How to Use Verbs Effectively in Your Research Paper

  • Writing Research Papers
  • Writing Essays
  • English Grammar
  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

When you conduct a research project, one part of your job is to assert your own original thesis with an effective argument . There are a few ways to enhance your research paper so it sounds more impressive. One method to sound convincing as an authority is to elevate your vocabulary by using strong verbs.

Remember, verbs are action words . The verbs you select for your writing should represent a specific action . This means you should avoid generic verbs to keep your writing interesting and sharp. Your goal is to keep teacher or audience interested.

Try to avoid these less exciting verbs:

How to Choose Your Verbs

No matter what your grade level, you must do your best to come across as an authority on your topic. Think about the noticeable difference in these statements:

  • I saw more mold on one piece of bread.
  • I observed a distinct difference between the two pieces of bread. Most importantly, one piece of bread displayed a greater density of mold.

The second statement sounds more mature, because we replaced "saw" with "observed" and "had" with "displayed." In fact, the verb "observe " is more accurate. When carrying out a scientific experiment, after all, you use more than mere eyesight to scrutinize your results. You may smell, hear, or feel some results, and those are all part of observing.

Now consider these statements when writing a history essay:

  • Historian Robert Dulvany says there were three main causes for the war.
  • Historian Robert Dulvany asserted that three events prompted the war.

The second phrase sounds more authoritative and direct. And it's the verbs that make all the difference.

Also, make sure to use active rather than passive structure with your verbs. Active verbs make your writing clearer and more engaging. Review these statements:

  • T he war on terror was launched by the United States.
  • The United States launched the war on terror. 

The subject-verb construction is a more active and powerful statement.

How to Sound Like an Authority

Each discipline (like history, science or literature) has a distinct tone with certain verbs that appear frequently. As you read over your sources, observe the tone and language. 

While reviewing the first draft of your research paper, conduct an inventory of your verbs. Are they tired and weak or strong and effective? This list of verbs provides suggestions to make your research paper sound more authoritative.

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research paper verbs

Best Active Verbs for Research Papers with Examples

What are active verbs.

Active verbs, often referred to as "action verbs," depict activities, processes, or occurrences. They energize sentences by illustrating direct actions, like "run," "write," or "discover." In contrast, linking verbs connect the subject of a sentence to its complement, offering information about the subject rather than denoting an action. The most common linking verb is the "be" verb (am, is, are, was, were, etc.), which often describes a state of being. While active verbs demonstrate direct activity or motion, linking and "be" verbs serve as bridges, revealing relations or states rather than actions.

While linking verbs are necessary to states facts or show connections between two or more items, subjects, or ideas, active verbs usually have a more specific meaning that can explain these connections and actions with greater accuracy. And they captivate the reader’s attention! (See what I did there?)

Why are active verbs important to use in research papers?

Using active verbs in academic papers enhances clarity and precision, propelling the narrative forward and making your arguments more compelling. Active verbs provide clear agents of action, making your assertions clearer and more vigorous. This dynamism ensures readers grasp the research's core points and its implications.

For example, using an active vs passive voice sentence can create more immediate connection and clarity for the reader. Instead of writing "The experiment was conducted by the team," one could write, "The team conducted the experiment."

Similarly, rather than stating "Results were analyzed," a more direct approach would be "We analyzed the results." Such usage not only shortens sentences but also centers the focus, making the statements about the research more robust and persuasive.

Best Active Verbs for Academic & Research Papers

When writing research papers , choose active verbs that clarify and energize writing: the Introduction section "presents" a hypothesis, the Methods section "describes" your study procedures, the Results section "shows" the findings, and the Discussion section "argues" the wider implications. Active language makes each section more direct and engaging, effectively guiding readers through the study's journey—from initial inquiry to final conclusions—while highlighting the researcher's active role in the scholarly exploration.

Active verbs to introduce a research topic

Using active verbs in the Introduction section of a research paper sets a strong foundation for the study, indicating the actions taken by researchers and the direction of their inquiry.

Stresses a key stance or finding, especially when referring to published literature.

Indicates a thorough investigation into a research topic.

Draws attention to important aspects or details of the study topic you are addressing.

Questions or disputes established theories or beliefs, especially in previous published studies.

Highlights and describes a point of interest or importance.

Inspects or scrutinizes a subject closely.

Sets up the context or background for the study.


Clearly expresses an idea or theory. Useful when setting up a research problem statement .

Makes something clear by explaining it in more detail.

Active verbs to describe your study approach

Each of these verbs indicates a specific, targeted action taken by researchers to advance understanding of their study's topic, laying out the groundwork in the Introduction for what the study aims to accomplish and how.

Suggests a theory, idea, or method for consideration.


Implies a methodical examination of the subject.

Indicates a careful evaluation or estimation of a concept.

Suggests a definitive or conclusive finding or result.

Indicates the measurement or expression of an element in numerical terms.

Active verbs to describe study methods

The following verbs express a specific action in the methodology of a research study, detailing how researchers execute their investigations and handle data to derive meaningful conclusions.

Implies carrying out a planned process or experiment. Often used to refer to methods in other studies the literature review section .

Suggests putting a plan or technique into action.

Indicates the use of tools, techniques, or information for a specific purpose.

Denotes the determination of the quantity, degree, or capacity of something.

Refers to the systematic gathering of data or samples.

Involves examining data or details methodically to uncover relationships, patterns, or insights.

Active verbs for a hypothesis or problem statement

Each of the following verbs initiates a hypothesis or statement of the problem , indicating different levels of certainty and foundations of reasoning, which the research then aims to explore, support, or refute.

Suggests a hypothesis or a theory based on limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.

Proposes a statement or hypothesis that is assumed to be true, and from which a conclusion can be drawn.

Attempts to identify

Conveys an explicit effort to identify or isolate a specific element or relationship in the study.

Foretells a future event or outcome based on a theory or observation.

Theorizes or puts forward a consideration about a subject without firm evidence.

Proposes an idea or possibility based on indirect or incomplete evidence.

Active verbs used to interpret and explain study results

In the Discussion section , the findings of your study are interpreted and explained to the reader before moving on to study implications and limitations . These verbs communicate the outcomes of the research in a precise and assertive manner, conveying how the data aligns with the expectations and hypotheses laid out earlier in the paper.

Shows or unveils findings from the data.


Clearly shows the result of an experiment or study, often implying evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship.


Shows or presentes a particular result or trend.

Provides evidence in favor of a theory or hypothesis.

Establishes the truth or validity of an anticipated outcome or theory.

Visually presents data, often implying the use of figures or tables.

Active verbs to discuss study implications

In the discussion of study implications, these verbs help to weave the results into a broader context, suggesting relevance, highlighting importance, and pointing out potential consequences within the respective field of research.

Proposes a possible interpretation or implication without making a definitive statement.

Points to broader consequences or significances hinted at by the results.

Indicates a logical consequence or a meaning that is not explicitly stated.

Strengthens the validity or importance of a concept or finding.

Emphasizes certain findings and their broader ramifications.


Underlines or emphasizes the significance or seriousness of an implication.

Active verbs to discuss study limitations

Discussing study limitations with these verbs allows researchers to maintain transparency about their study's weaknesses, thus providing a clearer picture of the context and reliability of the research findings.


Recognizes the existence of potential weaknesses or restrictions in the study.

Directly confronts a specific limitation and often discusses ways it has been mitigated.

Makes an observation of a limitation that could affect the interpretation of the results.

Reflects on or thinks about a limitation in the context of the study's impact or scope.

Points out and describes a specific limitation.

Makes known or reveals a limitation that could have an effect on the study's conclusions.

Active verbs for the Conclusion section

In the Conclusion section , these verbs are pivotal in crystallizing the core findings, implications, and the future trajectory of research initiated by the study.

Signifies drawing a final inference or judgement based on the results.

Provides a brief statement of the main points of the research findings.

States positively or asserts the validity of the findings.

Advises on a course of action based on the results obtained.

Highlights the importance or significance of the research outcomes.

Use an AI Grammar Checker to Correct Your Research Verbs

While lists like these will certainly help you improve your writing in any academic paper, it can still be a good idea to revise your paper using an AI writing assistant during the drafting process, and with professional editing services before submitting your work to journals.

Wordvice’s AI Proofreading Tool , AI Paraphrasing Tool , AI Summarizer , and AI Translator are ideal for enhancing your academic papers. And with our professional editing services, including academic proofreading and paper editing services, you get high-quality English editing from experts in your paper’s subject area.

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Verb Tenses to Use in a Research Paper

research paper verbs

Why Using the Correct Verb Tense is Important

When writing an academic paper, writers should follow the accepted grammar and style conventions: not only to abide by the institutional and domain standards, but to communicate clearly to readers what was studied, when it took place, and from what perspective you are discussing your research (and that of others) in your paper. One crucial writing element that you must consider when composing your paper is  verb tense . Which tense you use will determine the flow and coherency of your paper.

You might have found yourself thinking along these lines: “Everything in this study has already been completed, so shouldn’t I simply write everything in the simple past tense?”

The answer is no–at least not in a strict sense. The verb tense you use for a given sentence or phrase depends on your position as the author to the material you are discussing. As the author, you look at each element mentioned in your text from a distance in terms of your role: as a participant, critic, or messenger, among others. You must also take into account the chronological reasons for choosing between present and past tenses in a given instance.

Knowing which tense to use requires both knowledge of the exact guidelines set out for you in whichever formatting style you are following ( APA , AMA , etc.), as well as some discretion and savvy in choosing the tense that makes the most sense for a given statement in the paper.

While new authors should certainly familiarize themselves with the specific guidelines of the formatting style they are applying, this article will focus on the  most common rules of verb tense applied to research papers in journals and at academic institutions, reflecting basic verb usage rules in academic English and encompassing  all  formatting styles.

Bear in mind that these grammar and verb-tense issues will largely be corrected by any competent proofreading service or research paper editing service , and thus professional revision of all academic documents is recommended before submission to journals or conferences.

Rules for Present, Past, and Perfect Tense Verbs

First, there are three basic verb tenses used in research papers:  present  (simple present),  simple   past , and  present perfect . We will talk about how research paper sections determine verb tense in a minute, but first, let’s review when each tense should be used in general throughout the paper.


The present tense is used to talk about general facts, discuss current meanings and implications, and suggest future applications .

General facts are constant and do not change throughout time (the ultimate evolution of scientific progress notwithstanding). Always use the present when discussing general scientific facts.

Example: “Insulin and glucagon regulates blood glucose levels.” 

Implications are closely related to general facts and thus the same rule is applied.

Example: “An elevated glucose level indicates a lack of glucagon hormones in the pancreas.”

Further research is called for or stressed as important through a phrase in the present tense.

Example: “Further studies about glucagon receptors are needed.”


The simple past is generally used to discuss events that have been c ompleted in the past at some distinct time and/or place . It is most often applied to discrete events such as studies, experiments, or observed phenomena.

Example: “Scientists in Wales discovered a new enzyme in the liver.” Example: “Protocol X was used to analyze the data.”


The present perfect tense (or simply “perfect tense”) is used in research papers to refer to  events or actions that have taken place at some unidentified time in the past or have started but are still ongoing or only recently completed . It often establishes a general background in the Introduction section , adding a backdrop on which you can explain the motivations for and purpose of your study.

Note that it is the least frequently used tense in most research papers and should not be over-employed–focus more on detailed actions by using the simple past.

Example:  “Many studies have focused on glucagon as an important regulating hormone.” Example:  “Until recently, researchers have analyzed this kind of data using Chi-Square Statistics.” Example:  “Efforts have been made to understand more about this process.”  (passive)

Appropriate Verb Tenses by Research Paper Section

It bears repeating that the “best” tense to use is the one that is recommended (or demanded) by whichever formatting manual you are using. However, there is a high degree of continuity between the common styles, and the following rules for usage in each section will likely apply to your research paper no matter where it will be published.

Abstract verb tenses

In general, use the simple past for the abstract of your manuscript; for a concise introductory sentence, use the present perfect. To establish a need for your study—–for instance, by explaining the current circumstances of the world or the specific area in which you are working—–you can also use the present tense.

Example of introductory sentence (present perfect): “Recent studies of glucagon and insulin production have led to breakthroughs in medicine.” Example of establishing background/circumstances/purpose (present): “Diabetes  accounts for a higher number of deaths in the US than previously calculated.”

For general statements and facts, the paper itself, or analysis of findings, use the present tense.

Example of a statement of fact: “In the US, diabetes is the most common endocrine disease.”

If you are stating a fact or finding from an earlier specified time or place, use the simple past:

Example: “In 2016, diabetes was the most common endocrine disease.” Have a look at our more in-depth instruction to writing an abstract for a research paper or at these do’s and don’ts of abstract writing if you need additional input.

Introduction section verb tenses

Use a mixture of present and past tense in the introduction section .

The present tense is applied when discussing something that is always true; the simple past tense is used for earlier research efforts, either your own or those reported by another group.

Example of earlier research efforts (simple past): “This same research team discovered a similar enzyme in their 2012 study.”

If the time or location of the demonstration is unknown or not important, use the present perfect.

Example: “Prior research has indicated a correlation between X and Y.”

For the concluding statements of your introduction, use the simple past or present perfect.

Example of concluding statement (simple past): “The CalTech glucagon studies were inconclusive.” Example of concluding statement (present perfect): “Prior research in this area has been inconclusive.”

Use the past perfect when you talk about something that happened or was found to be the case in the past, but which has since been revised. Example of revised information (past perfect): “The Dublonsky study had determined that X was Y, but a 2012 study found this to be incorrect.”

Literature review verb tenses

Knowing which tenses to use for a literature review (either as part of a research paper or as a stand-alone article) can be a bit tricky, as your usage depends both on which style manual you are using (APA, AMA, MLA , or others) and on how you are discussing the literature.

The simple past is usually applied when using the researcher’s name as the subject of the sentence and discussing the methods or results of that study itself

Example of describing researcher’s actions: “Pearson (1997) discovered a new enzyme using similar methods.”

Other verbs commonly found in this usage context: investigated, compared, studied, analyzed, investigated, found, confirmed, performed, etc.

When giving your opinion on another researcher’s work or bringing up the results, discussion, and conclusions they make in their work, use the present tense.

Example of discussing another’s work: “Ryuku (2005) concludes that there are no additional enzymes present in the liver, a finding this current study directly refutes.” Other verbs commonly found in this usage context: stresses, advocates, remarks, argues, claims, posits. etc.

Methods section verb tenses

The Methods section fairly clearly delineates between sections written in past and those written in present tense.

Use the simple past tense to talk about what you did. (Note that you will generally find the passive voice used when describing the actions of the researchers. This puts more focus on the actions being completed and less on the agents completing the action. Passive voice has become the general standard for research papers in recent decades, but it is okay to mix passive and active voice in order to make your paper clearer and more readable.)

Example of methods of study: “A glucose molecule was added to the mixture to see how the peptide would respond.” Example of methods of analysis: “The results were analyzed using Bayesian inference.”

Use the present tense to refer to or explain diagrams, figures, tables, and charts.

Example: “Table 5 shows the results of this first isolated test.” Example: “The results of this first isolated test are displayed in Table 5.”

Results section verb tenses

The verb tense rules for the Results section are quite similar to those applied to the Methods section.

Use the past tense to discuss actual results.

Example: “The addition of 0.02 μg of glycogen activated receptor cells.” Example: “Receptor cells were activated by the addition of 0.02 μg of glycogen.”

Use the simple present tense to explain diagrams/figures/tables. Again, sentences may use both the active and passive voice.

Discussion section verb tenses

The Discussion section consists of an analysis of the findings and a kind of translation of the meanings and implications of these findings.

Use the simple past to summarize your own findings.

Example of summarizing own findings: “The experiment yielded a number of results associated with the processing of glucose.”

Use the present tense to interpret and discuss the significance of your findings.

Example: “[This study confirms that] synthetic glucagon is two-thirds as effective at decreasing fatty acid synthesis.”

Conclusions and further work

The conclusion and call for further work to be done are either provided in the last sentence or two of your paper or in a separate (but short) section at the end of the main text (check the target journal’s author instructions to be sure you follow the journal style) and summarize or emphasize the new insights your work offers.

Use the present perfect tense to clarify that your statements still hold true at the time of reading.

Example: “Results from this study have led to a deeper understanding about how different peptides interact in this enzyme.”

Use the present tense to apply findings, state implications, and suggest further research.

Example of wider implications: “This study confirms that endogenous glucagon is even more essential in metabolism than previously thought.”

When discussing further research that is either needed or intended to be carried out, the future or present tense (or subjunctive mood) can also be used, in addition to the present tense passive voice.

Example of call for future research: “Further clinical studies are needed/will be needed/must be carried out/should be carried out to isolate the cause of this reaction.”

Follow these general rules about tenses and your paper will be clearer, more chronologically correct, and generally easier to read—meaning the important implications of your study will be more easily understood. You can always go back and edit verb tenses—the more you practice, and the more papers you read, the easier it will be to identify which tense should be used for which kind of information.

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Effective Writing

To construct sentences that reflect your ideas, focus these sentences appropriately. Express one idea per sentence. Use your current topic — that is, what you are writing about — as the grammatical subject of your sentence (see Verbs: Choosing between active and passive voice ). When writing a complex sentence (a sentence that includes several clauses), place the main idea in the main clause rather than a subordinate clause. In particular, focus on the phenomenon at hand, not on the fact that you observed it.

Constructing your sentences logically is a good start, but it may not be enough. To ensure they are readable, make sure your sentences do not tax readers' short-term memory by obliging these readers to remember long pieces of text before knowing what to do with them. In other words, keep together what goes together. Then, work on conciseness: See whether you can replace long phrases with shorter ones or eliminate words without loss of clarity or accuracy.

The following screens cover the drafting process in more detail. Specifically, they discuss how to use verbs effectively and how to take care of your text's mechanics.

Shutterstock. Much of the strength of a clause comes from its verb. Therefore, to express your ideas accurately, choose an appropriate verb and use it well. In particular, use it in the right tense, choose carefully between active and passive voice, and avoid dangling verb forms.

Verbs are for describing actions, states, or occurrences. To give a clause its full strength and keep it short, do not bury the action, state, or occurrence in a noun (typically combined with a weak verb), as in "The catalyst produced a significant increase in conversion rate." Instead write, "The catalyst increased the conversion rate significantly." The examples below show how an action, state, or occurrence can be moved from a noun back to a verb.

Using the right tense

In your scientific paper, use verb tenses (past, present, and future) exactly as you would in ordinary writing. Use the past tense to report what happened in the past: what you did, what someone reported, what happened in an experiment, and so on. Use the present tense to express general truths, such as conclusions (drawn by you or by others) and atemporal facts (including information about what the paper does or covers). Reserve the future tense for perspectives: what you will do in the coming months or years. Typically, most of your sentences will be in the past tense, some will be in the present tense, and very few, if any, will be in the future tense.

Work done We collected blood samples from . . . Groves et al. determined the growth rate of . . . Consequently, astronomers decided to rename . . . Work reported Jankowsky reported a similar growth rate . . . In 2009, Chu published an alternative method to . . . Irarrázaval observed the opposite behavior in . . . Observations The mice in Group A developed , on average, twice as much . . . The number of defects increased sharply . . . The conversion rate was close to 95% . . .

Present tense

General truths Microbes in the human gut have a profound influence on . . . The Reynolds number provides a measure of . . . Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease . . . Atemporal facts This paper presents the results of . . . Section 3.1 explains the difference between . . . Behbood's 1969 paper provides a framework for . . .

Future tense

Perspectives In a follow-up experiment, we will study the role of . . . The influence of temperature will be the object of future research . . .

Note the difference in scope between a statement in the past tense and the same statement in the present tense: "The temperature increased linearly over time" refers to a specific experiment, whereas "The temperature increases linearly over time" generalizes the experimental observation, suggesting that the temperature always increases linearly over time in such circumstances.

In complex sentences, you may have to combine two different tenses — for example, "In 1905, Albert Einstein postulated that the speed of light is constant . . . . " In this sentence, postulated refers to something that happened in the past (in 1905) and is therefore in the past tense, whereas is expresses a general truth and is in the present tense.

Choosing between active and passive voice

In English, verbs can express an action in one of two voices. The active voice focuses on the agent: "John measured the temperature." (Here, the agent — John — is the grammatical subject of the sentence.) In contrast, the passive voice focuses on the object that is acted upon: "The temperature was measured by John." (Here, the temperature, not John, is the grammatical subject of the sentence.)

To choose between active and passive voice, consider above all what you are discussing (your topic) and place it in the subject position. For example, should you write "The preprocessor sorts the two arrays" or "The two arrays are sorted by the preprocessor"? If you are discussing the preprocessor, the first sentence is the better option. In contrast, if you are discussing the arrays, the second sentence is better. If you are unsure what you are discussing, consider the surrounding sentences: Are they about the preprocessor or the two arrays?

The desire to be objective in scientific writing has led to an overuse of the passive voice, often accompanied by the exclusion of agents: "The temperature was measured " (with the verb at the end of the sentence). Admittedly, the agent is often irrelevant: No matter who measured the temperature, we would expect its value to be the same. However, a systematic preference for the passive voice is by no means optimal, for at least two reasons.

For one, sentences written in the passive voice are often less interesting or more difficult to read than those written in the active voice. A verb in the active voice does not require a person as the agent; an inanimate object is often appropriate. For example, the rather uninteresting sentence "The temperature was measured . . . " may be replaced by the more interesting "The measured temperature of 253°C suggests a secondary reaction in . . . ." In the second sentence, the subject is still temperature (so the focus remains the same), but the verb suggests is in the active voice. Similarly, the hard-to-read sentence "In this section, a discussion of the influence of the recirculating-water temperature on the conversion rate of . . . is presented " (long subject, verb at the end) can be turned into "This section discusses the influence of . . . . " The subject is now section , which is what this sentence is really about, yet the focus on the discussion has been maintained through the active-voice verb discusses .

As a second argument against a systematic preference for the passive voice, readers sometimes need people to be mentioned. A sentence such as "The temperature is believed to be the cause for . . . " is ambiguous. Readers will want to know who believes this — the authors of the paper, or the scientific community as a whole? To clarify the sentence, use the active voice and set the appropriate people as the subject, in either the third or the first person, as in the examples below.

Biologists believe the temperature to be . . . Keustermans et al. (1997) believe the temperature to be . . . The authors believe the temperature to be . . . We believe the temperature to be . . .

Avoiding dangling verb forms

A verb form needs a subject, either expressed or implied. When the verb is in a non-finite form, such as an infinitive ( to do ) or a participle ( doing ), its subject is implied to be the subject of the clause, or sometimes the closest noun phrase. In such cases, construct your sentences carefully to avoid suggesting nonsense. Consider the following two examples.

To dissect its brain, the affected fly was mounted on a . . . After aging for 72 hours at 50°C, we observed a shift in . . .

Here, the first sentence implies that the affected fly dissected its own brain, and the second implies that the authors of the paper needed to age for 72 hours at 50°C in order to observe the shift. To restore the intended meaning while keeping the infinitive to dissect or the participle aging , change the subject of each sentence as appropriate:

To dissect its brain, we mounted the affected fly on a . . . After aging for 72 hours at 50°C, the samples exhibited a shift in . . .

Alternatively, you can change or remove the infinitive or participle to restore the intended meaning:

To have its brain dissected , the affected fly was mounted on a . . . After the samples aged for 72 hours at 50°C, we observed a shift in . . .

In communication, every detail counts. Although your focus should be on conveying your message through an appropriate structure at all levels, you should also save some time to attend to the more mechanical aspects of writing in English, such as using abbreviations, writing numbers, capitalizing words, using hyphens when needed, and punctuating your text correctly.

Using abbreviations

Beware of overusing abbreviations, especially acronyms — such as GNP for gold nanoparticles . Abbreviations help keep a text concise, but they can also render it cryptic. Many acronyms also have several possible extensions ( GNP also stands for gross national product ).

Write acronyms (and only acronyms) in all uppercase ( GNP , not gnp ).

Introduce acronyms systematically the first time they are used in a document. First write the full expression, then provide the acronym in parentheses. In the full expression, and unless the journal to which you submit your paper uses a different convention, capitalize the letters that form the acronym: "we prepared Gold NanoParticles (GNP) by . . . " These capitals help readers quickly recognize what the acronym designates.

  • Do not use capitals in the full expression when you are not introducing an acronym: "we prepared gold nanoparticles by… "
  • As a more general rule, use first what readers know or can understand best, then put in parentheses what may be new to them. If the acronym is better known than the full expression, as may be the case for techniques such as SEM or projects such as FALCON, consider placing the acronym first: "The FALCON (Fission-Activated Laser Concept) program at…"
  • In the rare case that an acronym is commonly known, you might not need to introduce it. One example is DNA in the life sciences. When in doubt, however, introduce the acronym.

In papers, consider the abstract as a stand-alone document. Therefore, if you use an acronym in both the abstract and the corresponding full paper, introduce that acronym twice: the first time you use it in the abstract and the first time you use it in the full paper. However, if you find that you use an acronym only once or twice after introducing it in your abstract, the benefit of it is limited — consider avoiding the acronym and using the full expression each time (unless you think some readers know the acronym better than the full expression).

Writing numbers

In general, write single-digit numbers (zero to nine) in words, as in three hours , and multidigit numbers (10 and above) in numerals, as in 24 hours . This rule has many exceptions, but most of them are reasonably intuitive, as shown hereafter.

Use numerals for numbers from zero to nine

  • when using them with abbreviated units ( 3 mV );
  • in dates and times ( 3 October , 3 pm );
  • to identify figures and other items ( Figure 3 );
  • for consistency when these numbers are mixed with larger numbers ( series of 3, 7, and 24 experiments ).

Use words for numbers above 10 if these numbers come at the beginning of a sentence or heading ("Two thousand eight was a challenging year for . . . "). As an alternative, rephrase the sentence to avoid this issue altogether ("The year 2008 was challenging for . . . " ) .

Capitalizing words

Capitals are often overused. In English, use initial capitals

  • at beginnings: the start of a sentence, of a heading, etc.;
  • for proper nouns, including nouns describing groups (compare physics and the Physics Department );
  • for items identified by their number (compare in the next figure and in Figure 2 ), unless the journal to which you submit your paper uses a different convention;
  • for specific words: names of days ( Monday ) and months ( April ), adjectives of nationality ( Algerian ), etc.

In contrast, do not use initial capitals for common nouns: Resist the temptation to glorify a concept, technique, or compound with capitals. For example, write finite-element method (not Finite-Element Method ), mass spectrometry (not Mass Spectrometry ), carbon dioxide (not Carbon Dioxide ), and so on, unless you are introducing an acronym (see Mechanics: Using abbreviations ).

Using hyphens

Punctuating text.

Punctuation has many rules in English; here are three that are often a challenge for non-native speakers.

As a rule, insert a comma between the subject of the main clause and whatever comes in front of it, no matter how short, as in "Surprisingly, the temperature did not increase." This comma is not always required, but it often helps and never hurts the meaning of a sentence, so it is good practice.

In series of three or more items, separate items with commas ( red, white, and blue ; yesterday, today, or tomorrow ). Do not use a comma for a series of two items ( black and white ).

In displayed lists, use the same punctuation as you would in normal text (but consider dropping the and ).

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Impressive Verbs to use in your Research Paper

  • August 8, 2019
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Let us look at the general process to write a successful paper. You have done the research, agreed that you are going to write a paper to tell your findings, and planned your manuscript.

That sounds like the correct process, but doesn’t exactly sound right. Let us try again.

You have performed the research, decided to publish a paper to report your findings, and structured your manuscript.

Both sentences convey the same meaning, but the second one clearly does so more effectively. Why?

The secret to a great article is not only the pioneering concepts you report and the way you structure them. As shown in the simple example above, the language you utilise in your paper is a significant factor in how impactful your paper is. Needless to say, the language must be formal and academic, and the terminology must be appropriate for your field of study. However, for a paper to be truly outstanding, it is essential that the points are articulated intelligently and succinctly. A vital tool for this is the effective use of verbs . Research papers often involve the description of processes and methodologies, which makes it even more important for the specific action word to be used. This article provides recommendations on how you can select suitable verbs for your writing project.

First, let us briefly review what verbs are. A verb is one of the most important parts of a sentence, and indicates an action, or a state of being. The boldfaced words in the previous sentence are verbs. More often than not, it is impossible for a sentence to be constructed without a verb. Moreover, there are many kinds of verbs, such as action verbs (that express specific actions), auxiliary verbs (helping verbs that show a verb’s tense or if the verb is positive or negative), and modal verbs (auxiliary verbs that express abilities). 

The following section lists certain verbs that are useful in academic writing, especially, in research papers. It also includes easy tips you can employ while selecting your verbs.

Tip 1: Phrasal verbs It is human nature to write the way we think or speak of a certain thing. These constitute phrasal verbs, such as “find out”, “break down,” “put up,” or “warm up.” Substitute them with more formal counterparts, such as “discover”, “disintegrate,” “assemble,” and “heat.”

Tip 2: Extraordinarily remarkable versus impressive The aim is to use formal words. However, the meaning should not be overpowered by complicated words. Use powerful, but clear words.

Tip 3: Adverbs Although not verbs, the adverbs you select also decide how effective your verbs are. Avoid the use of “very” or “quickly”. Use formal substitutes like “substantially” or “rapidly”.

Tip 4: Reporting verbs In academic writing, it is important to use the correct tone. Often, we want to report a finding strongly, while other times, adopting a tentative or neutral tone is better. In such cases, carefully select the reporting verb based on your intention. Some examples are: tentative (hypothesise, imply, suggest), neutral (note, interpret, discuss, reflect, observe), strong (establish, disregard, highlight, recommend).

Tip 5: Don’t Do not use contractions Avoid the use of contractions such as “isn’t,” “won’t,” or, as striked in the subheading, “don’t.” This makes your language look informal. Use expanded forms, such as “is not”, “will not,” or “do not.”

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How to Write a Research Paper | A Beginner's Guide

A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research.

Research papers are similar to academic essays , but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research. Writing a research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic, engage with a variety of sources, and make an original contribution to the debate.

This step-by-step guide takes you through the entire writing process, from understanding your assignment to proofreading your final draft.

Table of contents

Understand the assignment, choose a research paper topic, conduct preliminary research, develop a thesis statement, create a research paper outline, write a first draft of the research paper, write the introduction, write a compelling body of text, write the conclusion, the second draft, the revision process, research paper checklist, free lecture slides.

Completing a research paper successfully means accomplishing the specific tasks set out for you. Before you start, make sure you thoroughly understanding the assignment task sheet:

  • Read it carefully, looking for anything confusing you might need to clarify with your professor.
  • Identify the assignment goal, deadline, length specifications, formatting, and submission method.
  • Make a bulleted list of the key points, then go back and cross completed items off as you’re writing.

Carefully consider your timeframe and word limit: be realistic, and plan enough time to research, write, and edit.

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research paper verbs

There are many ways to generate an idea for a research paper, from brainstorming with pen and paper to talking it through with a fellow student or professor.

You can try free writing, which involves taking a broad topic and writing continuously for two or three minutes to identify absolutely anything relevant that could be interesting.

You can also gain inspiration from other research. The discussion or recommendations sections of research papers often include ideas for other specific topics that require further examination.

Once you have a broad subject area, narrow it down to choose a topic that interests you, m eets the criteria of your assignment, and i s possible to research. Aim for ideas that are both original and specific:

  • A paper following the chronology of World War II would not be original or specific enough.
  • A paper on the experience of Danish citizens living close to the German border during World War II would be specific and could be original enough.

Note any discussions that seem important to the topic, and try to find an issue that you can focus your paper around. Use a variety of sources , including journals, books, and reliable websites, to ensure you do not miss anything glaring.

Do not only verify the ideas you have in mind, but look for sources that contradict your point of view.

  • Is there anything people seem to overlook in the sources you research?
  • Are there any heated debates you can address?
  • Do you have a unique take on your topic?
  • Have there been some recent developments that build on the extant research?

In this stage, you might find it helpful to formulate some research questions to help guide you. To write research questions, try to finish the following sentence: “I want to know how/what/why…”

A thesis statement is a statement of your central argument — it establishes the purpose and position of your paper. If you started with a research question, the thesis statement should answer it. It should also show what evidence and reasoning you’ll use to support that answer.

The thesis statement should be concise, contentious, and coherent. That means it should briefly summarize your argument in a sentence or two, make a claim that requires further evidence or analysis, and make a coherent point that relates to every part of the paper.

You will probably revise and refine the thesis statement as you do more research, but it can serve as a guide throughout the writing process. Every paragraph should aim to support and develop this central claim.

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A research paper outline is essentially a list of the key topics, arguments, and evidence you want to include, divided into sections with headings so that you know roughly what the paper will look like before you start writing.

A structure outline can help make the writing process much more efficient, so it’s worth dedicating some time to create one.

Your first draft won’t be perfect — you can polish later on. Your priorities at this stage are as follows:

  • Maintaining forward momentum — write now, perfect later.
  • Paying attention to clear organization and logical ordering of paragraphs and sentences, which will help when you come to the second draft.
  • Expressing your ideas as clearly as possible, so you know what you were trying to say when you come back to the text.

You do not need to start by writing the introduction. Begin where it feels most natural for you — some prefer to finish the most difficult sections first, while others choose to start with the easiest part. If you created an outline, use it as a map while you work.

Do not delete large sections of text. If you begin to dislike something you have written or find it doesn’t quite fit, move it to a different document, but don’t lose it completely — you never know if it might come in useful later.

Paragraph structure

Paragraphs are the basic building blocks of research papers. Each one should focus on a single claim or idea that helps to establish the overall argument or purpose of the paper.

Example paragraph

George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” has had an enduring impact on thought about the relationship between politics and language. This impact is particularly obvious in light of the various critical review articles that have recently referenced the essay. For example, consider Mark Falcoff’s 2009 article in The National Review Online, “The Perversion of Language; or, Orwell Revisited,” in which he analyzes several common words (“activist,” “civil-rights leader,” “diversity,” and more). Falcoff’s close analysis of the ambiguity built into political language intentionally mirrors Orwell’s own point-by-point analysis of the political language of his day. Even 63 years after its publication, Orwell’s essay is emulated by contemporary thinkers.

Citing sources

It’s also important to keep track of citations at this stage to avoid accidental plagiarism . Each time you use a source, make sure to take note of where the information came from.

You can use our free citation generators to automatically create citations and save your reference list as you go.

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The research paper introduction should address three questions: What, why, and how? After finishing the introduction, the reader should know what the paper is about, why it is worth reading, and how you’ll build your arguments.

What? Be specific about the topic of the paper, introduce the background, and define key terms or concepts.

Why? This is the most important, but also the most difficult, part of the introduction. Try to provide brief answers to the following questions: What new material or insight are you offering? What important issues does your essay help define or answer?

How? To let the reader know what to expect from the rest of the paper, the introduction should include a “map” of what will be discussed, briefly presenting the key elements of the paper in chronological order.

The major struggle faced by most writers is how to organize the information presented in the paper, which is one reason an outline is so useful. However, remember that the outline is only a guide and, when writing, you can be flexible with the order in which the information and arguments are presented.

One way to stay on track is to use your thesis statement and topic sentences . Check:

  • topic sentences against the thesis statement;
  • topic sentences against each other, for similarities and logical ordering;
  • and each sentence against the topic sentence of that paragraph.

Be aware of paragraphs that seem to cover the same things. If two paragraphs discuss something similar, they must approach that topic in different ways. Aim to create smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and sections.

The research paper conclusion is designed to help your reader out of the paper’s argument, giving them a sense of finality.

Trace the course of the paper, emphasizing how it all comes together to prove your thesis statement. Give the paper a sense of finality by making sure the reader understands how you’ve settled the issues raised in the introduction.

You might also discuss the more general consequences of the argument, outline what the paper offers to future students of the topic, and suggest any questions the paper’s argument raises but cannot or does not try to answer.

You should not :

  • Offer new arguments or essential information
  • Take up any more space than necessary
  • Begin with stock phrases that signal you are ending the paper (e.g. “In conclusion”)

There are four main considerations when it comes to the second draft.

  • Check how your vision of the paper lines up with the first draft and, more importantly, that your paper still answers the assignment.
  • Identify any assumptions that might require (more substantial) justification, keeping your reader’s perspective foremost in mind. Remove these points if you cannot substantiate them further.
  • Be open to rearranging your ideas. Check whether any sections feel out of place and whether your ideas could be better organized.
  • If you find that old ideas do not fit as well as you anticipated, you should cut them out or condense them. You might also find that new and well-suited ideas occurred to you during the writing of the first draft — now is the time to make them part of the paper.

The goal during the revision and proofreading process is to ensure you have completed all the necessary tasks and that the paper is as well-articulated as possible.

Global concerns

  • Confirm that your paper completes every task specified in your assignment sheet.
  • Check for logical organization and flow of paragraphs.
  • Check paragraphs against the introduction and thesis statement.

Fine-grained details

Check the content of each paragraph, making sure that:

  • each sentence helps support the topic sentence.
  • no unnecessary or irrelevant information is present.
  • all technical terms your audience might not know are identified.

Next, think about sentence structure , grammatical errors, and formatting . Check that you have correctly used transition words and phrases to show the connections between your ideas. Look for typos, cut unnecessary words, and check for consistency in aspects such as heading formatting and spellings .

Finally, you need to make sure your paper is correctly formatted according to the rules of the citation style you are using. For example, you might need to include an MLA heading  or create an APA title page .

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Checklist: Research paper

I have followed all instructions in the assignment sheet.

My introduction presents my topic in an engaging way and provides necessary background information.

My introduction presents a clear, focused research problem and/or thesis statement .

My paper is logically organized using paragraphs and (if relevant) section headings .

Each paragraph is clearly focused on one central idea, expressed in a clear topic sentence .

Each paragraph is relevant to my research problem or thesis statement.

I have used appropriate transitions  to clarify the connections between sections, paragraphs, and sentences.

My conclusion provides a concise answer to the research question or emphasizes how the thesis has been supported.

My conclusion shows how my research has contributed to knowledge or understanding of my topic.

My conclusion does not present any new points or information essential to my argument.

I have provided an in-text citation every time I refer to ideas or information from a source.

I have included a reference list at the end of my paper, consistently formatted according to a specific citation style .

I have thoroughly revised my paper and addressed any feedback from my professor or supervisor.

I have followed all formatting guidelines (page numbers, headers, spacing, etc.).

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Bringing Your Science Story to Life with Powerful Action Verbs

You’re probably familiar with this scenario:

You just published your recent research findings in this high-impact journal. And now you also want to tell scientists from outside of your specialised field, your friends or anyone who wants to hear about your new scientific revelations.

And you know of this society from your field that publishes blog posts to explain recent research papers. So, you decide to write a piece for them. But this does not mean you can just submit the abstract from your paper to this online outlet. Your audience will now be a completely different one that is not that familiar with the scientific language from your field. 

Hence, to make the post more accessible, you need to adapt the language of your scientific paper. While academic writing mainly describes experimental results and states, these are barely ever part of an action. But we know that  readers learn best when they imagine an action as part of a story . 

So, how can we adapt the language and include actions and stories in a blog post? By adjusting the way we use verbs in our writing.

Using verbs to describe powerful actions

Verbs are the most powerful part of a sentence. They tell a reader about the action that your key player is doing and they move a story forward. Yet, academic writers tend to  avoid verbs or substitute them with complex constructs . Unfortunately, these clutter sentences and make it difficult for the reader to understand the key message.

Here, we will look at three basic principles of how to declutter your science article by improving your verb usage.

Avoid scientific verbal phrases

While your research paper probably describes your experimental results, these descriptions often go along with scientific jargon.

For example, in your research paper, you might have used phrases like 

  • “bacteria acquire nutrients” 
  • “bacteria outcompete” 

These phrases probably do not mean much to your reader as they don’t use these words on a daily basis. Instead, you could substitute these phrases with words like 

Everyone understands them and they still have the same meaning as the original phrases. Also, verbs like “eat” and “kill” are pretty graphic, and that’s a good thing if you want to engage a reader. All of a sudden, a reader has a picture in their head of a bacterium (in my head it’s green) with a mouth like Pac-Man, chomping down on some nutrients, and another one (maybe purple this time) wielding a sword. Exciting stuff! 

Hence, use powerful action verbs that are familiar to your reader. 

Second, describing a scientific result often also means writing about something that did not happen. However, this just tells the reader what the key player did not do and how the story did not develop. If nothing is happening, then the story is definitely not moving forward. And your reader surely doesn’t need to know about this. Hence, avoid writing about negative facts.

For example, in your paper you probably wrote 

  • “the cells did not survive” 

Okay, this is not wrong, but for your reader it is difficult to understand what actually happened. If the cells did not survive, what else happened to them? Here, it is better to write 

  • “the cells died” 

Now we have one main player (cells) and one action (died). Plus, this phrase is a lot shorter while the content is still the same.

Use active voice

Many researchers tend to write their publications mainly in passive voice. However, passive voice doesn’t describe action and, again, it doesn’t move your story forward. Plus, it clutters your sentence structure so that it becomes unclear WHO is doing WHAT.

Hence, to tell your reader what actually happened (either in the lab or in the system that you are working in), use active voice. With active voice, you tell your reader that the main player does something.

For example, common in scientific publications: 

  • “The survival of V. cholerae bacteria is modestly increased by enhanced production of secreted exopolysaccharides.”

This sentence does not have a clear main player and no real action other than the passive verbal phrase “something is modestly increased.” 

How could we improve this sentence to make it easier to understand?

You could write in active voice: 

  • “ V. cholerae bacteria survive better by producing and secreting higher amounts of exopolysaccharides.” 

Now, this sentence has a clear main player ( V. cholerae bacteria) and they do something (survive). Such an action moves your story forward because something actually happens. Yet, the content is the same as in the first sentence.

Powerful action verbs move stories forward, tell a reader what is happening and give information about the key player of the story.

Avoid nominalisations

Another type of challenging sentence construction in academic writing is nominalisation , where a writer makes a noun from a verb or adjective. For example, the noun “protection” from the verb “to protect.” 

By nominalising, we use fewer verbs and describe less action. Such constructs often clutter sentences, extend them for no reason and confuse the reader. Most often, it is better and clearer to use the action verb instead of the nominalisation phrase.

For example, academic writing generally includes phrases like: 

  • “provide protection” 
  • “give consideration to” 

Instead you can use the direct verbs: 

  • “consider” 

These are shorter and more direct. Watch out for these common words that often introduce nominalisations:

Another problem with nominalisations is that they often go along with passive voice phrases. And, for some reason, these complicated constructs are landmarks of scientific research papers - as an expert you were trained to write this way, and for good reason: your aim is to objectively describe a process, an experiment and even a discovery. 

Even if a paper is from your niche, how often does it happen that you need to re-read a sentence to understand what REALLY happened? For example, in research papers, you might find complicated structures like these: 

  • “The protection of certain players of the microbiota occurred by a superior T6SS-mediated killing exerted by members of the Enterobacter cloacae complex.”

This is just confusing. Someone was killed and someone was protected but you have to read this sentence multiple times to fully comprehend who is doing what.

Instead, to improve this sentence, you should start with the main player (members of the Enterobacter cloacae complex) and say what they are doing (killing). Now, you can add the other pieces of information in a logical order to help your reader understand the action.

Hence, this sentence would transform into: 

  • “Members of the Enterobacter cloacae complex killed with their T6SS machines and thus protected certain players of the microbiota.”

Short, clear and straightforward. So, try to make sure that nominalisations together with passive voice phrases are not part of your blog post for non-scientists (or of any written text if you ask me!).

Using powerful action verbs to tell a science story

One of the biggest differences between academic writing and science writing is the use of verbs. While academic papers often describe states or the results of experiments, such constructs do not tell stories. Like this, readers often find it hard to grasp the key messages.

Instead, powerful action verbs move stories forward, tell a reader what is happening and give information about the key player of the story. And these pieces of information will stick with the reader, so that they can learn from you and your science story!

action verbs infographic

Sarah Wettstadt

Dr. Sarah Wettstadt is a microbiologist-turned science writer and communicator working on various outreach projects and helping researchers disseminate their research results. Her overall vision is to empower through learning: she shares scientific knowledge with both scientists and non-scientists and coaches scientists in science communications. Sarah publishes her own blog BacterialWorld to share the beauty of microbes and bacteria and she is blog commissioner for the FEMSmicroBlog. Previous to her science communication career, she did her PhD at Imperial College London, UK, and a postdoc in Granada, Spain.

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5 Essential research paper grammar checks every author must do

5 Essential research paper grammar checks every author must do

Authors spend a significant amount of their time researching for and writing articles to get published in esteemed journals. However, the paper rejection rates of some of the top-tier journals are estimated between 80-85%, which may increase to 90-95% for some high-impact journals. 1 According to the American Psychological Association’s summary report of journal operations, the total research paper rejection rate in 2020 was approximately 75%. 2 Even if a research paper describes a pathbreaking study, faulty grammar can significantly influence journal editors’ decisions.

Ensuring that the research paper language is grammatically error free is an essential step in the journey of a research paper from conception to publication. Good grammar and sentence structure enhance the readability of research papers, thus helping in effectively communicating with the target audience. Undertaking extensive research paper grammar checks prior to submission can ensure that the most common grammar mistakes are avoided. Few types of minor grammar mistakes and those that occur less frequently may be ignored by journal editors because these do not affect the readability of the paper to a significant extent, for example, article usage and placement, minor spelling errors, etc. In addition, such grammar mistakes may be fixed in the final post-acceptance proofreading stage by the journal. However, some kinds of errors are very important because they may alter the meaning of a sentence and convey a meaning opposite to that originally intended by the author. Thus, ensuring appropriate research paper language is of utmost importance in creating a publication-ready manuscript.

Common Grammar Mistakes in Research Papers and How to Avoid Them

The following are some of the common grammar mistakes usually observed in research papers: 3,4,5

  • Subject-verb disagreement : The subject and verb should always agree in number. Singular nouns should take singular verbs and plural nouns, plural verbs. If intervening prepositional phrases are present between the subject and the corresponding verb, ignoring these phrases is a good way of determining verb agreement. Alternatively, in case of complex sentences, rephrasing may also provide clarity and conciseness.

Incorrect: The patients who responded to the survey was mostly women.

Correct: The patients who responded to the survey were mostly women. (Subject: The patients; Verb: were, because it must agree with the plural subject)

Incorrect: One of the patients were diagnosed with diabetes.

Correct: One of the patients was diagnosed with diabetes .

  • Incorrect pronoun placement : Pronouns are used to replace nouns, and accordingly the antecedent must be clear. Rephrasing usually helps resolve this issue.

Incorrect: The researchers describe the process of gathering information about acetaminophen and discussing it (Here, the pronoun “it” appears to refer to acetaminophen, which is incorrect and alters the intended meaning)

Better: The authors describe the process of gathering and discussing information about acetaminophen.

research paper verbs

  • Pronoun-verb disagreement

Some indefinite pronouns, which refer to nonspecific persons or things (e.g., any, each, either, neither, everyone, someone, anybody, nobody, somebody) always take singular verbs; some pronouns ( several, many, both, few ) always take plural verbs; and some pronouns ( some, most, all, none ) may take either. This quick tip would help ensure that the pronoun and verb agree in number.

  • Some of the experiments are easy to conduct.At least some of their effort has paid off. Several research papers were discussed at the conference. Neither of them was consulted regarding the plagiarism issue.
  • Use of contractions

Contractions are shortened words made by joining two words, for example, did + not = didn’t. The use of such contractions should be avoided in academic writing to ensure formality.

  • Correct: The authors did not conduct the experiment .
  • Dangling participles

Participles are verb forms that may also act as adjectives. In some sentences, when these participles modify the wrong noun, they are said to be “dangling.” To fix this, the sentence should be rephrased, and the correct or intended subject should be placed as close to the participle as possible.

  • Better: Focusing on the deadline, the researchers completed the study quickly.  
  • Faulty parallelism

Parallel construction refers to using a similar pattern of words while describing a series or list of items. This error is observed mostly after the conjunctions “and” and “or.” While doing a final check, lists and series that have these conjunctions could be checked carefully to ensure that each item is using the correct combination of gerunds.

  • Incorrect: Gerald likes to play chess, eating salads, and reading.
  • Correct: Gerald likes playing chess, eating salads, and reading.
  • Incorrect: The nurse examined the patient by checking the temperature and measured blood pressure .
  • Correct: The nurse examined the patient by checking the temperature and measuring blood pressure .
Ensure grammatically correct research papers with Paperpal

Top 5 Research Paper Grammar Checks in Academic Writing

To summarize, the following are some important overall checks that could be conducted prior to submission to ensure a well-written, error-free research paper.

  • Formal language: Avoid contractions and colloquialism
  • Correct sentence structure: Correctly placed subject, verb, object, and other elements
  • Subject-verb and pronoun-verb agreement in number, gender, and antecedent
  • Word choice: Ensure correct usage of commonly confused words such as: if vs whether; between vs among; especially vs specially; affect vs effect; who vs whom
  • Avoid sentence fragments (incomplete sentences that lack a subject or verb); these are more appropriate and effective when writing fiction

In almost all cases, when in doubt, consult dictionaries, style manuals, and journal guidelines for appropriate guidance.

  • Khadilkar, S.S. Rejection blues: Why do research papers get rejected?  J Obstet Gynecol India   68,  239–241 (2018).
  • American Psychological Association. Summary report of journal operations, 2020. American Psychologist 76 (5), 827-828 (2021). ; . [Accessed August 16, 2022]
  • American Medical Association. AMA Manual of Style. Section 7: Grammar
  • Onwuegbuzie, A.J. Most Common formal grammatical errors committed by authors. J Educational Issues 3 (1) (2017).
  • Fogarty, M. Dangling participles. (2019).

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Try it for free or upgrade to Paperpal Prime , which unlocks unlimited access to premium features like academic translation, paraphrasing, contextual synonyms, consistency checks and more. It’s like always having a professional academic editor by your side! Go beyond limitations and experience the future of academic writing. Get Paperpal Prime now at just US$12 a month!

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82 Verbs to Use for the Word research

If he can pursue advanced research in an allied or applied field , it will help him in his regular and prescribed work .

I was then in fairly easy circumstances , and was engaged in making some botanical researches for a little book which I had planned to write on a medical subject .

Well , my friend , oblige me by continuing your researches ; endeavor to procure me some precise information about this boy 's habits and disposition .

Ingenious men , possessed of leisure , are apt to push their researches beyond the period in which literary monuments are framed or preserved ; without reflecting that the history of past events is immediately lost or disfigured when intrusted to memory or oral tradition ; and that the adventures of barbarous nations , even if they were recorded , could afford little or no entertainment to men born in a more cultivated age .

All the live - long day he prosecuted his researches , to the great discomposure of the populace : and , with whitewash all over the back of his coat , and very dingy hands , had just seated himself at his own fireside in the evening , when Mr. DIBBLE came in .

It requires no profound research to comprehend the impulse which leads a horde of fanatics to the most monstrous excesses .

Suppose that he extended his researches somewhat to those minuter vegetable forms , the mosses , fungi , lichens ; suppose that he went a little further still , and tried what the microscope would show him in any stagnant pool , whether fresh water or salt , of Desmidiae , Diatoms , and all those wondrous atomies which seem as yet to defy our classification into plants or animals .

Chapter Eight p. 167 : For genealogies and rules of giving names , I use my own research and the study by W. Bauer .

At last I tried to make my point of view clear by reminding him that research means finding the answer to a question , and that if his reading of English literature , which had been fairly extensive , had suggested no questions to his mind , he was not in the happiest possible position to begin research .

While his narrative is always animated and picturesque , and often rises into passages of fervid eloquence , he has conducted his researches with the unwearied perseverance of a mere antiquary , and has exhausted every source of information .

No man of science has any fear of publishing his researches , whatever consequences they may involve for current beliefs .

In no city can they carry on their researches with such ease , for Florence is incurious about them .

That power eluded the grasp and baffled the research of human genius , which was looking so earnestly after it , until ingenuity gave it up , and philosophy pronounced it a delusion .

But who can tell whether there may not be in these boulders , these rocks , this sandy and unproductive soil , unknown wealth , held in reserve to reward the researches of science in its utilitarian explorations .

The taste of another person had strongly encouraged my own researches into this species of legendary lore ; but I had never dreamed of an attempt to imitate what gave me so much pleasure . "

This review is justly reckoned one of the finest specimens of criticism in our language , and was read with such eagerness , when published in the Literary Magazine , that the author was induced to reprint it in a small volume by itself ; a circumstance which appears to have escaped Mr. Boswell 's research .

As soon as the business season closed , I resumed my Indian researches .

p. 31 : The interpretation of land - holding and clans follows my own research which is influenced by Niida Noboru , Kat[=o ]

Some minds may find satisfaction in this sort of explanation , but it may be suspected that most of the few who study modern researches into the origin of religious beliefs will feel the lines which were supposed to mark off the Christian from all other faiths dissolving before their eyes .

It needs no research , no learning , and is only misguided by recondite information .

" It took me five years ' continuous research to establish her general voice - outline , and even then I at first only derived a portion of her name .

He had finished his researches , and revealed the results to me with immense satisfaction .

Balthazar abandoned his researches , and the family removed to the country .

For some time he had little or nothing to expend upon the pursuit which he had so much at heart ; but at last he happened to receive a considerable sum of money for a work which he had finished , and this enabled him to commence his researches .

During my botanical rambles in the wood , I was struck with the multitude of beautiful flowers in its shady retreats , seeming the more numerous to me , as I had previously confined my researches to Northern woods .

82 Verbs to Use for the Word  research


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  5. Best Active Verbs for Research Papers with Examples

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  6. Verb Tenses to Use in a Research Paper

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  7. Are you using the right verbs in your research paper?

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  8. PDF A Typology of Verbs for Scholarly Writing

    Authors of the fifth edition of the Publication Manual (APA, 2001) and the sixth edition of the Publication Manual (APA, 2010) stated that the past tense of verbs should be used to express an action or a condition that occurred at a specific, definite time in the past, particularly when discussing another researcher's work and when reporting res...

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  10. PDF Verbs for Reporting

    A reporting verb is a word which is used to talk about or report on other people's work. Reporting verbs can be used to great effect, but the difficulty with using them is that there are many, and each of them has a slightly different and often subtle meaning. Introduction

  11. PDF How to use verbs throughout a research paper

    How Verbs Change Your Meaning Throughout Your Research Paper Dr. Steve Wallace Overview of speech How to report facts, opinions and implications using the correct verbs and verb tenses How to use tentative verbs to express probability, possibility or doubt

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    However, for a paper to be truly outstanding, it is essential that the points are articulated intelligently and succinctly. A vital tool for this is the effective use of verbs. Research papers often involve the description of processes and methodologies, which makes it even more important for the specific action word to be used.

  15. How do I write a research objective?

    Once you've decided on your research objectives, you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement. Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one. Example: Verbs for research objectives I will assess … I will compare …

  16. How to Create a Structured Research Paper Outline

    A research paper outline is a useful tool to aid in the writing process, ... This simply means that if the first point is a verb, the sub-point should also be a verb. Example of parallelism: Introduce the immunization debate, addressing two sides: why immunization is recommended and why there are groups questioning it

  17. How to Write a Research Paper

    A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research. Research papers are similar to academic essays, but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research.


    The paper examines the use of reporting verbs (RVs) in the citation. Citing the work of others is a significant part of ... Similarly, analyse, a procedural Research Act verb may refer to mental processes and classify as a cognition verb. Nevertheless, such „inconsistencies" may not necessarily cause ambiguities regarding the verb's primary

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    While your research paper probably describes your experimental results, these descriptions often go along with scientific jargon. ... One of the biggest differences between academic writing and science writing is the use of verbs. While academic papers often describe states or the results of experiments, such constructs do not tell stories. ...

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    Using reporting verbs in research writing seems to be a problem for graduate students (or novice researchers) when writing a research paper. The aim of this paper is to raise the awareness of students in using reporting verbs. The main argument in this paper is based on the comparison of reporting verbs

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    The following are some of the common grammar mistakes usually observed in research papers: 3,4,5. Subject-verb disagreement: The subject and verb should always agree in number. Singular nouns should take singular verbs and plural nouns, plural verbs. If intervening prepositional phrases are present between the subject and the corresponding verb ...

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    The Use of Verbs in Research Articles: Corpus Analysis for Scientific Writing and Translation (1) January 2006 Authors: Arianne Reimerink University of Granada Abstract and Figures This...

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  24. 82 Verbs to Use for the Word research

    82 Verbs to Use for the Word research . If he can pursue advanced research in an allied or applied field, it will help him in his regular and prescribed work. I was then in fairly easy circumstances, and was engaged in making some botanical researches for a little book which I had planned to write on a medical subject.