Reporting Verbs Exercises (with Printable PDF)

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Danielle McLeod

Danielle McLeod is a highly qualified secondary English Language Arts Instructor who brings a diverse educational background to her classroom. With degrees in science, English, and literacy, she has worked to create cross-curricular materials to bridge learning gaps and help students focus on effective writing and speech techniques. Currently working as a dual credit technical writing instructor at a Career and Technical Education Center, her curriculum development surrounds student focus on effective communication for future career choices.

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:

FunctionReporting Verbs
Agreement, Suggestions, and PersuasionAccepts, 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 PresentationAnalyzes, 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 QuestioningChallenges, debates, disagrees, questions, requests, wonders accuses, attacks, complains, contradicts, criticizes, denies, discards, disclaims, discounts, dismisses, disputes, disregards, negates, objects to, opposes, refutes, rejects
ConcludingAdvises, advocates, hypothesizes, posits, postulates, proposes, suggests, theorizes, asserts, recommends, urges, concludes, discovers, finds, infers, realizes
Reporting Verbs Exercise #1

Reporting Verbs Exercise #1

Choose the correct reporting verb from the list to complete the sentence.
List: stated, mentioning, pointed out, tell, questions, negates, claims, agrees

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Reporting Verbs Exercise #2

Reporting Verbs Exercise #2

Rewrite the original sentences using the reporting verb in brackets. Answers will vary slightly.
Example: “You shouldn’t eat before you swim,” said my mother [advise]
Answer: My mother advised me not to eat before swimming.

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Reporting Verbs Exercise #3

Reporting Verbs Exercise #3

Choose the correct reporting verb to complete the sentence.

Sally ________ to have the most experience and wanted to lead the team lessons.
The plumber ___________ that I should first turn off the water before I flushed the pipes.
Ryan _________ to pick up Emmett at school when I was running late.
Wyatt ________ ever seeing the exam review sheet and was angry that he wasn’t prepared.
Erin ___________ I go biking in the countryside to help build my endurance for the race.
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