Reporting Verbs

Whether you are using paraphrase or direct quotation, it’s important to let your reader know in advance that a quote or paraphrase is coming. This is done by signaling, and typically involves two components: an attribution (the author’s name and/or title of the text) and a reporting (signal) verb.

Reporting verbs are important not only tell the reader that you are presenting someone else’s idea, but also what you think of that idea. Reporting verbs can express agreement, disagreement, recommendations, or even neutrality.

Below are common reporting verbs categorized by what they express:

Making a claim

  • argues
  • asserts
  • believes
  • claims
  • emphasizes
  • holds
  • maintains
  • notes
  • observes
  • reminds us
  • reports

Expressing agreement

  • accepts
  • acknowledges
  • agrees
  • concurs
  • confirms
  • corroborates
  • does not deny
  • maintains
  • recognizes
  • supports
  • verifies

Expressing disagreement

  • challenges
  • complains
  • complicates
  • contends
  • contradicts
  • denies
  • qualifies
  • questions
  • rejects
  • refutes
  • renounces

Emphasizing

  • emphasizes
  • highlights
  • stresses
  • underscores

Examining

  • analyzes
  • assesses
  • compares
  • contrasts
  • evaluates
  • examines
  • investigates
  • scrutinizes
  • studies

Making recommendations

  • advises
  • advocates
  • calls for
  • demands
  • encourages
  • exhorts
  • implores
  • insists
  • recommends
  • suggests
  • urges
  • warns

Expressing a proposition

  • hypothesizes
  • intimates
  • suggests
  • speculates

Expressing belief

  • believes
  • expresses
  • feels
  • imagines
  • hopes
  • professes
  • upholds

Presenting a conclusion

  • concludes
  • discerns
  • discovers
  • finds
  • summarizes

Providing explanation

  • articulates
  • clarifies
  • defines
  • explains
  • identifies
  • illustrates