100+ Strong Verbs That Will Make Your Research Writing Amazing - Wordvice (2023)

The academic community can be conservative when it comes to writing styles, but your writing shouldn’t be so boring that people lose interest midway through the first paragraph! Given that competition is at an all-time high for academics looking to publish their papers, we know you must be anxious about what you can do to improve your publishing odds.

To be sure, your research must be sound, your paper must be structured logically, and the different manuscript sections must contain the appropriate information. But your research must also be clearly explained. Clarity obviously depends on the correct use of English, and there are many common mistakes that you should watch out for, for example when it comes to articles, prepositions, word choice, and even punctuation. But even if you are on top of your grammar and sentence structure, you can still make your writing more compelling (or more boring) by using powerful verbs and phrases (vs the same weaker ones over and over). So, how do you go about achieving the latter?

(Video) Which Verb Tenses to Use in a Research Paper

Below are a few ways to breathe life into your writing.

1. Analyze Vocabulary Using Word Clouds

Have you heard of “Wordles”? A Wordle is a visual representation of words, with the size of each word being proportional to the number of times it appears in the text it is based on. The original company website seems to have gone out of business, but there are a number of free word cloud generation sites that allow you to copy and paste your draft manuscript into a text box to quickly discover how repetitive your writing is and which verbs you might want to replace to improve your manuscript.

Seeing a visual word cloud of your work might also help you assess the key themes and points readers will glean from your paper. If the Wordle result displays words you hadn’t intended to emphasize, then that’s a sign you should revise your paper to make sure readers will focus on the right information.

(Video) How to Write an Effective Research Paper

As an example, below is a Wordle of our article entitled, “How to Choose the Best title for Your Journal Manuscript.” You can see how frequently certain terms appear in that post, based on the font size of the text. The keywords, “titles,” “journal,” “research,” and “papers,” were all the intended focus of our blog post.

2. Study Language Patterns of Similarly Published Works

Study the language pattern found in the most downloaded and cited articles published by your target journal. Understanding the journal’s editorial preferences will help you write in a style that appeals to the publication’s readership.

(Video) How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper

Another way to analyze the language of a target journal’s papers is to use Wordle (see above). If you copy and paste the text of an article related to your research topic into the applet, you can discover the common phrases and terms the paper’s authors used.

For example, if you were writing a paper onlinks between smoking and cancer, you might look for a recent review on the topic, preferably published by your target journal. Copy and paste the text into Wordle and examine the key phrases to see if you’ve included similar wording in your own draft. The Wordle result might look like the following, based on the example linked above.

If you are not sure yet where to publish and just want some generally good examples of descriptive verbs, analytical verbs, and reporting verbs that are commonly used in academic writing, then have a look at this list of useful phrases for research papers.

3. Use More Active and Precise Verbs

Have you heard of synonyms? Of course you have, but have you looked beyond single-word replacements and rephrased entire clauses with stronger, more vivid ones? You’ll find this task is easier to do if you use the active voice more often than the passive voice. Even if you keep your original sentence structure, you can eliminate weak verbs like “be” from your draft and choose more vivid and precise action verbs. As always, however, be careful about using only a thesaurus to identify synonyms. Make sure the substitutes fit the context in which you need a more interesting or “perfect” word. Online dictionaries such as the Merriam-Webster and the Cambridge Dictionary are good sources to check entire phrases in context in case you are unsure whether a synonym is a good match for a word you want to replace.

To help you build a strong arsenal of commonly used phrases in academic papers, we’ve compiled a list of synonyms you might want to consider when drafting or editing your research paper. While we do not suggest that the phrases in the “Original Word/Phrase” column should be completely avoided, we do recommend interspersing these with the more dynamic terms found under “Recommended Substitutes.”

(Video) How to Write a Research Paper Title

A. Describing the scope of a current project or prior research

PurposeOriginal Word/PhraseRecommended Substitute

To express the purpose of a paper or research

  • This paper/ study/ investigation…
  • aims to
This paper + [use the verb that originally followed “aims to”] or This paper + (any other verb listed above as a substitute for “explain”) + who/what/when/where/how X. For example:
  • “This paper applies X to Y,” instead of, “This paper aims to apply X to Y.”
  • “This paper explores how lower sun exposure impacts moods,” instead of, “This paper aims to address the impact of lower sun exposure on moods.”
To introduce the topic of a project or paper
  • The paper/ study/ article/ work…
  • Prior research/ investigations…
  • discusses
  • presents
  • surveys
  • questions
  • highlights
  • outlines
  • features
  • investigates
To describe the analytical scope of a paper or study
  • The paper/ study/ article/ work…
  • Prior research/ investigations…
  • considers
  • analyzes
  • explains
  • evaluates
  • interprets
  • clarifies
  • identifies
  • delves into
  • advances
  • appraises
  • defines
  • dissects
  • probes
  • tests
  • explores

*Adjectives to describe degree can include: briefly, thoroughly, adequately, sufficiently, inadequately, insufficiently, only partially, partially, etc.

To preview other sections of a paper
  • Section X…
  • covers
  • deals with
  • talks about
  • outlines
  • highlights
  • sketches
  • assesses
  • contemplates

[any of the verbs suggested as replacements for “explain,” “analyze,” and “consider” above]

B.Outlining a topic’s background

PurposeOriginal Word/PhraseRecommended Substitute
Todiscuss the historical significance of a topic
  • Subject/ Mechanism…
  • plays an important in [nominalization]
  • plays a vital role in [nominalization]
Topic significantly/considerably +
  • influences
  • controls
  • regulates
  • directs
  • inhibits
  • constrains
  • governs

+ who/what/when/where/how…

*In other words, take the nominalized verb and make it the main verb of the sentence.

To describe the historical popularity of a topic
  • X Theory…
  • …is widely accepted as…
  • …is widely used as…
  • Widely accepted, … [to eliminate the weak beverb]
  • The preferred…
  • Commonly/Frequently implemented,… [to eliminate the weak be verb]
  • The prevailing method for…
To describe the recent focus on a topic
  • Much attention has been drawn to
  • …has gained much importance in recent years
  • Discussions regarding X have dominated research in recent years.
  • …has appealed to…
  • …has propelled to the forefront in investigations of Y.
  • … has dramatically/significantly shaped queries on X in recent years.
  • …has critically influenced academic dialogue on Y.
To identify the current majority opinion about a topic
  • The consensus has been that…
  • Prior research generally confirms that…
  • Several studies agree that…
  • Prior research substantiates the belief that…
To discuss the findings of existing literature
  • Previous studies…
  • indicate
  • have documented
  • have demonstrated
  • have shown that
  • contend
  • purport
  • suggest
  • proffer
  • have proven that
  • evidence
To express the breadth of our current knowledge-base, including gaps
  • Much is known about…
  • But, little is known about…
  • The academic community has extensively explored X…
  • Prior research has thoroughly investigated….
  • However, little research has been conducted to show…
  • However, prior studies have failed to evaluate/ identify / (any other word suggested to replace “analyze” above)
To segue into expressing your research question
  • Several theories have been proposed to explain…
  • To solve this problem, many researchers have tried several methods
  • Recent/Previous studies have promoted…
  • Prior investigations have implemented/ queried diverse approaches to…
  • A number of authors have posited…

C. Describing the analytical elements of a paper

PurposeOriginal Word/PhraseRecommended Substitute
To express agreement between one finding and another
  • This paper/ study/ investigation
  • supports
  • substantiates
  • confirms
  • corroborates
  • underlines
To present contradictory findings
  • This paper/ study/ investigation
  • calls into question
  • challenges
  • disputes
  • rebuts
  • refutes
  • disproves
  • debunks
  • invalidates
  • rejects
  • questions
Todiscuss limitations of a study
  • The limitations of this paper include:
  • These investigations, however, disregards…
  • This method/ approach fails to…
  • This study only…
  • …falls short of addressing/ identifying / illustrating…
  • A drawback/disadvantage of this framework is…
  • This framework, however, solely pertains to…

D. Discussing results

PurposeOriginal Word/PhraseRecommended Substitute
To draw inferences from results
  • The data…
  • These findings…
  • suggest
  • show
  • extrapolate
  • deduce
  • surmise
  • approximate
  • derive
  • extract
  • evidence
To describe observations
  • [Observed event or result]…
  • appeared
  • was observed to
  • manifested
  • surfaced
  • materialized
  • yielded
  • generated
  • perceived
  • detected

E. Discussing methods

PurposeOriginal Word/PhraseRecommended Substitute
Todiscuss methods
  • This study…
  • X method…
  • used
  • performed
  • applied
  • administered
  • employed
  • diffused
  • disseminated
  • relayed
To describesimulations
  • A simulation…
  • was created to…
  • was used to…
  • was performed to…
This study/ research…
  • simulated
  • replicated
  • imitated

+

“X environment/ condition to..”

+

[any of the verbs suggested as replacements for “analyze” above]

F. Explaining the impact of new research

PurposeOriginal Word/PhraseRecommended Substitute
To explain the impact of a paper’s findings
  • This paper/ study/ investigation
  • demonstrates
  • shows
  • illustrates
  • proves
  • evidences
  • strengthens (the position that)
To highlight a paper’s conclusion
  • This paper/ study/ investigation
  • establishes
  • proves
  • attributes
  • illustrates
  • advances (the idea that)
To explain how research contributes to the existing knowledge-base
  • This paper/ study/ investigation
  • offers
  • introduces
  • ushers in
  • proffers
  • conveys
  • promotes
  • advocates
  • introduces
  • broach (issue)
  • reveals
  • unveils
  • exposes
  • unearths

Wordvice Writing Resources

For additional information on how to tighten your sentences (e.g., eliminate wordiness and use active voice to greater effect), you can try Wordvice’s FREE Citation Generator and learn more about how to proofread and edit your paper to ensure your work is free of errors.

Before submitting your manuscript to academic journals, be sure to get academic editing services from Wordvice, including cover letter editing, manuscript editing, and research paper editing services.

We also have a collection of other useful articles for you, for example on how to strengthen your writing style, how to avoid fillers to write more powerful sentences, and how to eliminate prepositions and avoid nominalizations. Additionally, get advice on all the other important aspects of writing a research paper on our academic resources pages.

(Video) How to Paraphrase in Research Papers (APA, AMA)

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FAQs

What are some good words to use in a research paper? ›

Some examples are: tentative (hypothesise, imply, suggest), neutral (note, interpret, discuss, reflect, observe), strong (establish, disregard, highlight, recommend).

What are the action verbs that usually being used in writing research objective? ›

Each objective should begin with a verb that describes an observable behavior, such as "describe, summarize, demonstrate, compare, plan, score", etc. You can observe the participant and measure how well the objective was met.

What is the most important word in research proposals? ›

The most important word here is “convince” – in other words, your research proposal needs to sell your research idea (to whoever is going to approve it). If it doesn't convince them (of its suitability and manageability), you'll need to revise and resubmit.

How do you write a research title example? ›

Effective titles in academic research papers have several characteristics.
  1. Indicate accurately the subject and scope of the study.
  2. Avoid using abbreviations.
  3. Use words that create a positive impression and stimulate reader interest.
  4. Use current nomenclature from the field of study.
7 Sept 2022

What are the 10 words related to research? ›

research
  • analysis.
  • exploration.
  • inquiry.
  • investigation.
  • probe.
  • delving.
  • experimentation.
  • groundwork.

What are 5 common terms used in research? ›

Research Glossary
  • Accuracy. In survey research, accuracy refers to the match between a sample and the target population. ...
  • Action Research. ...
  • Adjusted R-Squared. ...
  • Administrative Data. ...
  • Alpha Level. ...
  • Alternative Hypothesis. ...
  • Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) ...
  • Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)

What are the 23 action verbs? ›

23 action verbs for your executive resume
  • Accelerate.
  • Advocate.
  • Champion.
  • Command.
  • Construct.
  • Craft.
  • Deploy.
  • Energize.

What are the 7 elements of research? ›

A research report has seven components:
  • Abstract or Summary.
  • Introduction.
  • Review of Literature.
  • Methods.
  • Results.
  • Conclusions and Discussion.
  • References.

What is the verb of research? ›

verb. researched; researching; researches. transitive verb. : to search or investigate exhaustively.

What is a research proposal 300 words? ›

It is a brief summary of approximately 300 words. It should include the research question, the rationale for the study, the hypothesis (if any), the method and the main findings.

What are the 10 examples of research title? ›

Research Topics:
  • Infectious disease. 29 articles | 1,643,000 views. ...
  • Nutritional immunology. 29 articles | 768,000 views. ...
  • Music therapy. 44 articles | 268,000 views. ...
  • Political misinformation. 11 articles | 219,000 views. ...
  • Plant science. 15 articles | 198,000 views. ...
  • Sustainable agriculture. ...
  • Mental health. ...
  • Aging brains.
17 Jan 2022

What are the 6 characteristics of a good research title? ›

The “title” should be descriptive, direct, accurate, appropriate, interesting, concise, precise, unique, and should not be misleading.

What is list of keywords in research? ›

Make a List of Useful Keywords. Keep track of the words that are used to describe your topic. This will help you when you are searching in different databases, because not every author uses the same keywords to describe the same topic. What were the important words you found in the encyclopedia?

What is research easy words? ›

Research is a process of systematic inquiry that entails collection of data; documentation of critical information; and analysis and interpretation of that data/information, in accordance with suitable methodologies set by specific professional fields and academic disciplines.

What are some cool scientific words? ›

The Top 25 Coolest Data Science Terms
  • Hyperplane.
  • Hyperparameter.
  • Gradient Descent.
  • Confusion Matrix.
  • Softmax.
  • Monte Carlo Simulation.
  • Multi-armed Bandit.
  • The Curse of Dimensionality.

What are the two 2 types of definitions in a research study? ›

Researchers develop two kinds of definitions: Theoretical Definitions. Operational Definitions.

What are examples of key terms? ›

Important terms for you to know include:
  • Definition of Apply.
  • Argue.
  • Compare/Contrast.
  • Define.
  • Describe.
  • Discuss.
  • Evaluate/Critique.
  • Interpret.

What are the 200 action words? ›

Action words, also known as action verbs, are verbs that specifically express what a person is doing or has done. When writing a resume, your bulleted action statements should begin with an action word.

What are the 50 examples of verb? ›

50 verbs in english, Verb 1,2,3 Forms
V1 Base FormV2 Past SimpleV3 Past Participle
drivedrovedriven
dwelldweltdwelt
eatateeaten
fallfellfallen
23 more rows

What are verb give 100 examples? ›

100 Examples of Regular Verbs
InfinitivePastParticiple
AmazeAmazedAmazed
AmuseAmusedAmused
AnswerAnsweredAnswered
AppearAppearedAppeared
26 more rows

What are the 25 main verbs? ›

25 Most Common Verbs
  • be.
  • have.
  • do.
  • say.
  • get.
  • make.
  • go.
  • know.

What are the 50 most common verbs in English? ›

The Most Common English Verbs
  1. 1. to be. Conjugation: to be. Definition: ...
  2. 2. to have. Conjugation: to have. Definition: ...
  3. 3. to ask. Conjugation: to ask. Definition: ...
  4. 4. to do. Conjugation: to do. Definition: ...
  5. 5. to get. Conjugation: to get. ...
  6. 6. to go. Conjugation: to go. ...
  7. 7. to hear. Conjugation: to hear. ...
  8. 8. to say. Conjugation: to say.
16 Aug 2022

What are the 20 examples of verb? ›

Examples: swim, realize, Run, Walk, laugh, have, promise, invite, listen, running, winning, being, etc.

What are the 16 types of verbs? ›

There are sixteen verbs used in Basic English. They are: be, do, have, come, go, see, seem, give, take, keep, make, put, send, say, let, get.

What are the 9 parts of research? ›

A complete research paper in APA style that is reporting on experimental research will typically contain a Title page, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and References sections. Many will also contain Figures and Tables and some will have an Appendix or Appendices.

What is the verb 3 of study? ›

studied - Simple English Wiktionary.

What are the 4 main types of research? ›

There are four main types of Quantitative research: Descriptive, Correlational, Causal-Comparative/Quasi-Experimental, and Experimental Research. attempts to establish cause- effect relationships among the variables.

What is the verb 5 of study? ›

Verbs in a regular structure can be transformed with a simple rule, whereas in irregular verbs, this situation is slightly different.
...
Study V1 V2 V3 V4 V5, Past Simple and Past Participle Form of Study.
Base FormPast FormPast Participle
studystudiedstudied

How long is a 2000 word research paper? ›

How long does it take to write a 2,000 word essay? It takes about 6 hours and 40 minutes to write a 2,000 word essay. How long does it take to write a 2,500 word essay? It takes about 8 hours and 20 minutes to write a 2,500 word essay.

How do you write a 500 word research proposal? ›

You initial research proposal should:
  1. Be approximately 500 words.
  2. Include an outline of your research interests.
  3. Detail your initial thoughts about a topic.
  4. Have references to previous work.
  5. Discuss the methodology and general approach you wish to take.

What are the 10 steps in conducting research? ›

A list of ten steps
  1. STEP 1: Formulate your question.
  2. STEP 2: Get background information.
  3. STEP 3: Refine your search topic.
  4. STEP 4: Consider your resource options.
  5. STEP 5: Select the appropriate tool.
  6. STEP 6: Use the tool.
  7. STEP 7: Locate your materials.
  8. STEP 8: Analyze your materials.

Is research title consist of 20 words? ›

Keep the title statement as concise as possible. You want a title that will be comprehensible even to people who are not experts in your field. Check our article for a detailed list of things to avoid when writing an effective research title. Make sure your title is between 5 and 15 words in length.

What are some good research topics for high school students? ›

Interesting Research Paper Topics for High Schoolers
  • Discuss and analyze the impacts of a famous musician on pop music.
  • How has pop music evolved over the past decade?
  • How has the portrayal of women in music changed in the media over the past decade?
  • How does a synthesizer work?
26 May 2021

What are the 12 steps of research? ›

What are the steps of the research process?
  • Identify the project topic. ...
  • Review any available literature. ...
  • Submit process for review. ...
  • Create an initial hypothesis. ...
  • Design the research approach. ...
  • Begin gathering data. ...
  • Analyze the results. ...
  • Create your report.
13 Jul 2021

What are the 7 steps in writing a research? ›

Seven steps to writing a university research paper
  • Step One: Determine the purpose of the paper. ...
  • Step Two: Refine your research question. ...
  • Step Three: Organize your approach. ...
  • Step Four: Collect information. ...
  • Step Five: Attribute the information. ...
  • Step Six: Write your conclusion. ...
  • Step Seven: Refine your thesis statement.
20 Dec 2020

What are the 7 steps in preparing your research? ›

The Seven Steps of the Research Process
  • Step 1: Identify and Develop Your Topic. ...
  • Step 2: Find Background Information. ...
  • Step 3: Use Catalogs to Find Books and Media. ...
  • Step 4: Use Databases to Find Journal Articles. ...
  • Step 5: Find Internet Resources. ...
  • Step 6: Evaluate What You Find. ...
  • Step 7: Cite What You Find Using a Standard Format.
14 Apr 2022

What are the 10 qualities of good research? ›

Knowing the difficulties lying ahead, I would like to suggest the following qualities: interest, motivation, inquisitiveness, commitment, sacrifice, excelling, knowledge, recognition, scholarly approach, and integration.

What are the 4 qualities of a good research? ›

Good quality research provides evidence that is robust, ethical, stands up to scrutiny and can be used to inform policy making. It should adhere to principles of professionalism, transparency, accountability and auditability.

What words should you avoid in a research paper? ›

You should try to avoid expressions that are too informal, unsophisticated, vague, exaggerated, or subjective, as well as those that are generally unnecessary or incorrect.

What can I say instead of we in a research paper? ›

[Note: When describing the focus of a research project, authors often replace “we” with phrases such as “this study” or “this paper.” “We,” however, is acceptable in this context, including for scientific disciplines.

What word can I use instead of you in a research paper? ›

Explanation: Replace instances of "you" in your essay either by using "individual" or "one" to refer to a single hypothetical person and using "people" to refer to a large group to whom something you're saying applies.

Which word is best for research connection? ›

Synonyms of research
  • investigation.
  • inquiry.
  • study.
  • exploration.
  • examination.
  • probing.
  • probe.
  • inspection.

What are the 6 topics you must avoid in writing a research? ›

What Topics Should You Avoid in Writing a Research Paper?
  • Played Out Topics.
  • Personal Stories and Information.
  • Topics With No Available Information.
  • Topics That Are Too Technical.
  • Topics That Are Too Narrow.
  • Topics That Are Too Broad.
  • Opinion-Based or Offensive Controversial Topics.
  • Topics That Aren't Significant.

What are forbidden words in essays? ›

For concise and meaningful writing, do your best to avoid these words and phrases in your admission essays.
  • 1) Contractions. ...
  • 2) Idioms. ...
  • 3-5) “So on,” “etc,” “and so forth“ ...
  • 6) Clichés. ...
  • 7-11) “Thing,” “stuff,” “good,” “bad,” “big“ ...
  • 12) Slang, jargon, teen speak. ...
  • 13) Rhetorical questions.
13 Mar 2018

What are the five topics that a researcher should avoid? ›

Avoid research topics that are
  • Insignificant to the audience. ...
  • Lacks your interest or will not hold your interest for long. ...
  • Only have few sources to get information. ...
  • Unmanageable and do not easily lend themselves to be narrowed. ...
  • Usual and have been overly worked by others. ...
  • Controversial. ...
  • Emotionally linked to someone.
6 Sept 2017

Is we a 3rd person word? ›

We, us, our,and ourselves are all first-person pronouns. Specifically, they are plural first-person pronouns. Singular first-person pronouns include I, me, my, mine and myself.

Is they a 3rd person word? ›

The singular “they” is a generic third-person pronoun used in English. It's not the only third-person singular pronoun—other third-person singular pronouns are “she” and “he” as well as less common options such as “ze” or “hen.”

What verbs are used in quantitative research? ›

Suggested verbs to use in quantitative research questions are those which convey the idea of cause and effect i.e. they indicate the link between variables: compare, relate, cause and influence.

How do you put research into your own words? ›

Paraphrasing means putting someone else's ideas into your own words. Paraphrasing a source involves changing the wording while preserving the original meaning. Paraphrasing is an alternative to quoting (copying someone's exact words and putting them in quotation marks).

What are 10 powerful words? ›

My Top 10 Most POWERFUL WORDS and Why
  • #10. STRUGGLE. Struggle is a precious gift. ...
  • #9. ADVENTURE. This is a topic which is always sure to excite me, my next adventure. ...
  • #8. NATURE. There are few things in life from which I gain more satisfaction than being outdoors. ...
  • #6. CURIOSITY. ...
  • #4. CREATIVITY. ...
  • #1. FREEDOM.
9 Nov 2016

What is research in 1 word? ›

1. to search or investigate exhaustively. 2. studious inquiry or examination; especially : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws. 3.

What are strong words? ›

Strong words put a clear, specific image in the reader's mind, forcing her to visualize something pleasant or painful, evoking an emotion that affects her thoughts, mood, and eventually, her actions.

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