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Scholarly Voice: Verbs That Introduce

Verbs That Introduce

When including summaries, paraphrases, or quotations in academic writing, sometimes you should include the name of the author of the original source within the sentence rather than as a parenthetical citation. In order to do this, use a verb to introduce the research. For example:

Clark (2012) reported that the decrease in bees could be linked to changes in pesticide use.

In research-based writing, the frequent use of paraphrased or quoted material can make it difficult to find a way to vary the verbs used. However, variety in word choice creates more interesting texts. To avoid repeating reported and stated, consider some of the following verb instead.

  • Acknowledged
  • Addressed
  • Commented
  • Described
  • Emphasized
  • Compared
  • Added
  • Explained
  • Explored
  • Admitted
  • Concluded
  • Discovered
  • Asked
  • Remarked
  • Reported
  • Wrote
  • Answered
  • Mentioned
  • Noted
  • Observed
  • Offered
  • Measured
  • Suggested
  • Summarized

Additional Tips

Word choice can vary from between academic or professional fields. For example, some fields may use the verb claimed regularly, while other disciplines do not. Referring to corpuses can help you determine if a word is appropriate for your field.

When choosing a verb to introduce research, be mindful that some verbs carry connotations. Although said is neutral, the verb argued could be seen as angry or negative by a reader. On the other hand, a verb like assumed may make the source seem weak or unprofessional. In academic writing, it is important to choose the most accurate verb. If a source makes an assumption, then using the verb assumed is a sound choice. If a source does not make an assumption, using the verb assumed will create a connotation that does not match the purpose of the source. Make sure the verbs you choose best reflect the original meaning of the quoted or paraphrased material.