Q. What is the difference between sentence case and mixed case?

In APA style, sentence case and mixed case (or title case) refer to which words you capitalize in a reference when writing the title of a work (e.g. an article) and the name of the container in which a work is published (e.g. a newspaper).

Sentence case is used for titles. It means you capitalize:

  • The first word of the title.
  • The first word of a subtitle (i.e., when a ":" is written before an additional title).
  • Proper nouns (a specific, not generic, name for a particular person, place, or thing).

For example:

An ebook: Working people in Alberta: A history.
An article: Labour market impacts of COVID-19 on Indigenous people: March to August 2020.
A photograph: Climate march in Toronto, Canada.


Title case is used for containers because they are names, which are proper nouns. This means you capitalize:

  • The first word; and
  • The major words in the name that are four letters or longer.

And you do NOT capitalize the minor words like:

  • Conjunctions that are three letters or fewer (and; but; for; nor; or; so; yet);
  • Propositions that are three letters or fewer (at; around; by; after; along; for; from; of; on; to; with; without); and
  • Articles (the; a; an).

For example:

A newspaper: The Globe and Mail
An academic journal: Journal of Organizational Behavior
A television show: Game of Thrones





  • Last Updated Jan 27, 2021
  • Views 67
  • Answered By Kelley Wadson

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