Q. I am a course designer for a university, and I always have a difficult time figuring out how to handle punctuation and capitalization in multiple-choice questions. Do I capitalize the first letter of each choice? Do I add a period at the end of each choice? Does the rule change if it is a question rather than a statement?
A. Unless the items themselves form complete sentences, lowercase the first letter of each item in a multiple-choice list and omit periods:
Blade Runner’s Rick Deckard was, without a doubt,
(a) a replicant
(b) Sam Spade reincarnated
(c) an ordinary human being
(d) an enigma
This style applies to statements and questions. In this way, multiple-choice tests are styled much like unnumbered vertical lists.