Verb cheat sheet

The Thesis Whisperer verb cheat sheet

www.thesiswhisperer.com

 

Verbs are judgmental. The verb you use to describe someone else’s work indicates your feeling about the quality of the work. For instance, “Mewburn (2010) argues…” is kinder than “Mewburn (2010) asserts…” (a scholar who asserts is not really a scholar at all).

 

Choose your feeling, and then pick a verb from the list that fits your sentence. Or just scan the list for best fit. This is the list I made to put on my own wall – you may disagree with my categories. Feel free to change it to suit your style.

 

 

This work is awesome!

 

argues

concludes

explains

demonstrates

differentiates

identifies

critiques

deduces

discriminates

evaluates

proves

assesses

examines

distinguishes

predicts

proposes

assesses

integrates

discusses

illustrates

outlines

 

I feel neutral

 

shows

applies

outlines

composes

proposes

uses

states

organises

differentiates

uses

produces

examines

separates

develops

appraises

selects

performs

illustrates

interprets

paraphrases

reports

prepares

restates

reviews

uses

classifies

contrasts

debates

relates

produces

 

This work is poor

 

asserts

chooses

justifies

invents

uses

constructs

states

makes

selects

recalls

recites

tells

generalises

changes

characterises

 

Note: This attached handout is released under the creative commons share a-like attribution license. You may circulate and change it, but be cool – acknowledge Dr Inger Mewburn as the original author.

Ċ
Inger Mewburn,
26 Jan 2013, 13:07
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