Should I use American or British English in my thesis?

You are writing your thesis in English. That part is obvious. But should you use American or British English? For example, should you use 'labour' or 'labor'? Each study program or thesis supervisor has its own guidelines for this. We can help you make the right choice.

Are there guidelines from the educational institution?

Some universities and colleges have a clear guideline regarding which variant of English you should use for your assignments. Bear in mind that the preference of your thesis supervisor always takes priority. If your supervisor asks you to use British English, but the university website says otherwise, then you should still use British English. 

Some universities and colleges have a preference for a specific type of English. If you click on the links below, you can see what the following educational institutions think about this:

What if my study program has no requirements for this?

Universities and colleges that are not listed in this overview (and there are quite a few), have not expressed a clear preference for this on their website. In all these cases, ask your thesis supervisor whether you should use American or British English. 
Many tutors do not have a strong view on this. They think it is important that you are consistent in the English you use. So, don't use American English and British English words interchangeably. If necessary, check a word in an online English dictionary if you are unsure whether you are using the correct variant.

Always use academic English

Whether you write your thesis in American or British English, make sure that you always use academic English. This means that you use an academic style of writing for your thesis. You can read exactly what academic English means on our site. Also, beware of these common mistakes found in English-language theses.

Extra tip: set your spelling checker to the right language

Do you want to avoid accidentally using American words in your British-English text or vice versa? Don't forget to set your spelling checker in Word to the correct language style. Word then helps you to stay consistent with your use of American or British English.

Need help? Our editors will check your thesis

Do you want to be sure that you have used academic English and that no awkward mistakes have crept into your thesis? Then, have the English editors of AthenaCheck check your thesis. They are native English speakers and experienced proofreaders. They can help you submit your thesis without errors, and in the right writing style. 

Did you accidentally mix up British and American English? They will correct this for you.