5

I know from here here that I have to say Master of .... and master's degree. But let's consider another situation:

  • I was half the way through my master, or
  • I was half the way through my master's.

Another example is:

  • My first year of Master covers a wide variety of subjects, or
  • My first year of Master's covers a wide variety of subjects

The first question is about the 's and the second is about the capitalization of the first letter in Master.

  • 5
    In my opinion it should be Master's, as you are talking about your Master's Degree but eliding the Degree component for brevity. Master does not sound idiomatic at all to my (British English) ear, and is something I can recall being said only by non-native speakers. – 568ml Dec 12 '14 at 12:35
  • I agree with @568ml. However, note that the term Master is quite widely used in other languages (e.g., Masterarbeit or Masterstudium in German), which seems to leads to incorrect usage also in English writing by these non-native speakers. – painfulenglish Dec 12 '14 at 15:11
  • Related: Is there an apostrophe in a master's degree? (which also discusses capitalization) and “Masters degree” — capital M or not? (which also discusses the apostrophe). – choster Dec 12 '14 at 15:24
  • @choster now that I think about it, that's a good question. Master's implies you are inserting a possessive, while Masters implies you are pluralizing it. I'd think the former is more correct. Unless you are pursuing more than one of them, the possessive is, I think, meant to be referring to you once the degree is achieved. I mean, Master's Degree is the degree of a Master. – Jim Dec 12 '14 at 17:53
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    @Amphiteóth MLA refers to the "Modern Language Association." – LaBarrister Dec 12 '14 at 23:52
3

Addressing your first question:

"I was halfway through my master" is unreasonable. Your source gives options (1) master's degree and (2) Master of [insert the study of this specific degree]. Cutting those short, you could derive only "I was halfway through my master's" or "I was halfway through my Master." "I was halfway through my master" is not only made up, but unreasonable.

"I was halfway through my master's" would make sense depending on its context. I and my colleagues would understand "degree" unless your statement followed "The portions of my and my master's dinners rested warmly on the counter," e. g.

Addressing your second question:

Use neither. From your source: capitalize only specific degrees. If you do not specify, you should not capitalize.

-1

I would capitalize Master's because, as was previously stated, it is a shortened form of Master's Degree.

  • "Master's Degree" would not be capitalized according to MLA documentation. So your premise is incorrect and, therefore, your conclusion. – LaBarrister Dec 13 '14 at 4:41
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    Your post would be improved if it included a reference to support it. – andy256 Dec 13 '14 at 7:55
  • Andy is my friend. He helps me to be a better wordsmith. – Stephen Brackens-Brinkley Apr 4 '19 at 11:51
  • Merci Beaucoup, LaBarrister! – Stephen Brackens-Brinkley Apr 4 '19 at 11:54

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