Learning English, it is particularly difficult to follow all the grammatical rules and correctly format the sources in APA citation style. Considering the grammatical challenges I usually face, the use of prepositions should be out at the first place. English grammar has a lot of set phrases when prepositions are used because of historical development. Therefore, it is a difficult issue for non-native speakers. The next challenge is the use of articles. There are only three possible variants, namely definite article, indefinite article, or its absence. However, even having studying the rules of using the articles, I usually have confusion with their use. Another challenge in grammar rules application in oral and written speech is the choice of words. There are a lot of words which seem synonyms for non-native speakers, but native English speakers will never mix such words up. Finally, spelling of the plural forms of some words is a great challenge for me. Mainly the difficulty appears with the words-exceptions.
Formatting papers in APA style, I usually face the issues with formatting a reference list. Books, journals and newspaper articles, and websites are usually used while writing. So, it does not cause any problems for me to reference them. However, when I need to cite a dissertation either published or unpublished, an email, a file in PDF format with the limited information available, a movie or an image, I usually face some problems. Still, these moments are challenging for me and I always try to cope with the difficulties. The punctuation issues, the order of the citation components and the use of italics create a great challenge for me. Additionally, difficulties appear in finding the information in the source. If books and journal articles display such information, soothe files in PDF format and websites of different organizations may create numerous difficulties.
Every day I work on improving my knowledge and training my skills in English grammar and citation. The most effective strategy for me remains online testing. There are numerous web sites, which offer different online quizzes and applications for testing grammar rules. Having passed the test, I check the results and in case I have many mistakes, I refer to any of the sources with the rules. Learning and repeating English rules with examples is also a good strategy that works for me. When I need to remember some set phrases I refer to cards. The same strategy is used when I need to remember the spelling of the new words (Pollock, 2012). The words and phrases are easy to remember when I have them in front of my eyes on a desk, on a fridge, on the doors, on the walls, and in other possible places, where I can see them.
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While addressing the challenges in grammar use and in APA formatting, it is important to refer to credible sources. There are numerous sources online, but I still use reliable information in such sources as Paiz et al (2013) and American Psychological Association (2013) for APA formatting and Straus & Fogarty (2007) or Azar (2004) for English grammar. The information in these sources helps me write my papers without grammar and formatting mistakes. The books and manuals are very important sources in learning English grammar and understanding the formatting issues. The sources mentioned above are my best friends, as no one can assist the way they can. Therefore, studying I prefer to turn to them rather than turning to friends or parents. It teaches me to search for the information I need. Apart from teaching English I also train to overcome difficulties individually, without turning to outside help when there is no particular need.
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