When you are summarizing, paraphrasing, or quoting from a source, use a signal verb to signal or alert the reader that the information that comes next are the words, sentences, or ideas from another source, and not yours alone. Use the present tense of the verb, and if there is more than a single author, drop the “s” from the ending of the signal verb because the subject is plural.

These are some examples of what it looks like to use a signal verb:

  • Williams (2015) stated, “....” (p. #).,
  • As the prominent psychologist Pavlov (1920) argued, “....” (p. #).
  • Williams and Bartlett (2015) described….
  • In her book, Title of Book, Williams (2015) maintained that….
  • In the article, “Title of Article,” Williams (2015) claimed that “....” (para. #).
  • Williams (2015) agreed when she presented….
  • Williams (2015) disagreed when he criticized, “....” (p. #).

Examples of Common Signal Verbs

  • Agreed
  • Analyzed
  • Concluded
  • Contended
  • Defined
  • Disagreed
  • Explained
  • Found
  • Identified
  • Illustrated
  • Informed
  • Introduced
  • Observed
  • Outlined
  • Promoted
  • Questioned
  • Recommended
  • Reported
  • Said
  • Showed
  • Suggested
  • Theorized
  • Wrote