Signal Phrases for incorporating source material

When you include paraphrases or quotes, you will sometimes want to introduce the source before you cite it. You do this with a signal phrase or a signal verb – this will signal to your reader that you are about to cite a source. Note that signal phrases can come beforeafter, and even in the middle of quoted or paraphrased material.

Read on for some advice and some sample signal verbs. The following is from About Writing: A Guide by Robin Jeffrey:


Keep things interesting for your readers by switching up the language and placement of your signal phrases.


In the words of professors Greer and Dewey, “…”

As sociology scholar Janice Kinsey has noted, “…”

Creative Commons, an organization that helps internet users understand and create copyright for materials, reports that “…”

“…,” writes Deidre Tyrell, “…”

“…,” attorney Sanderson claims.

Kyles and Sanderson offer up a compelling point: “…”


Acknowledges Contends Observes
Admits Declares Points out
Adds Denies Reasons
Agrees Disputes Refutes
Argues Emphasizes Rejects
Asserts Endorses Reports
Believes Grants Responds
Claims Illustrates Suggests
Comments Implies Thinks
Compares Insists Writes
 Confirms Notes