sorry if this has already been asked. But how are course or class names written in fiction (both prose and screenplay)? For example, if someone has a second-level algebra course on their schedule, would they refer to it in dialogue as "Algebra 2"? "Algebra II"? "Algebra Two"?

I know all the rules for numbers and numerals in fiction; I just wasn't sure if they still applied when writing spoken classes. Thanks in advance for any advice!

2 Answers 2


Most schools have their courses listed on their website. Middle Schools/Junior High, High School, Colleges. And the course titles vary. I've never seen Two though. I would do it to match how schools do it.

My 8th grade daughter is currently taking "Math 1." This is actually 9th grade math. In our current school district, they got rid of Algebra and Geometry as courses and combine them all into Math 1 and Math 2 and Math 3 (for 9th-11th grades) then move on to AP Calculus A/B and AP Calculus B/C.

In the district where my daughter might go to high school next year, they have the older version where each year is a type of math. Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Statistics, Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus (only one level at that school).

For AP classes, check online for the AP test names. They're all listed in multiple places. Nearly all high schools will name their AP classes by the names of the AP tests.

If your characters are in college, just check out some college course catalogs.

So the short answer is, duplicate what the schools call the courses. Don't try to come up with a new style or base it on how one might do other numbers.


My first inclination would be to write it the same way it's written in school materials. If the course catalog or class schedule says "Algebra 2", that's what I'd write.

I'd do something different if there was potential for confusion. Like to take a contrived example, if there was a class call "Medical IV", there might be confusion whether "IV" is intended to be Roman numeral 4 or the abbreviation for "intravenous". But that's really stretching things to find a problem, I think.

I wouldn't write it out, like "Algebra Two", unless the pronunciation was important to the story. Like if it's important for some reason that a character said "one-oh-one" rather than "one hundred one", then I'd spell it out. If it doesn't matter, I'd stick to the more conventional way to write it.

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