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ENGL 1102 - Embry

Spring 2022

Signal Phrases from They Say/I Say

Signal Phrases for Summarizing, Paraphrasing, & Quotations Based on templates: They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing by Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein

1. Capturing Authorial Action/ For Summaries or Paraphrasing: These target phrases alert the reader that the author is about to summarize or paraphrase another idea established by an authority on a chosen topic.

 X acknowledges that _____________

 X agrees that _____________.

 X argues that ___________.

 X believes that ____________.

 X denies/ does not deny that _____________.

 X claims that ____________.

 X complains that ____________.

 X concedes that ____________.

 X demonstrates that _____________.

 X celebrates the fact that _____________.

 X emphasizes that __________.

 X insists that ___________.

 X observes that __________.

 X questions whether ______________.

 X refuses to claim that ______________.

 X reminds us that ______________.

 X reports that _____________.

 X suggests that _____________.

 X urges us to _____________.


2. Introducing Quotations: These target phrases alert the reader that the author is about to quote directly from another source. The writer is preparing the reader for the proper parenthetical citation.

 X states, “_____________.”

 In her book, __________, X maintains that “_____________.”

 Writing in the journal XxYyZz, X complains that “_____________.”

 As the prominent philosopher X puts it, “________________.”

 According to X, “_________________.”

 X himself writes, “__________________.”

 In X’s view, “________________.”

 X agrees when she writes, “_____________.”

 X disagrees when he writes, “______________.”

 X complicates matters further when he writes, “______________.”


3. Explaining Quotations: Every paragraph must show clarification, interpretation, or necessary analysis of a supplied quotation or paraphrase. This offers the research author to have the fi nal word in a paragraph.

 Basically, X is saying ______________.

 In other words, X believes ______________.

 In making this comment, X argues that ______________.

 X’s view confirms/reaffirms/clarifies the view that ______________.

 X is insisting that ______________.

 X’s point is that _______________.

 The essence of X’s argument is that ____________.


4. Introducing Statistics or “Standard Views”: The following target phrases alert the reader that the research writer is about to use numerical data or popular opinions. (Remember, numerical data is cited, conventional ideas are not.)

 Americans today tend to believe that ________________.

 Conventional wisdom has it that _______________.

 Common sense seems to dictate that ______________.

 The standard way of thinking about topic X has it that _______________.

 It is often said that _____________.

 Many people assumed that ______________. •

 A recent study shows ______________.

 Scientists recently noted that ______________.

 Doctors at the XxYyZz Institute claim that ______________.

 In the 2010 census it was shown that ______________.


5. Introducing Contrasting Arguments: Frequently research writers fi nd confl icting reports. Inclusion of these debates can add strength to their own works. Analysis of other opinions likewise needs target phrases. When using multiple viewpoints, it is crucial that the reader understands the different opinions.

 A number of sociologists have recently suggested that X’s work has several fundamental problems.

 It has become common today to dismiss X’s contribution to the fi eld of sociology.

 In their recent work, Y and Z have offered harsh critiques of Dr. X for _________.

 X argues ___________.

 According to both X and Y, _____________.

 Politicians _____________, X argues, should _______________.


6. Expressing Authorial Opinions: The individual research writer may have opinions regarding the collected information shown in the report. Since personal voice is not allowed, the following target phrases tell the reader the commentary expressed is the research author and not a secondary source. Likewise, these statements help conclude the paragraph and allow the research writer to have the last word on the chose topic.

 But ___________ are real and, arguably, the most signifi cant factor in ______.

 But X is wrong that ____________.

 However, it is simply not true that ____________.

 Indeed, it is highly likely that _____________.

 But the view that __________ does not fi t all the facts.

 X is right that ____________.

 X is wrong that ____________.

 X is both right and wrong that __________.

 Yet a sober analysis of the matter reveals __________.

 Nevertheless, new research shows ______________.

 Anyone familiar with __________ should see that __________.

 Proponents of X are right to argue that _________. But they exaggerate when they claim that __________.

 While it is true that _________, it does not necessarily follow that ______