Criteria or Criterion?

It can be easy to use the wrong words when writing academic documents. Often spoken English is, in a sense, more relaxed than written, academic English. We can get away with things when we speak that we cannot get away with when we write. One area where people tend to make mistakes is in their use of singular and plural forms of words. When we speak we might get away with misusing the singular or plural form of a word, but this will not work when we are writing. Too much hangs on the words we choose. If the wrong words are used, our audience may miss our written message completely. And so it is important that we use the correct words when writing.

Because we do not always use singular and plural terms correctly when speaking it can be hard to know whether we are using the correct terms in our writing. We are so used to using language incorrectly; it can be hard to know whether the words we have chosen for our writing are appropriate. One instance of this is the difference between Criteria and Criterion.

Criterion identifies a single standard on which a judgement or decision is made. For example, “the ability to sing in tune is the number-one criterion for winning the singing competition”. Criteria are the plural form of criterion. For example, “The criteria for winning the singing competition include: being able to sing in tune; having good stage-presence; and having a general ability to entertain an audience”.

For most of us, when we are speaking we probably use the term criteria more often than we use criterion. As a result, we may use criteria in our writing when we should have used criterion. Without thinking about it we might write “the ability to sing in tune is the number-one criteria for winning the singing competition”. But that is an incorrect use of criteria. While your reader might understand what you meant to communicate, it is always best to use language correctly when writing. Choosing appropriate words can make all the difference between your reader understanding what you are trying to say, and them missing your point completely!

If you are still not sure whether you have chosen the right words in your writing, the team at proofreadmyessay can help. Even if you think you have chosen the right words, it is always a good idea to have a second set of eyes look at your work. With their fresh perspective, the professionals at proofreadmyessay will be able to identify mistakes you might have missed. In addition to word choice, they can help you with grammar, spelling, referencing and formatting. The best part about their service is that it is inexpensive. You can check out their prices here, and even get a free sample here! So why not submit your document to proofreadmyessay today?

ProofreadMyEssay is the principle professional proofreading and editing Service provider in the United Kingdom. Their team of experienced English Proofreaders help polish the language used in academic documents such as research papers, theses, dissertations, essays, and much more. What’s more, the company also provides phd proofreading Services at very competitive prices.

6 May 2013

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