I'm writing a master's thesis in English, which is my second language. I have understood that I should capitalize Section, Chapter, Figure, etc., but should I also capitalize other elements that refer to specific items?

For instance, in which of the following, if any, should "class(es)" be capitalized?

  1. Considering the implementation of class className...

  2. ... as compared to the classes, such as className1 and className2, that contains ...

  3. ... as compared to the classes that contains ...

  4. Further, the class className in Listing 4 displays ...

  5. Further, the class in Listing 4 displays ...

If anyone has any literature to refer me to that explains this further, I would greatly appreciate it.

2 Answers 2


Capitalize proper nouns

If you are referring to something by its name, it should be capitalized. In your second example, you're clearly referring to multiple classes, so this isn't a name. Therefore it should be lower case. The examples referring to "class className" are trickier. If "class" is part of the name (e.g. "Class 1") then it should be capitalized. If it's not a part of the name (e.g. "the class How to Run Away from Bad People") then you don't need to capitalize it.


It appears from your question that you are writing about computer programming. In that case, the word "class" is a thing and usually not capitalized in writing. However, when writing about a specific class, render that capitalized as needed:

Instantiate the Account class.

Modify the ucUser class.

Therefore, I would consider all of the examples you provided to be correct with regard to not capitalizing the word "class".

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