Is It Coursework or Course work? (Helpful Examples)

You will often see that “coursework” is written in one or two words. It would help to know all the rules associated with using it correctly. Don’t worry. This article will run you through everything there is to know.

Is It Coursework or Course work?

“Coursework” is most commonly written as one word. It’s commonly written in this way because “course” and “work” are easily distinguishable from each other, even in the one-word variation. “Course work” is correct, but it’s not as common to see in English writing.

coursework or course work

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “coursework” is the most common spelling variation of the two options. With that said, “course work” as two words is still fairly common, showing that both are correct.

coursework or course work usage

The Oxford Dictionary lists “coursework” as the main variation, but there is a note that says “also course work,” showing that the two-word variation is acceptable.

The Cambridge Dictionary only has an entry for “coursework” as one word. There is no mention of the two-word variation in The Cambridge Dictionary.

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Is “Coursework” One Word?

“Coursework” is almost always written as one word. Most native speakers recognize it in this form because it’s commonly written together. “Course” and “work” can combine to show that you are working on something for your course.

Spaces between words like “course work” are often dropped when they do not add anything of use to the meaning of the word. This is the case with “coursework” since removing the space still shows a clear difference between “course” and “work.”

It goes from needing “course” to act as an adjective to “coursework” being a compound noun. Compound nouns contain an adjective and noun in the same word, allowing the modification to take place without thinking about it.

You will often hear people refer to AP Style rules when they remove spaces like this. AP Style encourages people to keep their writing simplistic, and removing spaces when they are unnecessary is a good way to go about this.

These examples will help you understand more about it:

  1. I have a lot of coursework to get on with. Do you mind giving me some time to get it all sorted?
  2. What about all of the coursework they set? Do you think you’ll be able to do it before the deadline?
  3. I’m not sure if this coursework is right for me. I really don’t think I fancy answering all these questions.
  4. That’s a lot of coursework! How are we ever going to be able to get it all done?

Is “Course work” Two Words?

You can use “course work” as two words, but it’s not a very common option. Most people avoid writing it like this because the one-word variation already makes the meaning of the word clear. You do not have to isolate “course” from “work” to show the modification.

“Course” modifies “work,” which is why it’s still acceptable for the words to be separated. The modification is made clear when it’s written in this form.

You can refer to AP Style guidelines to show that adjectives come before nouns when modifications take place. If you treat “course” as the adjective and “work” as the noun, these guidelines still make sense for the two-word variation.

These examples will enlighten you:

  1. What can you tell me about the course work? Do I need to know anything before going into it?
  2. I haven’t done the course work yet, but I’m working on it. I hope you don’t mind waiting for a bit.
  3. It’s not course work unless it’s challenging. You can’t just go around making everything look easy.
  4. I’ll have to set them new course work to tide them over. I hope they don’t mind these options.

Tip to Remember Which to Use

“Coursework” is best used as one word, so it would help to remind yourself of that.

“Coursework” is easy to remember if you say it out loud. When spoken, “coursework” is uttered quickly, showing that there is no need for a space between the words. This indicates that the one-word variation is the best spelling choice.

Final Thoughts

You will only ever need “coursework” in your writing if you want to be grammatically correct every time. While there may not be any English rules that say that “course work” is incorrect, it’s best to avoid using the two-word variation in most cases.