Reporting Verbs Exercises (with Printable PDF)

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English language learners aren’t the only students who struggle with flow and sophistication in their writing structure.

When my students are asked to refer to (or report) the materials they are using to support their claims, they often have a hard time bending information into their own work. Referencing research is an important step in the academic writing process. Without it, you could be accused of plagiarism.

But how do you work supportive text into your own? Let’s review what reporting verbs are and practice how you can use them in-text to provide proper material citations.

What Is a Reporting Verb?

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Reporting verbs allow you to tell an audience about another conversation you’ve had or information you’ve received from a source other than yourself. This is called reported or indirect speech.

When you use materials that you did not create in your writing, you need to provide credit to your sources. Reporting verbs, also called referring verbs, are action words that indicate your use of another’s materials. You use them to connect in-text quotes, paraphrases, and information to their original source.

When you use materials in this manner, you are usually using them to support a claim you have made. You also may be using it to refute the idea of another.

For example:

  • Rogers and Duckle’s study indicates that economic changes can be influenced at a local level and are influenced by socio-economics.
  • Smith concluded that further research on the topic was needed.
  • Unbiased reviews of the report state that flood water recession could have been supported by the city’s municipalities and that their neglect was unacceptable.

Reporting Verb Options

Writers new to this process often struggle with sentence structure and will use the same verbs over and over, making their writing redundant and choppy sounding. Practice improves these skills, as does exposure to the many verbs you can take advantage of.

Some of the most popular verbs are listed below and can function in more than one way to refer to the material you are using:

Function Reporting Verbs
Agreement, Suggestions, and Persuasion Accepts, acknowledges, agrees, concurs, confirms, recognizes, applauds, congratulates, extols, praises, supports, believes, claims, declares, expresses, feels, holds, knows, maintains, professes, subscribes to, thinks asserts, guarantees, insists, upholds
Discussion, Evaluation, and Presentation Analyzes, appraises, assesses, compares considers, contrasts, critiques, evaluates, examines, investigates, understands blames, complains, ignores, scrutinizes, warns, comments, defines, describes, estimates, forgets, identifies, illustrates, implies, informs, instructs, lists, mentions, notes, observes, outlines, points out, presents, remarks, reminds, reports, restates, reveals, shows, states, studies, tells, uses, discusses, explores, reasons
Argument and Questioning Challenges, debates, disagrees, questions, requests, wonders accuses, attacks, complains, contradicts, criticizes, denies, discards, disclaims, discounts, dismisses, disputes, disregards, negates, objects to, opposes, refutes, rejects
Concluding Advises, advocates, hypothesizes, posits, postulates, proposes, suggests, theorizes, asserts, recommends, urges, concludes, discovers, finds, infers, realizes

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