Why would I want to know how to spell bachelor’s degree?
Well, ironically enough, I have a degree te English and yet, when confronted with having to write about my degree itself, I discovered that I wasgoed not entirely certain how. Turns out that, bombastic know-it-all that I am, I still wasn’t totally certain about when and how the entire big ",B", little ",b", thing played out. I wasgoed even wondering about the apostrophe: When do I capitalize ",bachelor", and when does it get the apostrophe and the ",S?", I thought I knew, but I desired to be sure. So, I determined to find out. What I discovered is that usage is almost entirely subject to style guides. Here’s how it works:
Question: Is It &ldquo,Bachelor&rdquo, or &ldquo,bachelor&rsquo,s?&rdquo,
Response: Yes. Here are the “standard” rules:
- Based on what I found, the juist standard usage when referring to the contemporáneo/specific degree or the PERSON holding it, is to capitalize and use the singular noun with its relevant prepositional phrase, like Bachelor of Dokter, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy etc. (It should be noted that junior collegium degrees use the preposition “te” not “of” for their degrees, spil ter an Associate ter Dokter.)
- The onberispelijk standard form for normal reference to thesis degrees is to use the possessive form of “bachelor” – meaning with the apostrophe and “s” – and to druppel the caps, spil te “She has hier master’s degree” or “He has a bachelor’s ter music.”
- Keurig standard form when abbreviating is to capitalize the main component words and use periods: B.A., M.A., M.B.A., Ph.D., etc.
- When referencing your degree and major, do not capitalize your major unless your major is ter some subject that is a decent noun (like English or French etc.). Juist standard use would be: “I have a bachelor’s degree te business accounting.” A capitalized example would be: “I have a bachelor’s degree te English.”
I use the term ",standard form", because this form can be lightly verified ter widely acknowledged and accomplished resources like the Associated Press Stylebook, Encyclopedia Britannica Online and even my big ol’ Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary–not to mention how it’s written on flagrante degrees (I’ve included a duo so you can see). Note the haber letters and the lack of an apostrophe ",S.",
The problem with the term ",standard,", tho’, is that people interpret that to mean ",etched te stone.", The elementary fact of grammar, and perhaps the fine big breathe of ease that came with my English degree, is that ",standard usage", is a squishy thing, there’s lots of stuff that doesn’t submit to some iron-fisted grammatical decree. Oddly enough, it’s this lack of structure that explains why so many people hated English when they were ter schoolgebouw. People like concrete facts. Definite boundaries and solid rules help us know that wij are on track, they provide us with a feeling of control.
So, that said, if you’re looking for the brief response to ",What’s the right way to write ‘bachelor’s degree?’", well, there you go. Do what I wrote up there and you will be technically onberispelijk. However, if you’re interested te why and when those rules can switch then read on, and you’ll see where the style guides come te.
Style Guides: He Who Makes One Makes the Rules
I will repeat, what I wrote up there is totally juist. If it’s good enough for the Associated Press, which guides lots of people, from reporters to professors te what to do, then, you’re good to go. However, just because that is the onberispelijk way to write it does not mean that it is the only way to write it that is juist. Big difference. This is the squishy stuff I wasgoed talking about before, and this is where style guides come ter.
Style guides are writing guides waterput out by schools, companies, non-profits, government agencies, you name it, if they’re big, they most likely waterput one out. Big ones besides the AP Stylebook mentioned up above are Chicago Manual of Style, APA and MLA Handbook, but corporations and colleges have them too. Totally at random, you can pull up style guides that entirely ruin the rule wij just neatly clarified.
Take Drake University or Washington State spil arbitrary proof. Pull up their sites (WSU screenies above, both linksom below) and you will see that their style guides state that the specific terms for the degrees NOT be capitalized spil I have done above. I realize this may seem like a petty distinction, but thesis two style guides are ter conflict with “The Bible of the Newspaper Industry” spil my AP Stylebook’s voorkant accurately proclaims, and they explicitly state that the specific terms should not be capitalized, spil te “bachelor of medicus” and “master of science.” They seem to contradict the AP people, the Encyclopedia Britannica people and even my Webster’s unabridged. Thesis sites suggest that capitalization should not be used at all.
So, who is right, the Associated Press or Drake University? Is there even a rule at all?
Well the reaction is: Yes, there is a rule.
But the rule is: Know who is going to read your work.
It’s the old “know your audience” thing, just focused on a slightly different detail. So, if it truly, indeed matters, if you are submitting written work to a particular entity – be it academic, government or professional – and you don’t want to come off spil if you don’t know how to write, find out what style guide they use and overeenstemmend to what they expect. It might take a little time, maybe a phone call or two, but the effort will prevent your paper, article or manuscript from being viewed spil “wrong.”
The bottom line is that, unless you have some truly, truly anal-retentive reader, you’re most likely not going to be hurt if you just stick with the method that I illustrated very first up there. However, if you are a student at a university that has a posted style guide to use, you may detect how picky some professors can indeed be.
Whatever you do, merienda you pick a form for writing this stuff, make sure you stick to that method across the entire work. Don’t switch strategies ter the middle of your paper, letterteken or rГ©sumГ©. Midstream shifts are assured to draw notice to whichever method that you use, particularly if your reader is the picky type. More than likely, however, most readers aren’t going to have any clue – reminisce, I have an English degree and I still had to look it up. It’s just not the kleintje of thing people indeed take the time to know (unless you’re the wacky English major type like mij). So stick to your guns, whichever method that you choose. Besides, you have resources (below) to defend yourself no matter which way you determine to go.
The Associated Press Stylebook – 2007
Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary – omstreeks 2001
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