Topic outline

  • For author prominent in-text citations, use a reporting verb to establish the nature of the information being reported. Common reporting verbs include:

    • describes
    • proposes
    • reports
    • shows
    • argues
    • suggests
    • analyses
    • demonstrates
    • states
    • observes
    • believes
    • says
    • comments

    The choice of reporting verb can tell the reader a lot about your interpretation of the idea in the original text. For example:

    Hallegatte and Rozenberg (2017) suggest... 

    conveys a different interpretation to 

    Hallegatte and Rozenberg (2017) argue... 

    The reporting verb 'suggests' implies a more neutral stance than 'argue'.  

    Tips on using reporting verbs:

    • Choose a reporting verb which best reflects your understanding and interpretation of what you have read
    • Avoid overusing the same two or three reporting verbs in your assignment - aim for variety
    • Build a reporting verb word-bank of your own to refer to when selecting appropriate reporting verbs to use. Organise the reporting verbs into categories such as positive, neutral and negative stance.  There are some great online resources you can visit to build your word-bank from.  Here are some suggestions to get you started: