0813 406 9676 kenterpro1@gmail.com



Cover Page – – – – – – – – i
Declaration Page – – – – – – – – ii
Approval Page – – – – – – – – iii
Dedication Page – – – – – – – – iv
Acknowledgements – – – – – – – – v
Abstract – – – – – – – – – vi
Table of Contents – – – – – – – – viii

1.1 Background to the study – – – – – – 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem – – – – – – 4
1.3 Purpose of the study – – – – – – – 6
1.4 Research Questions – – – – – – – 6
1.5 Research Assumptions – – – – – – 7
1.6 Significance of the study – – – – – – 7
1.7 Scope and Delimitation of the Study – – – – 8
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms – – – – – 9

2.1 Concept of Articles – – – – – – – 10
2.2 Types of Articles – – – – – – – 10
2.2.1 The definite Article – – – – – – – 11
2.2.2 Indefinite Articles: “A” and “An” – – – – – 13
2.3 Zero Article – – – – – – – – 14
2.4 Rules Governing the Use of Articles – – – – – 16
2.4.1 Concept of Error and Error Analysis – – – – – 18
2.4.2. Basics Classification of Errors – – – – – 19
2.5 Error in the use of Articles – – – – – – 19
2.6 Concept of Writing – – – – – – – 21
2.6.2 Types of Writing – – – – – – – 21
2.7 Summary of Literature Review- – – – – – 23


3.1 Research Design- – – – – – – – 24
3.2 Area of the Study- – – – – – – – 25
3.3 Population and Sample of the Study – – – – – – 25
3.3.1 Samples of the Study- – – – – – – – 25
3.3.2 Sampling Technique- – – – – – – – 26
3.4 Instrument for Data Collection- – – – – – 27
3.4.1 Validity of the Instrument- – – – – – – 27
3.4.2 Reliability of the Instrument- – – – – – – 27
3.4.3 Description and Development of Instrument – – – – 28
3.5 Procedure for Data Collection- – – – – – 28
3.6 Method of Data Analysis- – – – – – – 28

4.1 Result – – – – – – – – – 29
4.2 Discussion and Findings- – – – – – – 31

5.0 Introduction- – – – – – – – – 33
5.1 Findings- – – – – – – – – 33
5.2 Conclusion – – – – – – – – 35
5.3 Recommendations – – – – – – – 36
5.3 Limitations of the Study – – – – – – 36
5.5 Suggestion for further Study- – – – – – – 37
References – – – – – – – – 39
Appendixes – – – – – – – – 42




This study investigates the use of articles in English Essays of selected secondary school students in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State. The study is a survey research design carried out in four selected secondary schools in Jos North Local Government Area. For the purpose of data collection, a test was constructed and administered in the affected secondary schools, a total of eighty SS 2 students were given five topics to choose one topic out of the five to write an essay. The result of the findings from the respondents indicates that a high proportion of the students used the indefinite articles wrongly and did not even observed the usage of zero article in their essays. The findings were interpreted in terms of what could be done to improve students’ essay writing skills especially in article usage. The research thus concludes that certain proportions of students in the secondary schools do not have adequate knowledge in the area of the use of articles in English essays and are ignorant of the rules of articles usage. The following recommendations were made: Educational planners should recommend up to date books that deal with grammatical items of English Language and the texts should be reviewed from time to time, students should be indulged in practical reading activities using events or happenings around them as this will boost their writing skills and also build their usage of articles, teachers of English should pay adequate attention towards teaching the students how to write essays especially when using articles.
1.1 Background to the study
Writing can be defined as the act or art of forming visible letters or characters by means of words to express ideas or opinions. It is essentially a thinking process (White, 2010). It is the thought processes going on in the mind that is translated into writing using the appropriate graphic symbols. Writing precedes reading because reading comes from what has been written down. It is important for students to be able to communicate effectively through writing in English language for a number of reasons. As a second language, English perfumes a very good role. It is the language of communication officially used in the country as evidenced in the National Policy on Educational (NPE).
Writing is one of the visible products of education. Incorrect spellings and usage of articles have been taken to be signs of scholastic failure and wide spread detoriation of inadequacies in the whole school system.
Board (2002) maintains that every language is a highly organized whole; in particular, the total meaning of any stretch of language consists of the sum of the meaning of the units which occur in that plus the meaning contributed by the way in which the units are organized or in other words, the meaning of their structure. The user of the language must therefore be able to recognize the regular ‘formal’ uttering of the elements of the language into large predictable structure which makes it possible for him to communicate with others. In writing therefore, attention should be paid to structural words. These are words which are either wholly or devoid of lexical or dictionary meaning, such words include articles.
Article is part of grammar. According to Leacock (2010;48), articles are ideal targets for automatic error detection because they are among the most frequent of English learners error. The research typically focuses on the use of the definite and the indefinite articles as well as the Zero article. In English there are three articles; ‘a’, ’an’, and ‘the’. Quirk, Jowitt and Boardi (2002),identify two main types of articles in English. These are; The definite article “the” which is used when the speaker wants to recall what had already been referred to for instance; the man in the house, the sun, the rain. The definite article is sometimes used with a singular generic count noun (not a plural generic count noun, not a generic non-count noun).While the indefinite articles are “a” and “an”, “a” is used as a singular noun and placed before a word that begins with a consonant sound. Example a man, a book, a chair, while ‘an’ is used before a vowel sound in English and a singular vowel sound. Example, an orange, an Umbrella, an Apple among many other examples that will be used in the course of this research work.
Fry (2012) mentions that English articles (a, an, and the) are considered to be the most frequent words in English. Moreover, Master (2002;22) says that the article ‘the’ is shown to be the most frequent word in English and ‘a’ to be the fifth most frequent word. In addition, nearly eight and half percent of the English text contains ‘the’ and ‘a’. Depending on these statistics, it is obvious that the English articles are a significant part of English Language. Kim and Lakshmana (2007) also says that ESL and EFL learners need more time to acquire the article system than any other grammatical forms.
Jowitt (2002) conducted an investigation into the analysis of syntactic errors in the written English of Senior Secondary School Students and the error of the misuse and omission of articles was identified. The misuse of articles occupied the third position within the highest error rank and it occurs so many times in students written English. He also maintained that students responses to the use of articles dictated that some of them lack the skill of appropriate selection of articles and their placement in sentence construction. And this most times leads to error in the use of articles in their English Essays.
Opara (2011) observes that errors are deviations in Language use which result from linguistic competence on the part of the language user. They are not correctable by the speaker or writer because the writer or user does not know what the correct versions are. They reflect the users stage on the inter-language continuum. Most times, the misuse of the articles I writing may be or occur as a mistake from the learner or writer, this is because mistakes reflect occasional lapses in performance; they occur because in a particular instance, the student is unable to perform what he or she knows. When this happens, it is taken to be just a slip that the learner forgets the right form. Therefore, when students write, the syntactic organization must be considered or put in check in order to avoid errors or mistakes especially in articles usage.
Many students get confuse on how to use some part of grammar like using articles. They often make some errors when they are using articles in sentences. Such articles ‘a’, ‘an’, and ‘the’. Base on the researcher’s preliminary study, the errors done by the students are mostly in substitution where the students put the wrong article in the sentence. For example, ‘I have a old car, instead of ‘I have an old car’. This case leads to curiosity of the researcher to find out the real problem about the students error. With regards to the types of text taught in Secondary Schools, students still find difficulties in essay writing especially in using articles. The students make errors in essay writing using articles because they need to describe some objects, therefore they require or need to use the articles for such descriptions.
Furthermore, in school-based curriculum of senior secondary school, the standard competence of learning English especially for writing is that students are required to be able to comprehend many types of writing skills such as in; Essay writing, descriptive writing, argumentative writing and expository writing which are useful for communication purposes related to their environment.
Base on the above given background, the present researcher just like Jowitt (2002) also intends to study the misuse of articles by secondary school students which leads to error in their written works especially in their essays.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Over the years researchers have dwelled on grammatical problems such as tense errors, errors in punctuations, errors in sentence structure etc. However, few research to the knowledge of the researcher have been carried out in the area of error in the use of articles especially at the secondary school level. It is not out of place to see expressions such as “Did you see a son?”.
The examples below exemplify the three categories of articles identified in our discussion as constituting problems to many students in the secondary school.
A. Wrong use of the definite article.
i. Education is better than the business.
ii. My father said I should spend my holiday with my brother who is the doctor.
iii. Nigeria is the country blessed with many things.
B. Wrong use of the indefinite article.
i. My father want me to become a accountant.
ii. I have never seen a Nile.
iii. It is hot around an equator.
C. Wrong inclusion and omission of articles.
Wrong Inclusion;
i. The human life is very precious.
ii. He takes a pride in all his children.
i. I am now in secondary school
ii. I applied for job during the holidays.
Expressions such as the above example makes it necessary to investigate why student have problems using the articles in English correctly. The wrong uses of articles completely make the sentences ungrammatical. These errors in the use of articles if not properly taken cared of at the secondary level may accompany these students to the tertiary institutions.
It is these errors in the use of articles by secondary school students especially in their essay writing that interest the researcher to carry out this research on the topic under study.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The most outstanding purpose of this research work is to analyze the way and manner in which secondary school students make use of articles in English essays and how the misused can be corrected. Specifically, the study intends ;
i. To identify which of the articles students mostly use.
ii. To find out which of the article is hardly or never used.
iii. To determine which of the articles students use without errors.
iv. Proffer possible solutions on how to enhance the proper use of articles in essay.
1.4 Research Questions
This research intends to answer the following questions;
i. Which of the articles is mostly used by students?
ii. Which of the articles is hardly used by students?
iii. Which of the articles do students use without errors?
iv. What are the possible solutions on how to enhance the proper use of articles in essay?
1.5 Research Assumptions
This study makes the following basic assumptions;
i. The use of articles in English is not a major problematic area for many secondary school students.
ii. Many secondary school students do not use the definite article in place of the indefinite article vice versa.
iii. Many secondary school students do not use articles in contexts where they are not required and omit them where they are required.
1.6 Significance of the study
Several studies have been made or conducted in the field of syntactic errors and other related areas: most often of which are at the post secondary schools levels like colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Universities, but this study is mainly focusing on the secondary school level which is regarded as the building ground for tertiary institutions of learning. The researcher has discovered that most of the syntactic errors made by the students at the tertiary schools level is trace able to their poor learning background at the secondary school level.
This study is therefore beneficial to the secondary school students as it points out their errors in the misuse of articles and teaches them the rules and syntactic arrangement of words in their written essays. It will majorly teach the learners how to use the articles correctly in their written essays.
The study is also beneficial to the teacher as it teaches him ways on how to develop and improve the students writing skills in using articles.
To other researchers, it will serve as a source of material in conducting similar studies. It is expected that this study contributes as reference point for other researchers so as to enrich their resources.
1.7 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
This study is designed to cover only the grammatical aspect in the use of articles in English essays of secondary school students. This research might not be able to discuss other aspects of grammar such as concord, verb, tense, tags among many others. The study proposes to do the following;
i. Analyze few pieces of essay written test by SS 2 Students of four selected secondary schools in Jos North Local Government Area.
ii. Classify errors found in the written test carried out by the students.
iii. Interview the writers of the test to find out the reasons behind their errors.
The study is limited to some selected senior secondary schools in Jos North Local Government Area. However, the findings of this study can be generalized to other parts of the state.

1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
The following operational terms are defined within the context of their usage in this research.
Articles: These include the definite article ‘the’ and the indefinite articles ‘a’ and ‘an’ used as determines in different sentences in order to limit the meaning of nouns they precede.
Errors: Is a mistake committed in writing or in speech to produce correct utterances; certain rules must surely be obeyed.
Essay(s): This is a form of composition writing that tells the writer’s thoughts or opinions about the subject he/she is writing about.
Constituent: It is a technical word meaning ‘part’. In this study it is used as a sequence or sequences in the sentence.
Syntax: This is concerned with the relationship of words in sentences, the way they are put together or arranged to form sentences.
Syntactic Errors: These are errors emanating from grammatical structure of a statement. For example, ‘I can be here yesterday’. The above sentence can be grammatically correct but syntactically erroneous.
Writing: It is the act or art of forming visible letters or characters by means of words to express ideas or opinions.


  • Format: ms-word (doc)
  • Chapter 1 to 5
  • With abstract reference and questionnaire
  • Preview Table of contents, abstract and chapter 1 below

₦ 3,000

This Complete Project Material is Available for Instant Download Immediately After Payment of ₦3000.



Bank Name: United Bank of Africa (UBA)
Account Name: chianen kenter
Account Number: 2056899630
Account Type: savings
Amount: ₦3000