Writing Style – Capitalization of Organizational Names

Betty’s question: “When should divisions with a department and staff titles be capitalized?”

BizWritingTip response: Organizations often have their own style guides that list the words they want capitalized.  If your organization does not have a style guide, here are some basic rules from  The Canadian Press Caps and Spelling book and The Chicago Manual of Style.

Capitalize the full names of government departments and agencies, associations, companies, clubs, religions, languages, races, places and addresses —and the major subdivisions of an organization.

Example
I am working for the Ministry of the Environment
She worked for the Committee of Adjustment for 20 years.

Note: The article “the” is lowercased.

Generic terms are usually lowercased when they are used alone (although some organizations prefer to capitalize them).

Example
the ministry
the committee
the division
Ontario government

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