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Capstone Multilingual Writing Tips: Blog

December 2019: Articles and Count vs. Noncount Nouns

by Paul Lai on 2019-12-01T08:00:00-06:00 | 0 Comments


Do you find yourself writing with missing articles (a/an and the) or adding articles where they do not need to be? You are not alone! Many multilingual writers find article usage to be one of the most difficult grammatical concepts to master. In fact, you may have written and even published in English for many years and still have remaining article errors in your writing. Why? Many languages do not use articles, or, if they do exist, they may be used differently than in English. In addition, although there are some rules about article usage, there are also quite a few exceptions. To master article usage, it is necessary to do a great deal of active reading, notice how articles are used in published texts and with technical language, and take notes on how you can use articles correctly in your own writing.

Also see these resources for more information:

Revision Tip: Look back through the current draft of your capstone document and choose a couple of paragraphs to focus on. Circle or highlight each noun in those paragraphs. Then, use the SMRT Guide: Article Usage Flowchart to check if there should be the, a, an, or no article before each noun. Revise as needed.


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