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University lecturers at Leeds Trinity University have reportedly been told not to write words in capital letters for fear of scaring students into failure.

A memo sent out to staff in the journalism department says using uppercase letters might be detrimental to students’ learning.

It makes suggestions on how to address students, including using a friendly tone and avoiding negative language.

The memo, obtained by the Express, reads:

Despite our best attempts to explain assessment tasks, any lack of clarity can generate anxiety and even discourage students from attempting the assessment at all.

The memo also suggested that writing in capital letters could make the work seem more difficult.

A lecturer at the school told the paper that caps were necessary for telling students important parts of an assignment. They said:

We are not doing our students any favours with this kind of nonsense.

Leeds Trinity have denied “banning” capital letters in this way, as reported by some news outlets, and instead say they are following best practice teaching guidelines.

Professor Margaret A House, OBE, vice-chancellor at the university said:

We follow national best practice teaching guidelines and the memo cited in the press is guidance from a course leader to academic staff, sharing best practice from the latest teaching research to inform their teaching.

This comes a month after Kent University introduced a ban on students wearing costumes deemed “inappropriate and offensive,” like cowboy outfits and sombreros, because they may jeopardise other students’ “right to a safe space at our university".

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