This page contains reccomendations for writing personal names and for capitalizing in French. For more information on MLA style, please refer to the Citing Sources Guide.
With some exceptions, especially in English-language contexts, French de following a first name or title such as Mme or duc is not used with the name alone.
However, when the last name has only one syllable, de is usually retained.
The preposition also remains, in the form of d', when it elides with the last name also beginning with a vowel.
The forms du and des- combinations of de with le and les- are always used with last names and are capitalized.
A hyphen is frequently used between French given names, as well as between their initials (Marie-Joseph Chénier, M.-J. Chénier) Note that M. and P. before names may be abbreviations for Monsieur 'Mr.' and Père 'Father' (M. René Char, P.J. Reynard)
In prose and verse, French capitalization is the same as English except that the following terms are not capitalized in French unless they begin sentences or, sometimes, lines of verse.
There are two widely accepted methods of capitalizing French titles and subtitles of works. One method is to capitalize the first word in titles and subtitles and all proper nouns in them. This method is normally followed in publications of the Modern Language Association.
In the other method, when a title or subtitle begins with an article, the first noun and any preceding adjectives are also capitalized. In this system, all major words in titles of series and periodicals are sometimes capitalized.
Whichever practice you choose or your instructor requires, follow it consistently throughout your paper.