I never have time to create materials like this during the academic year. Brand new handout. Easily 10 hours of work. Hoping to post one a week.

AP Style follows the standard English practice of capitalizing proper nouns.

Good Example They stayed with Uncle John at Gracious Living Inn on the shore of Grenada Lake while on vacation in the South.
Capitalize the names of particular people, places or things. (Proper nouns.)  In the above example, “shore” and “vacation” are common nouns.
Good Example They stayed with my uncle at a hotel on the south end of a peaceful lake.
Lowercase descriptions and general categories.

  • When you send a thank-you note to your mother’s brother, you might write “It was good to see you, Uncle.” You’d capitalize the special name you use for him, but “an uncle” and “my favorite uncle” are general categories.
  • “South” when it refers to the geographical region is a proper noun, but “south” as a direction is a common noun.

See: Capitalization (AP Style tips for journalism)