Academic Terms Exercise (483)

In each of the sentences below, one of two references to terms used in academic settings is correct, and the other is wrong. Identify the error in each sentence.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: The only class in which I didn’t get an A was "Introduction to Biology."
Correct : The only class in which I didn’t get an A was Introduction to Biology.

Letter grades stand on their own, without quotation marks, and specific course titles are capitalized but are not enclosed in quotation marks.

2.
Original: She later earned a Master’s degree in anthropology.
Correct : She later earned a master’s degree in anthropology.

Neither names of degrees or names of disciplines (except, in the latter group, those words in the names that are also names of languages or geographical areas) are capitalized.

3.
Original: He graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a Jones Fellow.
Correct : He graduated magna cum laude and was a Jones Fellow.

References to academic honors are lowercased, but references to fellowships and their recipients are capitalized.

4.
Original: Jane Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy.
Correct : Jane Smith is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy.

Job titles are capitalized only directly preceding a person’s name; full, official department names are always capitalized.

5.
Original: You obviously failed Sarcasm 101, because you didn’t get my comment about earning multiple B.A.’s.
Correct : You obviously failed Sarcasm 101, because you didn’t get my comment about earning multiple BAs.

Jocular references to hypothetical courses are capitalized. Periods in abbreviations of academic degrees are best avoided (the prevailing style is to omit periods in all initial abbreviations except in personal names), in part to avoid otherwise incorrect usage of apostrophes, as in the original sentence.

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