Using Articles (a, an, the) in Academic WritingApr 15, 2023
articlesa and and the are used constantly in everyday speech and
writingas well as in
writing; they function as limiting adjectives that help readers understand what person, place, thing, or concept is being discussed. Native usage of these
articlesdevelops as a result of extensive reading. writing observation and speaking in a natural context; however,
academicwriting can be somewhat idiosyncratic and therefore difficult even for native speakers to master a whopping 62 percent of all grammar errors were edited tips in 2016 and related to misuse of the determiner Therefore, the use of the article is an important investigation related to grammar. writers should be aware, but there are some basic rules for determining which articles to use in a given sentence.
The three items we will discuss today are a and when first applying the indefinite articles a and n there are two basic rules we can consider when applying these items first use a or n when mentioning someone or something for the first time researchers conducted a survey of heart disease patients on last year i saw an orthodontist this morning second use a or n to show someone or something is one of a group fiji is an island in the pacific ocean this means one of all islands lupus is a disease that affects the immune system a among many diseases for the definite article there are three basic rules that we can use first use the after you have already mentioned someone or something, or if the context makes it obvious what person, object, or concept you are referring to, patients with heart disease were between 50 and 60 years old, here we assume that patients with heart disease are those who were surveyed by researchers, as we mentioned in our first example the orthodontists explained my x-ray result to me we can omit this information in parentheses as we already mentioned in above the text ii used the when there is only one of someone or something for example the Prime Minister of Canada is visiting Asia there is only one Prime Minister of Canada the Statue of Liberty is located in New York Harbor as there is only one Statue of Liberty the definite article is used last uses the with superlative adjectives Everest is the highest mountain in the world these results comprise the The strongest evidence for this theory is that misuse of the articles a and n also frequently arises from lack of recognition when a noun is countable or uncountable a noun is countable if the noun can be counted examples include apples chairs patients years and people among many others a The noun is uncountable if it cannot be counted.
Often these are abstract elements such as thoughts or substances and liquids that can take any form. A couple of examples include heat and water temperature, so let's look at uncountable nouns first, since the rules about articles are simpler. for these types of nouns when dealing with uncountable nouns the articles a and n cannot be used as the words mean one and we cannot count uncountable things, therefore the only options you have are to use the article or no article, like so what when do you do it? use the and when
usingno article if you are referring to a specific example of an uncountable noun then you use the however if you are referring to any of the samples of an uncountable noun then you are not
usingany article as you can see in these examples then let's take a look at some examples you might come across when writing a research paper people often make decisions out of anger and without using reason these are uncountable nouns the samples showed that the liquid was actually fluoride even though liquid is an uncountable noun we used the word the ' because it refers to a specific term used in the paper sand was important long ago in brick making the water in that lake is polluted we use the definite article in this case because water is specifically mentioned in this paper now let's take a look at count nouns we must decide if we are talking about the count noun in general or about a specific example of the count noun first if the noun in question refers to a member of that count noun you should use a or n with that noun for example I I want a car or a virus could have infected this specimen, we do not need to point to any specific term that is in the document, just any of the group that this term represents if the noun in question refers to all members of that countable noun. you should not use any article, but use the plural form of the noun, for example, colors can affect our emotions or scientists have been researching this topic for decades, we do not refer to any specific color in this text or to any specific scientist, so we use the plural if the noun in question refers to a whole group you should use the definite article or the plural for example the elephant is a large mammal or the harp is a difficult instrument to learn now let's take a look to some countable nouns in sentences that i might encounter in research papers patients with this disorder need to go to a special hospital researchers and doctors are interested in progress well we are not referring to any specific researchers and doctors but to researchers and clinicians in general, a copy of the study has just been completed here we use an indefinite article with copy because it doesn't matter which copy specifically is being referenced and we use the definite article the with study because there is only one study in question the penguin is an interesting animal to watch remember that we use the definite article the with countable nouns when we want to refer to all the articles in a group using the rules we have learned regarding the use of the article, let's take a test to see if you can decide which of the items should be used, we analyzed a variety of tissue samples, experts identified the lake surrounding the compound as the source of the infections in question colors affect our perception of reality the cheetah is the fastest land animal those concerned in donating a kidney they must notify the hospital donation committee becoming an expert requires a lot of experience using articles appropriately in your research Writing and other essays is essential to creating solid and reliable scholarly work.
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