Should subjects be capitalised?

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ShaneP
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#1
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#1
I have written my personal statement to apply for mathematics, but a fairly trivial question remains. Should I write the subject with a capital letter or not!? :confused:

I have always written it as "Mathematics" but was recently told by a friend that this was in fact incorrect and that the word should not be treated as a proper noun. If you could give your opinion and whether or not you capatilised your subject in your PS, I would be very grateful.

Many thanks for your help.
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Champagne Breakfast
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#2
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#2
Not entirely sure. I think when you talk about it as a course you capitalize it, but as a general discipline then not?
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im in a coma
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#3
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#3
Surely it is to be capitalised if you are referring to the name of a course, as that would be a noun?
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Knogle
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#4
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#4
(Original post by mjw)
Surely it is to be capitalised if you are referring to the name of a course, as that would be a noun?
Ditto. Capitalisation depends on the context the word is being used in.
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Fleece
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#5
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#5
(Original post by mjw)
Surely it is to be capitalised if you are referring to the name of a course, as that would be a noun?
Well it's a noun anyway, just depends if it's classed as a proper noun.
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Madprof
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#6
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#6
When refering to a course, 'Mathematics' is the name of that course and so is capitalised. However, 'mathematics' the discipline is not a proper noun and needs no capitalisation (not that I stick to that).
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ShaneP
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Madprof)
When refering to a course, 'Mathematics' is the name of that course and so is capitalised. However, 'mathematics' the discipline is not a proper noun and needs no capitalisation (not that I stick to that).
Okay - that makes sense. Thanks for your help.
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Juno
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#8
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#8
Just be consistent
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kateykat
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#9
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#9
Personally I wouldn't capitalise "mathematics" in a personal statement unless I was pointedly referring to the actual name of the course, which basically backs up what Madprof said. It's only really necessary to use capitalisation for subjects if they're language based, for instance "English" or "French".
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nikki
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#10
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#10
(Original post by sea_song)
Personally I wouldn't capitalise "mathematics" in a personal statement unless I was pointedly referring to the actual name of the course, which basically backs up what Madprof said. It's only really necessary to use capitalisation for subjects if they're language based, for instance "English" or "French".
:ditto: It looks really weird if you say something like "I have always wanted to study Mathematics at university" or something. Would you say "I have always wanted to have Purple Wallpaper in my bedroom"?
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ShaneP
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#11
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#11
(Original post by nikki)
:ditto: It looks really weird if you say something like "I have always wanted to study Mathematics at university" or something. Would you say "I have always wanted to have Purple Wallpaper in my bedroom"?
Hmmm - I never refer to the actual Mathematics course in my PS, so I guess the need to capitalise never arises. And it doesn't seem weird having it uncapitalised in any context I use it in, so there's no real need.

Thanks for your help. :yy:
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espo
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#12
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#12
(Original post by nikki)
:ditto: It looks really weird if you say something like "I have always wanted to study Mathematics at university" or something. Would you say "I have always wanted to have Purple Wallpaper in my bedroom"?
Ha ha!! Quite right.
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Reading Room
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#13
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#13
(Original post by sea_song)
It's only really necessary to use capitalisation for subjects if they're language based, for instance "English" or "French".
What about 'English L/literature'?! Big or small 'L'? :rolleyes: :eek:
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guccilittlepiggy
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#14
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#14
English Lit
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michaelbenson
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#15
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#15
(Original post by Easy as ABC)
What about 'English L/literature'?! Big or small 'L'? :rolleyes: :eek:
I tend to follow through, and capitalize Literature too. Sort of like only capitalizing the first word of a famous city; "New york city", for example, doesn't look quite right. But as previously stated whatever your choice make sure you are consistent throughout your personal statement and don't switch from alternative forms of capitalization. Or, else. :p:
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Esquire
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#16
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#16
It's Mathematics, obviously.
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kateykat
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#17
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#17
(Original post by Easy as ABC)
What about 'English L/literature'?! Big or small 'L'? :rolleyes: :eek:

I applied for English Literature and used a small 'L', but I don't know why I did this...I think if I were to apply for it now I would capitalise both letters, simply because it is actually the name of a subject within the broader discipline and is therefore a proper noun.

Ahh, I know why I didn't capitalise it. Looking back it was because I was talking about literature in general at first rather than the subject and when it came to talking about the actual subject I thought it would look strange to suddenly capitalise the second word. To get round this I would make it blatently obvious that you're talking about the subject by saying something like: "the study of English Literature". Or perhaps if you're speaking about literature generally then just say "literature" rather than adding "English" before it, then capitalise "English Literature" to convey the fact that you are actually referring to the subject.

I don't know if that really makes sense or not! If you're really unsure about your personal statements then try visiting http://studential.com/personalstatements/default.asp It really helped give me ideas when I was writing mine.
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FredTA
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#18
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#18
Sorry to dig up a super old thread, it came up on google as the first result, but if I say " I'm taking Maths Physics and Computing A-Levels and want to go on to study Computer Science at university" Is that grammatically corrct?
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PQ
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#19
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#19
(Original post by FredTA)
Sorry to dig up a super old thread, it came up on google as the first result, but if I say " I'm taking Maths Physics and Computing A-Levels and want to go on to study Computer Science at university" Is that grammatically corrct?
No. You're taking Mathematics A level not maths. You shouldn't use contractions (I'm) in formal writing.

This isn't a sentence that should be in a personal statement or application - all of this information is already available elsewhere.
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