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URGENT PERSONAL STATEMENT-Grammar nazis needed

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    Hi,

    So basicallly in the the opening of my personal statement I say "I aspire to study law because x, y, z"

    So I have made sure to not capitalize the word "law" throughout my ps.

    However when I am discussing my A level subjects do I say "Studying Economics has helped me x, y, z" or "Studying economics".

    Furthermore should I use "A Levels", "a levels" or "A levels"

    Sorry if this seems petty I just want it perfect to finally hand in.
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    Grammar nazis where are you?
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    A Levels should have a capital A and a capital L. It should also technically have an apostrophe after the A but for some reason that's fallen out of fashion, so don't bother. If you talking about Economics or Law as a course at a university, it should be a capital letter. But if you are talking about economics or law as generally a subject that you want to learn about, it should be lowercase. As in:

    I have an Economics degree.
    I am reading Law,

    however:

    I am really interested in economics.
    I am fascinated about law.

    In a PS, I think both would be generally acceptable. Since you could in every occasion, you could be referring to either the subject or the course itself

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    (Original post by BobBobson)
    A Levels should have a capital A and a capital L. It should also technically have an apostrophe after the A but for some reason that's fallen out of fashion, so don't bother. If you talking about Economics or Law as a course at a university, it should be a capital letter. But if you are talking about economics or law as generally a subject that you want to learn about, it should be lowercase. As in:

    I have an Economics degree.
    I am reading Law,

    however:

    I am really interested in economics.
    I am fascinated about law.

    In a PS, I think both would be generally acceptable. Since you could in every occasion, you could be referring to either the subject or the course itself

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    Thankyou Mr Farage.
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    (Original post by BobBobson)
    A Levels should have a capital A and a capital L. It should also technically have an apostrophe after the A but for some reason that's fallen out of fashion, so don't bother. If you talking about Economics or Law as a course at a university, it should be a capital letter. But if you are talking about economics or law as generally a subject that you want to learn about, it should be lowercase. As in:

    I have an Economics degree.
    I am reading Law,

    however:

    I am really interested in economics.
    I am fascinated about law.

    In a PS, I think both would be generally acceptable. Since you could in every occasion, you could be referring to either the subject or the course itself

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    So it would be "This is the main reason why I believe I am suited to study Law at university" correct?
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    (Original post by TheTruthTeller)
    So it would be "This is the main reason why I believe I am suited to study Law at university" correct?
    both would be correct in that sentence.

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    (Original post by BobBobson)
    both would be correct in that sentence.

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    So I can use "Law" or "law" right?
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    (Original post by TheTruthTeller)
    Hi,

    So basicallly in the the opening of my personal statement I say "I aspire to study law because x, y, z"

    So I have made sure to not capitalize the word "law" throughout my ps.

    However when I am discussing my A level subjects do I say "Studying Economics has helped me x, y, z" or "Studying economics".

    Furthermore should I use "A Levels", "a levels" or "A levels"

    Sorry if this seems petty I just want it perfect to finally hand in.
    A specific reference to a specific LLB Law degree should be capitalised. Because you're applying to 5 different law degrees you aren't talking specifics so shouldn't capitalise.

    "Studying economics " - talking about a discipline not a specific qualification. Not a proper noun- not capitalised
    "Studying A level Economics" - a specific qualification - capitalised. (Note this is a waste of space in your PS - links are either obvious or tenuous and either way aren't personal or compelling).

    A levels - how UCAS and newspapers/journalism style guides capitalise it

    A Levels - how exam boards capitalise it

    A-levels - how some university style guides capitalise it.

    Basically pick which looks best to use - personally I think minimising capitals aids readability so I would pick the UCAS/newspaper style.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    A specific reference to a specific LLB Law degree should be capitalised. Because you're applying to 5 different law degrees you aren't talking specifics so shouldn't capitalise.
    What if they're all the same M100 LLB?
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    (Original post by Abstract_Prism)
    What if they're all the same M100 LLB?
    Unless they're all validated by the same university then they are different courses.

    A UCAS code is determined by UCAS based on course title and the other course codes already assigned to a university. It isn't based on an assessment of course content.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    Unless they're all validated by the same university then they are different courses.

    A UCAS code is determined by UCAS based on course title and the other course codes already assigned to a university. It isn't based on an assessment of course content.
    So that means there are no circumstances in a personal statement where I would capitalise the subject name?
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    (Original post by Abstract_Prism)
    So that means there are no circumstances in a personal statement where I would capitalise the subject name?
    Not unless you're applying to a single choice.
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    (Original post by BobBobson)
    As in:

    I have an Economics degree.
    I am reading Law,
    Nonsense!
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    (Original post by TheTruthTeller)
    However when I am discussing my A level subjects do I say "Studying Economics has helped me x, y, z" or "Studying economics".
    It is simple: Economics is a subject. Subject names are common nouns. Common nouns are not capitalised, unless then are also the names of languages.

    Always talk about the subject in the PS, never the course. You are applying to five different courses so what you say about one may not be true of another, even if it is about the same subject.

    Courses often have rather arcane and long names, too (e.g. Oxford's BA in Law with Law Studies in Europe, and BA in Jurisprudence are both law degrees), and you don't want to waste space. It is quite likely that you are applying to five law courses with several different formal names.

    If you are foolishly insisting on using course names then you need to remember that all the BA in ... gubbins is part of the name and should be included. It makes the whole thing rather less readable and uses up a great deal of space.
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    Actually, I don't think you're supposed to capitalize school subjects.

    A quick google search gave me the University of Surrey's advice:

    "Note, however, that names of disciplines and school subjects are not capitalized unless they happen to be the names of languages:

    I'm doing A-levels in history, geography and English.
    Newton made important contributions to physics and mathematics.
    She is studying French literature."

    (http://www.sussex.ac.uk/informatics/...psandabbr/caps)

    Of course, there are other websites saying the same thing too.

    Unless you're talking about a specific name of a course (i.e LLB Law, Economics Unit 2, etc.) I believe you're not meant to capitalize.

    Edit: Poster above sums it up pretty well!
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    Ditto to all the above.

    Regarding capitalisations, punctuation, and the use of the Oxford Comma: just be consistent throughout.
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    For what it's worth - unless you're applying for English then your use of capitals isn't likely to damage your application.

    There's a reason that a lot of universities have style guides specifying that subjects shouldn't be capitalised in publications....and that's because academics are JUST as bad (if not worse) at capitalising subjects unnecessarily as applicants are. For example look at the first two bullet points on page 2 of this official document of course content (to be fair to Cambridge that was the fifth programme spec I looked through trying to find some naughty capitalisation).

    The point is - it's human nature to feel as if things that are important to you deserve capitalisation. Academics are particularly prone to deciding their subject is worthy of a capital letter. They're not going to reject your application for doing something that either they or their colleagues do on a regular basis even if it's incorrect.

    However try to remember the poor soul reading your PS. Minimising capitals makes a document more readable* - capitals denoting new sentences become more prominent to someone scanning and the STRUCTURE of the statement is easier to skim read and get meaning from.

    *Note: that doesn't mean you should incorrectly leave proper nouns as lower case!
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    (Original post by PQ)
    The point is - it's human nature to feel as if things that are important to you deserve capitalisation.
    Repetitive use of initial capitals is difficult and tiring to read, even when correct, so eliminating incorrect capitalisation is helpful to a candidate.

    You are right about the point above. There is a strong tendency for people to use initial capitals for words which are important to them in their own sphere of work. This means theologists will write things like 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that all Scripture is inspired by God ; computer programmers will write the use of Agile methods is the modern way to work, and business analysts implement Quality Systems to ensure business processes work.

    There is also a tendency to use initial capitals for any common noun phrase that is often rendered as an acronym. For instance, QA is an acronym for "quality assurance" but the latter is normally a common noun needing no initial capitals; despite this, it will often be written wrongly as "Quality Assurance".
 
 
 
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Updated: October 5, 2016
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