I have a quick question for you guys. In my resume, I wrote this:

  • Repaired computers in the computer lab along with the instructor and team members, for current Hardware and Software course students, to do the practical exam.

The instructor pointed out a grammatical error in "Hardware and Software", and says to use the use lower letter for "H" and "S" like this "hardware and software".

I have an objection to it because this course name is a specific course name, and not a general course. So, I think I'm correct, and it should be capital.

What do you think, who is right? Thanks a lot!

NOTE: The instructor is not an English instructor. She helps me in resume stuff.

  • 1
    I recommend finding an instructor who does not confuse spelling, capitalization, or punctuation for grammar. Grammar is morphology and syntax. Since this is neither of those it cannot be a grammatical error.
    – tchrist
    Feb 21, 2017 at 6:39
  • @tchrist, I appreciate your reply. You said this is not a grammatical error. That's fine, but do you think specific course, "Hardware and Software" should be capital assuming you were writing this? I can see that you also belong from computer / programming field that's why I'm asking. And I'll try to see a different instructor.
    – Anonymous
    Feb 21, 2017 at 6:48
  • 1
    Without some identifying mechanism (like a course number), it's impossible to tell whether you're talking about a course title. For a generic (lower-case) course, the description hardware and software should be lower case.
    – deadrat
    Feb 21, 2017 at 6:50
  • @deadrat Yeah, but this was never meant to be generic and even she knows it. She said us to write the proper course name on the resume and not the course number as it looks awkward. I followed it what she said.
    – Anonymous
    Feb 21, 2017 at 7:00
  • 3
    "Hardware and Software" may have been the official name of the course, but nobody else will know that (or benefit from knowing it). The title of the course is not particularly descriptive, and sounds generic. People are more likely to think it is a typo than recognize that it is the course name. In this case, using lowercase conveys the same information about the subject/content as the title, and there's no reason why you couldn't choose to use descriptive words instead of the title (the only difference is capitalization). No real upside to capitalizing.
    – fixer1234
    Feb 21, 2017 at 7:34

1 Answer 1


I agree with the comments above that hardware and software sound generic, and capitalizing the words may be seen as a spelling mistake.

Nevertheless, it is conventional to capitalize course titles. For example, The Right Word at the Right Time (p119) states:

The names of recognized subject fields are often not capitalized, but tend to be capitalized when the reference is to a course, degree or examination in the subject: She studied chemistry (= the subject chemistry), She won the Nobel Prize for chemistry (= the subject chemistry), but She got a distinction in Chemistry (= a chemistry exam or course).

And The Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition (p425) has this entry under Capitalization:

8.85 Courses of study. Official names of courses are capitalized.

  • I'm signing up for Archaeology 101
  • A popular course at the Graham School of General Studies is Basic Manuscript Editing.

If the OP considers it important to include this information and that the reader understands Hardware and Software as a course title, then it could be italicized:

Repaired computers in the computer lab along with the instructor and team members, for current Hardware and Software course students, to do the practical exam.

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