Capitalization Tip


Lots of elementary teachers use the proofreading acronym COPS.





They also use MINTS for capitalization.  Month, “I” as a word, Names, Titles, Start the Sentence.

But that one didn’t work for us. We needed the “starting a sentence” to come first.  And where were initials and abbreviations?  Starting dialogue in the middle of the sentence?  I like keeping titles separate; they have their own rules with the not capitalizing the little words. So, I rewrote it. We use BANDIT:

Beginning the sentence (Do you like grammar?)

Abbreviations  (Dr. Bob Smith, U.S.A.)

Names (Ohio, Monday, December, Mother Teresa, Memphis Tigers, Civil War)

Dialogue (Bob said, “Do you like grammar?”)

“I” as a word (Bob and I love grammar.)

Titles (Where the Wild Things Are, James and the Giant Peach)

My kids write it at the top of any papers that require proofreading and capitalization.  We recite it together.  When they think they’re done, I say, “Did you check your BANDIT?”  Then I mention them in order.  “Beginning of the sentences?” “Yes.” “Abbreviations?” “Yes?” etc.  I wish it could be BANDITS, but I can’t think of anything for that last “s.” Anyone?

So, there you go COPS and BANDIT.