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 Why is it important to use signal phrases?
A signal phrase is an introduction to a quote or paraphrase. By introducing a quotation or paraphrase with a signal phrase, you’ll provide effective transitions between your ideas and the proof used to support them. Signal Phrases not only help the reader move smoothly from your ideas to another writer’s but also help you avoid the use of something called a “drop quote”.

Example of Drop Quote (AVOID)
Did you know that men need to be fathers? “Men will often give up certain deviant or socially irresponsible behavior only when they have children” (Samuelson, 1996)

Example of Signal Phrase (THE BETTER WAY)
Did you know that men need to be fathers? Robert J. Samuelson of Newsweek Magazine claims, “Men will often give up certain deviant or socially irresponsible behavior only when they have children” (1996)

As you can see, the signal phrase moves smoothly from the writer’s idea into the proof that is provided by the expert. They also provide crucial information (Author name, date, and article) in a seamless way and set up a boundary between you and the cited information.

Example Signal Words:
According to
Acknowledges
Adds
Admits
Addresses
Argues
Asserts
Believes
Claims
Comments
Compares


Confirms
Contends
Declares
Denies
Disputes
Emphasizes
Endorses
Grants
Illustrates
Implies
Insists

Notes
Observes
Points out
Reasons
Refutes
Rejects
Reports
Responds
Suggests
Thinks
Writes
Examples of Signal Phrases
According to Samuelson “...” (1996).
“...” Samuelson writes in Newsweek (1996).
“...”Samuelson insists, “...” (1996).
Newsweek Magazine writes, “...” (Samuelson, 1996).

Author: Kyle O'Shea, 6/21/2017