Reporting Verbs

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Reporting verbs
When introducing references[->0] into the text (citing) you should choose suitable 'reporting' verbs as these can: ·strengthen the arguments you are presenting
·help the reader understand why the source is relevant.
Some verbs are neutral:
·Smith describes...
·Jones states...
·Green defines...
Some verbs draw attention to the author's viewpoint:
·Harris argues...
·O'Neill disputed...
·Jackson conceded...
Some verbs give information about the author's work:
·Holmes investigated...
·Church evaluated...
·McColl estimated...
Some verbs highlight the author's viewpoint:
·Brown believes...
·McAllister recognized...
·Smith predicted...
Other useful reporting verbs (use present or past tense as appropriate) ·analyse/analysed
·compares/compared
·comments/commented
·concludes/concluded
·criticises/criticised
·demonstrates/demonstrated
·discusses/discussed
·illustrates/illustrated
·indicates/indicated
·notes/noted
·observes/observed
·points out/pointed out
·reports/reported
·shows/showed
·suggests/suggested
·validates/validated
·verifies/verified
The meaning behind reporting verbs
Reporting verbs are also a way for you, the writer, to show your ‘attitude’ towards the source of information you are citing. These attitudes are either ‘positive’, ‘negative’ or ‘neutral’.

Do you agree with what the author has said? If so, use reporting verbs with a ‘positive’ meaning to them. Here are some reporting verbs that tend to be ‘positive’: • Acknowledge
• Affirm
• Certify
• Explain
• Identify
• Observe

Do you disagree with what the author has said? In this case, you can use a ‘negative’ reporting verb to indicate this. Here is a sample of some reporting verbs usually understood as being ‘negative’:

• Accuse
• Claim
• Guess
• Proclaim
• Expect
• Hope

Perhaps you don’t feel positive or negative about the source you are citing. In this situation, you should use a ‘neutral’ reporting...
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