I am writing a thesis. I am aware that's a special set of capitalization rules that applies to titles. I'm applying those in my title.

Do the same rules also apply to the titles of individual chapters and sections, though?

  • Titles of chapters and sections follow the same rules as titles. Capitalize most words, except articles, short prepositions and conjunctions, and the like. How short is a stylistic judgment, but I'd say three letters or fewer, in most cases. – Steven Littman Jan 20 '16 at 19:44
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    Whether to capitalize chapter, section, subsection titles, depends on the style guide. Does your institution have a thesis style manual or a template thesis? If so, follow it. If not, you might as well capitalize them. – Peter Shor Jan 20 '16 at 19:45
  • The Chicago Manual of Style says that level 4 and level 5 subheadings should not be title case. I'd certainly expect that chapter titles would be in title case in any style guide. Sections and subsections, I'm not so sure about. – Peter Shor Jan 20 '16 at 19:52

The first two levels (the title and chapters) usually follow the rules you cite.

Anything below those (levels 3, 4, etc) are really up to you.

That said, small caps do look good aesthetically. Level 3 in small caps only (no lowercase letters and non caps) would be pretty neat. There's an option for using them in Microsoft Word, in the Font section.

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