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Reporting Verbs Academic Essays Examples

Accounting Communication Matters

Reporting Verbs

Reporting verbs are used to integrate the words or ideas of other authors into your writing when using the Harvard referencing system. Here is a list of commonly used reporting verbs:

Reporting Verbs

  • States
  • Claims
  • Describes/outlines
  • Shows/demonstrates/establishes
  • Argues
  • Maintains
  • Challenges
  • Refutes
  • Suggests/identifies
  • Highlights
  • Lists
  • Defines

Using reporting verbs

Reporting verbs enable the author to communicate to the reader the author's attitude to what is being written.

You may be using the ideas of other authors but you are using them for your own purpose and you communicate this through the reporting verb.


Smythe (1998) claims that the bulk of government funding should be given to the "best" universities, e.g. Melbourne or Monash, rather than to regional universities such as the University of Tasmania.

In this example you are able to cite the idea of Smythe but you are also able to convey to the reader that you do not necessarily agree with this idea and that you will explain this further in your writing.

Would you like to practise using reporting verbs?

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