Which is correct or better for the title of an academic article?

  1. Machine learning and cross-validation approaches for the evaluation of anti-spam softwares

  2. Machine learning and cross-validation approach for the evaluation of anti-spam softwares

The word approach or approaches is used as noun (not verb) in the title of the article.

  • Is not approaches or approach used in the title also noun?
    – Roman
    May 29, 2017 at 17:24
  • Please see edit of my question. Actually Machine learning and cross-validation is a single idea, then the noun followed by it should be singular (Approach) or plural (approaches)?
    – Roman
    May 29, 2017 at 17:33
  • Yes, if you mean machine learning approach and cross-validation approach, you can use "machine learning and cross-validation approaches". May 29, 2017 at 17:38
  • 2
    If as you say you have a single idea, then you have one approach and he word is singular, simple. Either way, it's software, not softwares, no matter how many you are evaluating. May 29, 2017 at 19:17
  • @Yosef Baskin According to Zwicky, countification of 'software' has arguably taken place. May 30, 2017 at 0:44

2 Answers 2


It's unclear which scenario your paper is describing.

  1. An approach that requires a combination technique of machine-learning and cross-validation.

  2. Two (or more) approaches , one that uses Machine learning and one that uses cross-validation. Or if your paper contains multiple approaches using both techniques.

Case 1: The Machine learning and cross-validation approach for the evaluation of anti-spam software.

Case 2: Machine learning and Cross-validation approaches for the evaluation of anti-spam software.

Let us know which one it is, I'm interested to hear what your writing about!


Grammatically, both would be correct if you changed softwares to software.

You would use approach if your article discusses only one approach and this approach is based on both machine learning and cross-validation. In this case, adding "A" at the beginning makes it clearer.

If your article proposes two or more approaches, then approaches is correct.

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