Reporting phrases by ZRA214


									         Academic Writing                                       page 1 of 10

Referring to Other Work
There are 2 main ways of reporting other work. The first way emphasises the
information, the second way emphasises the author. The first way is more typical in
more factual/scientific reports. The second type is more common in
discussion/argument reports where ideas/information are not so certain.

    1. Information Emphasis        The simplest way to mention other work in your
       writing is to make a statement summarising the facts or ideas and then give the
       reference in brackets, or reference number in brackets or as a footnote:

              Recent consumer oriented applications easily absorb an exponential
              increase in processing power (Sasaki 1996).

    2. Author Emphasis Another way, which emphasizes more the people who have
       done the work, as well as your or their attitude to the ideas, involves using
       various reporting verbs or phrases (see the list on the following pages):

              Quarantelli (1987) and others have added that there is every reason to
              think we will have both quantitatively and qualitatively more difficult
              disasters in the decades to come.

……that       or     …..As..    ?

Two ways:

 Johnson (1990) explains that paintings from that period are rarely found today.

   As Johnson (1990) explains, paintings from that period are rarely found today.
                  Academic Writing           Referring to Other Work             Page 2 of 10

                   Which Tense to Use?
           These are the most common tenses:

           Present Simple – if the idea is recent, or you want to suggest that it is a well
                       established fact, or it is still true today:
                        D’Amico and Rubinstein rightly argue that “the success of a
                        negotiation pivots on issues of language.” They point out that
                        “Language provides a rich resource for cultural research”
                        (1999: 390).
           Present Simple Grammar Note: be careful with singular/ plural agreement:
           CORRECT: “Results from a previous descriptive study suggest that …..”
           WRONG: “Results from a previous descriptive study suggests that …..”
           The main idea is: “Results…suggest..” (the subject is RESULTS) not “…study

           Present Perfect – if the idea has just been developed recently, or several pieces of
                        research up to the present are mentioned:
                        The evolution of traffic has been evaluated by Marchetti (1988),
                        using the UMOT (unified mechanism of travel) model
                        Previous work has suggested that the presence of a grandmother in
                        the household may reduce the likelihood of parental childcare
                        involvement for girls more than boys (Short et al.. 2001).

            Past Simple – you want to emphasise that the work was done in the past, it’s
                        finished, and perhaps things are different now.
                        Wasserman and Varnik (1998) conducted a study of the reliability of
                        statistics on violent death and suicide in the republics of the former

           Compare the following and what they could mean:

1. Watson and Harrison (2005) claim that this zircon formed at a temperature of 7000 C.
 (this is recent and it could be true)

2. Watson and Harrison (2005) claimed that this zircon formed at a temperature of 7000 C.
 (perhaps this work is older or perhaps it has been shown that this is not true now)

3. Watson and Harrison (2005) have claimed that this zircon formed at a temperature of 7000 C.
(this is recent and it could be true)
          Academic Writing          Referring to Other Work             Page 3 of 10

Below is a list of common verbs that are used in reporting other work, with an example and explanation of the meaning.
They are organized in approximately similar areas of meaning.

 Verb (phrase)                                             Example                                              Meaning

Say etc.
Say          (that)        As Smith (1999) says, governments need to look into the problem more            Simple – not very
                           carefully.                                                                      formal though
State         (that)       Quarantelli (1980) stated that research literature had not provided a           Same as the above but
                           model of evacuation decision making.                                            more formal
Note          (that)       W. Mills (1959) noted that if there was one unemployed man in a city,           Mentions, a less
                           that was his personal problem.                                                  important point
Point out         (that)   As Gusfield (1981, p. 13) points out, ‘‘Acceptance of a factual reality often   Mentions something
                           hides the conflicts and alternative potentialities possible.”                   that perhaps not
                                                                                                           everyone realises
Report        (that)       Noji (1997, p. 11) reported increases in the number of natural disaster         Information found from
                           events, deaths, deaths per event concerning the processes of facility           a study
Declare         (that)     Portman et al. (1989) declare their interest in prolonging the debate.          Admit or state your
                                                                                                           idea strongly, or
                                                                                                           clearly- perhaps others
                                                                                                           don’t agree
Add            (that)      Quarantelli (1987) and others have added that there is every reason to          More information
                           think we will have both quantitatively and qualitatively more difficult         about a subject
                           disasters in the decades to come.
Build on …(idea, work,     Ainsworth (1978) built on Bowlby’s ideas about exploratory bases                Do more work on the
research)                                                                                                  same subject
Predict (that)             Pezzoli (1991, p. 207) predicts that such conflicts and contradictions will     Say that something
         Academic Writing          Referring to Other Work          Page 4 of 10
                        increase                                                                      will happen in the

Identify etc.
Identify                Drabek (1991) identified perceived personal risk as a characteristic          Information found from
                        positively associated with initiating an adaptive response.                   a study
Show         (that)     Results from laboratory studies show that E. coli can remain alive for up     Show!
                        to 5.5 months (Gerba and Keswick, 1981).
Demonstrate (that)      Astin’s (1993, 1999) work on college adjustment demonstrates that active      Show , make clear,
                        involvement in all areas of college life is associated with emotional well-   perhaps by explaining
                        being and academic and social success.                                        how something was
Indicate      (that)    The American Academy of Microbiology indicated that the safety of             Show (more formal)
                        drinking water is declining throughout the world because of                   suggest
                        microbiological contamination (Hart,1996).
Present (the case)      De Falla (19994) presents the case in support of tighter controls.            Show, explain, describe
Testify    (to)         The work of Bryant and May (1987) testifies to the need for greater           Show, confirm
(that)                  precautions in such studies.

Observe etc.
Observe     (that)      Aastrup and Munck (1982) observed that a line with low ß-d-glucan             Noticed in the
                        content possessed a thin cell wall.                                           experiment, or mention
Describe                However, a 1961 paper by Plotkin and colleagues described seven pools of      Say what something is
                        CHAT, two of which were made at the Wistar Institute, and three at other      like or what happened
                        laboratories (Plotkin et al.. 1961)
Detail                  Ferguson (1998) has detailed how this affected the civil right movement.      Describe in detail
Record                  Mathur (1942) and Brown (1968) record Morus as a host-plant for P.            Write down, note
       Academic Writing          Referring to Other Work              Page 5 of 10

Mention and stress etc
Mention     (that)       Franck (1999) mentions some of the difficulties connected with                 Say in short way, or
                         enforcement.                                                                   about something not
                                                                                                        very important
Refer to                 Key research on evacuation in the United States refers to the evacuation       mention
                         process (Drabek 1969)
Draw attention to (the   Blanche (1995) draws attention to the limitations of this approach.            Mention something
fact that/ the           Burton R. Clark (1960) drew attention to the importance of cooling-out in      that could be forgotten
importance of)           higher education
Point out                As Henner-Stanchina and Holec (1985) point out, self-assessment need           Mention something
                         not be norm-referenced.                                                        that could be forgotten
Point to ( + noun)       Fillmore et al.. (1988) point to the need for greater flexibility in dealing   Mention something
                         with the concept of the word.                                                  important

Emphasise      (that)    The study emphasizes urban rather than plantation slavery (Peterson            To say that it is more
                         1999).                                                                         important, or talk more
Highlight                Bramki and Williams (1984) have highlighted the problems specialist            Similar to the above
Underline                vocabulary can pose.
Stress       (that)
Bring out                                                                                               Similar to the above

Explain etc.
Explain        (that)
Define                   Fredrickson and Mitchell (1984) defined a comprehensive decision-making Explain the exact
                         process as one that is exhaustive in the generation and evaluation of   meaning of a word or
                         alternatives.                                                           idea
         Academic Writing         Referring to Other Work            Page 6 of 10

Find, discover etc.
Find         (that)       In this study decreasing glucanase activity during grain filling was found.   Find!
                          (Leon et al. 2000)
Discover      (that)      Livingston et al. (2000) discovered a worrying trend in migration             Find
Detect       (that)       Randall (1984) and Bowers and Brown (1992) detected regularity in the         Find – perhaps with
                          spacing of D. spectabilis mounds.                                             more difficulty
Reveal        (that)      Major research findings reveal that organizations typically experience        Find – perhaps with
                          serious problems in the movement of institutionalized populations such as     more difficulty or a
                          hospitals, jails, nursing homes, and residential campuses (Hans and Sell      more surprising
                          1974).                                                                        discovery
Establish    (that)       Taylor and her colleagues’ (Taylor & Pham, 1996; Taylor et al.., 1998)        Show from their work
                          research on mental simulation has established that imagining the process      that something is quite
                          of pursuing a goal facilitates obtaining that goal.                           certain
Confirm     (that)        Brancaccio et al. (2000) confirmed that amyloid deposits strongly reacted     We thought this was
                          with the deposits.                                                            true and this
                                                                                                        information also makes
                                                                                                        us believe that it really
                                                                                                        is true
Identify         (that)   Kipnis, Schmidt, and Wilkinson (1980) identified eight influencing            Found and described
                          tactics at work in organizational situations.
         Academic Writing         Referring to Other Work             Page 7 of 10

Hold the view that        Montefiore (1988) holds the view that this can lead to genetic imbalance       For an opinion
Make the case that        in the population at large.
Express the view that     Six in ten (60%) Canadians express the view that Canada should only
Put forward the view      provide military assistance for any military action taken against Iraq if
that                      the United Nations, not just the United States, decides that military
                          action is required
Argue         (that)      Charles Crothers (1991) argues that, as a group, students undergo "status      Says this idea but perhaps
                          degradation"                                                                   other people don’t agree
Agree         (that)      This does not agree with the findings of Wangsotorn (1981) or Blue             Have the same idea
Affirm     (that)         Phillips et al.. (1997) affirm that the PMR statistic is not a suicide rate.   Similar to confirm
Admit        (that)       Vidal (1978) acknowledges the limitations of the sample size.                  Agree that another
Acknowledge (that)                                                                                       person’s idea is correct

Accept         (that)     the Hong Kong Education Commission (1990) accepted the logic of this
Support (the view         The present study supports the findings of earlier work on subcultures in      Agree with
that/of - the /findings   the workplace.
Recognise (that)          Wu and Zhu (1981) recognised that there were two species of Chlumetia          Notice, Accept, understand
                          on mango in China.                                                             as true
Assume (that)             Baumann (1989) studied the assumption that adult children often abuse          We accept that an idea is
(noun: assumption)        elderly parents.                                                               true even though we are
                                                                                                         not sure
Presume     (that)                                                                                       Similar to the above
Believe        (that)
Question    (whether)     Speilman et al (1988) question the need for further work in this area.         Question here means
         Academic Writing        Referring to Other Work             Page 8 of 10

Ask him/herself why
Wonder (if/why)
Disagree         (that)                                                                          Disagree!
Dispute         (that)                                                                           Strong disagreement
Reject (the claim that) Parkinson and Swithin (1988) reject the claim that their work            Very strong disagreement
         (the view that) interferes with the natural process.
Contradict               Our findings contradict those of earlier researchers.                   Say the opposite of something

Suggest etc..
Suggest      (that)      Results from previous descriptive studies suggest that ratio analysis   Makes us think that this is true
                         is not the appropriate analytical procedure (Biggs et al. 1989)
Suggest      (that)      Ware (1979: 80–1) suggests that the ‘membership style of party          Mentions a new idea
                         organization’ produces ideologically and organizationally rigid
Maintain      (that)                                                                             Express belief firmly, perhaps
                                                                                                 others disagree
Claim      (that)        Pantin (1968) claims that certain disciplines are restricted.           Says this but other people might
                                                                                                 not agree (stronger than the
Assert      (that)       Cervero and Wilson (1994a) asserted that bargaining is the strategy     Same as above (but stronger)
                         of choice.
Contend (that)                                                                                   Same as above
Warn (that)              Mausner & Kramer (1985) also warn about interpreting the PMR as         Tell of the danger
                         a risk measure.
Allege     (that)                                                                                Say that someone did this bad
Propose         (that)   Simon (1960) proposed that human thought is governed by programs        Suggest a new idea
                         that organize myriads of simple information processes into orderly,
                         complex sequences.
          Academic Writing       Referring to Other Work             Page 9 of 10
Urge                     Watson (1999) urges the government to increase funding for this        Suggest strongly

provide evidence that    These models provide evidence that existing knowledge in this area     Give information that makes us
                         is limited (Libby 1981)                                                think something is true
Appear to                The work of Beal et al.. (1983) appears to suggest the need for        Similar to the above, but perhaps
(suggest/claim etc. )    pressure treatment of wood in contact with soil.                       some might not agree
Seem to (suggest/claim                                                                          Similar to the above, but perhaps
etc. ) that                                                                                     some might not agree
Imply      (that)        The findings of the present study imply that the situation is not as   Makes one believe that something
                         clear as previously thought.                                           is true from the information found
Suspects (that)          Bavelier (2004) suspects that it is the complex demands placed on      Thinks that this is the probable
                         the visual system by action games that leads to the improvements.      explanation but is not sure

Study etc.
Review                   This essay reviews the archaeological interpretations of slavery in    Discuss all the other research in
                         the southern United States.                                            this subject
Look at                  Robert Dreeben (1968) looked at school culture and concluded that it   Study, look at
                         taught students to "form transient social relationships,….
Examine                  Boothroyd (99) examined the data from the computerized process-        Study carefully
                         tracing experiment

In conclusion…
Conclude (that)          Bowers and Brown (1992) concluded that other rodent species may        State an idea based on the
                         be relegated to areas beyond 13m.                                      information collected
Sum up (by)                                                                                     Similar to the above
Reach the conclusion                                                                            Similar to the above
      Academic Writing       Referring to Other Work         Page 10 of 10
Summarize            Lambert (1990, 1992) summarized his research about what has   Make a summary
                     become known as the Canadian immersion program.

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