to showcase the work of talented new Hubbers who are off to a great start (congrats on the sparkling accomplishment, WalterPoon!). We are often a bit more lenient on the formatting issues with Rising Stars because we understand that getting used to the HubTool and taking in the Learning Center info can be somewhat overwhelming at first.

      The Hub of the Day is a great place to check out Hub formatting at its finest, so if you'd like some examples of awesome titles, the Hub of the Day Archive is a good place to start: http://hubpages.com/hubs/oftheday

  2. rebthomas profile image77
    rebthomasposted 6 years ago

    Correct English would be to use capitals in titles other than for small words.

  3. WorkAtHomeMums profile image87
    WorkAtHomeMumsposted 6 years ago

    I am not aware of any rule but personally I put capitals in my titles.

  4. rebthomas profile image77
    rebthomasposted 6 years ago

    Here are the rules for APA’s title case:
    "1.Capitalize the first word of the title/heading and of any subtitle/subheading;
    2.Capitalize all “major” words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns) in the title/heading, including the second part of hyphenated major words (e.g., Self-Report not Self-report); and
    3.Capitalize all words of four letters or more.

    This boils down to using lowercase only for “minor” words of three letters or fewer, namely, for conjunctions (words like and, or, nor, and but), articles (the words a, an, and the), and prepositions (words like as, at, by, for, in, of, on, per, and to), as long as they aren’t the first word in a title or subtitle."

    1. Escobana profile image76
      Escobanaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      In the arcticle - The Hub of the Day Program - they mention titles to be capitalized properly next to all the subtitles.

      I went back to read this Hub and therefor find it confusing to see Hubpages accepting titles like the one I mentioned.

      Shouldn't it be? Is Paranormal Mere Hocus-Pocus? In the Hub of the Day archive you find several titles that don't match these rules so therefor I wonder if Hubpages has its own set of rules.

  5. MPG Narratives profile image60
    MPG Narrativesposted 6 years ago

    I have always used capitals in titles because using capitals in titles is attention-grabbing, something that is very important when you want your hubs to be read.

  6. SidKemp profile image85
    SidKempposted 6 years ago

    I believe that there are many existing standards and sets of rules for "proper" capitalization. HubPages does not provide standards. Any good writer, though, will choose a standard and apply it steadily. Standards can have rules that will create variations that may not be understood by the reader looking at them.

    I believe I have encountered more standards than many writers. This results from having written 10 books published by publishing houses with standards, by having written articles for juried publication (with standards) in two different fields, and because my wife teaches a course on the standards for writing college papers.

    Standards! Standards! Standards!

    What works?

    For HubPages, in major titles, I capitalize all major words (all words 4 letters or more, and shorter words if they are not articles, conjuctions, or prepositions) with one big exception: If the heading itself is a question, then I write it like a sentence: with only initial capitalization and a question mark at the end?

    I carry this standard for Titles and Capsule subtitles. As I go further down, I choose one of two standards,depending on whether the article is more professional (continue capitalization) or more casual (initial cap only on lower-level sub-headings). But I do make sure, as best I can, that each hub follows one of these two standards I've chosen.

    Whatever your standard, I find it does help a lot to do a separate proofreading of titles only, separate from reading the whole text. I find and correct many errors that way.

    1. Escobana profile image76
      Escobanaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Ah SidKemp! You DO have a lot of experience with standards. Wow! When the heading is a question it should be capitalized differently then? That maybe explains the Hubtitle I mentioned in my post.

      I still feel Hubpages should be more clear about capitals in titles. Mainly because Hubbers, who'd like to win the Hub of the Day honor and other prizes, should know about the set of rules in all aspects.

      Wether they are different from other standards or not:-) Thanks for the great imput!

    2. WalterPoon profile image73
      WalterPoonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Quote: "If the heading itself is a question, then I write it like a sentence: with only initial capitalization and a question mark at the end."

      So "Is paranormal mere hocus-pocus?" should not be capitalized then. Anyway, I don't think there is a right or a wrong. Consistency within a hub is important, but across hubs, I think it is not so fatal.

  7. LucidDreams profile image63
    LucidDreamsposted 6 years ago

    Titles should always be capitalized. Otherwise, it looks very unprofessional. You can probably get away with only capitalizing the first word in sub titles but the main title needs all of the words in capital letters

    1. Christy Kirwan profile image95
      Christy Kirwanposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Prepositions, conjunctions, and articles should typically remain lowercase in a title (with a few exceptions-- anything after a colon in a title should be capitalized, for example), but other than that, it is indeed pretty universal to capitalize words in titles.

      Though, a lot of grammatical issues are up for debate depending on the particular style used and the circumstances! It can be really confusing! smile

      1. Escobana profile image76
        Escobanaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Confusing it is! I can only say I´ve learned a lot from the thread but Hubpages itself seem to forget about their own set of rules when they choose a Hub of the Day. This and titles in the Rising Star section made me write this post in the first place.

        I´m not sure if I know more now than I knew before asking :-(

        1. Christy Kirwan profile image95
          Christy Kirwanposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          A good place to start is to capitalize the bigger words in your titles and leave the words with 3 or fewer letters lowercase. Exclusive Titles that come up in the HubTool are also a great example of proper capitalization for reference.

          As I mentioned, we do tend to cut the Rising Star candidates some slack since Hubbers are only eligible for the Rising Star Competition during their first 2 months (60 days, to be exact) on HubPages-- and we know it can take a lot longer to fully get the hang of things! smile

          But I completely agree that it might be a good idea for us to make a Learning Center entry on title grammar and formatting. We'll definitely consider creating one! Thanks, Escobana.

          1. WalterPoon profile image73
            WalterPoonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            Yes, Christy, house rules would make life easier for everyone, so that there is consistency over all the hubs, especially in cases where there is no right or wrong.

          2. Susana S profile image95
            Susana Sposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            I think that would be a great idea. As well as capitalisation issues, I've recently seen lots of titles with special characters used so many times, e.g. the forward slash, that they look a complete and utter mess. I can't imagine any reader clicking on them to see what info the hub contains.

            Maybe the use of special characters should be limited in titles?

            1. livewithrichard profile image85
              livewithrichardposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              It's been a while but there were some tests made using special characters in titles that get clicked more often than the results above them in the SERP's.  I tested it out on a couple hubs and it helped for a few months but then they fell off again.   The idea was that these special characters draw attention to the eye of the reader and they become compelled to click out of curiosity. Here are some examples taken from the character map: æ ʤ †  ♣ ♪

              1. Susana S profile image95
                Susana Sposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                You're right Richard - they do draw the eye. I've used the @ symbol very successfully in titles before - but I'd only put in one. Same reasoning behind google only allowing one ! in an adwords ad and very little capitalisation, but what I'm questioning is how much is too much? (Also, I guess I was really meaning punctuation marks rather than special characters as such).

                So many times people seem to have read that a particular technique "works" and then go totally overboard with it - and in doing so negate the effects of the very technique they're trying to benefit from.

                I think one hyphen, or a comma or even two if necessary, a question mark or an exclamation is fine. But when it's 5 forward slashes or 8 pipes etc. it probably has the opposite effect. A title needs to be immediately readable I think.

          3. Escobana profile image76
            Escobanaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            To Chisty Kirwan and all the other Hubbers in this thread!

            Thanks a lot for responding to my post and for clarifying the issue on capitals in Hubtitles!

            Christy....I overlooked your comment on cutting the Rising Star's some slack on this. Makes sense of course:-)
            An entry on this topic in the Learning Center would be awesome and whenever I do have doubts on capitals in my titles I go the the Hub of the Day archive.

            I do however find it confusing at times if I check those titles but if you tell me this is a good way to avoid errors in my titles, I'll use it as a standard for the Hubpages 'rules'.

            Could you do me a favour Christy? Could you go over my Hubtitles and tell me if there are significant errors in it so I can correct them? I don't have that many Hubs published:-)

            Thanks in advance and thanks again to all of you:-) I learned a lot more!

            1. WalterPoon profile image73
              WalterPoonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              I am writing a hub entitled:

              "I have no time" is nothing more than just a lie

              11 words... looks odd if I were to capitalize it. Should I capitalize it, just to conform to the rules? Are there any exceptions?

              1. Christy Kirwan profile image95
                Christy Kirwanposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                I'd say for now just do what you think looks best, WalterPoon. Once we get the guide up and running I'll have some more concrete tips and advice for you. smile

            2. Christy Kirwan profile image95
              Christy Kirwanposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              Great news! I've talked to a few other coworkers and it looks like a title grammar guide might be in the works very soon! This should go a long way in answering everyone's title questions once and for all. big_smile

              Your titles look just great at a glance, Escobana. Here are a few more general things to avoid in titles:

              -Using all caps.
              -Titling your Hub as part of a series (using things like "Part 1" or "Chapter 5" in your title).
              -Using excessive punctuation (for example: How to Knit a Sweater!!!!!!!).

              1. Escobana profile image76
                Escobanaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                Oh thanks so much for the good news! I'm sure many Hubbers wil benefit from such a grammar guide.

                I see by the extra general points you made, I should change a few titles here and there. I do use Part 1,2.3 in my titles. Thanks for checking them out for me:-)

                1. Christy Kirwan profile image95
                  Christy Kirwanposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                  If you want to make your Hubs part of a series, it's a good idea to use descriptive words and phrases instead. For example, if you want to write a series of Hubs on baking pies, you might try something like this:

                  The Perfect Pie: Making the Crust
                  The Perfect Pie: The Filling
                  The Perfect Pie: Top Crust Decoration
                  The Perfect Pie: Baking Your Pie to Perfection

                  It's much more search-friendly. Hope that helps! smile

  8. Carola Finch profile image93
    Carola Finchposted 6 years ago

    The current Associated Press style is to capitalize only the first letter of a title and proper names.  AP style is standard and widely used by newspapers and magazines, so that may be one reason that it shows up here. Most people on HubPages seem to use caps for their title, so I use that style here, and AP style when I publish elsewhere.

  9. Writer Fox profile image49
    Writer Foxposted 6 years ago

    Google will only display about 70 characters (including spaces) for a title on search engine results.  That's all the searcher will see and the Hub title is a determining factor if your listing will receive a click-through. If you want more in the title, use the extra as a title in the first text box.

    As for capitalization, I use all caps in a title just because I like to stand out. Dealing with search results isn't like your high-school English class.  Misspelled words, for example, can sometimes be beneficial if that's the way people are searching.

  10. SidKemp profile image85
    SidKempposted 6 years ago

    Hi Walter - see above in this forum about titles that are questions. A complete sentence in quotes could be treated similarly. So the title might be shown, "I have no time" is Nothing More Than a Lie.

    Hope this helps.

  11. lovebuglena profile image85
    lovebuglenaposted 6 years ago

    I don't think it is a good idea to have all caps in the hub title as all caps gives off a vibe that the author is angry and is screaming at the readers. If you have acronyms in your title then all caps for the acronym is fine but everything else should have title capitalization not all caps.

    1. Christy Kirwan profile image95
      Christy Kirwanposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      You're right, lovebuglena. Using all caps in your title is usually best avoided. It can make a title look unprofessional.

 
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