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ED 605

Signal Phrases

Examples of signal phrases (Bedford Handbook 583)

In the words of researchers Redelmeier and Tibshirani (2007),"...."

As Matt Sundeen (2005) has noted, "...."

Patti Pena, mother of a child killed by a driver, points out that, "...."

"...." writes Christine Haughtney (2008).

"...." claims wireless spokesperson Annette Jacobs (2007).

Verbs in Signal Phrases

acknowledges comments endorses reasons
adds compares grants refutes
admits confirms illustrates rejects
agrees contends implies reports
argues declares insists responds
asserts denies notes suggests
believes disputes observes thinks
claims emphasizes points out writes

Quoting, Paraphrasing & Summarizing

Quoting Sources

When you quote a source, you include the author's exact words in your text. Use "quotation marks" around the author's words. Include signal phrases and an in-text citation to show where the quote is from.

Paraphrasing & Summarizing Sources

When you paraphrase or summarize a source, you restate the source's ideas in your own words and sentence structure. Select what is relevant to your topic, and restate only that. Changing only a few words is not sufficient in paraphrasing/ summarizing. Instead, you need to completely rephrase the author's ideas in your own words. You should not use quotation marks.

Always use in-text citations when you paraphrase or summarize, to let the reader know that the information comes from another source. Continue to use signal phrases as well.

Author Named in Your Text

If the author's name is in your text, you do not need to repeat.


Signal phrase, Author (Year), "quote" (p. page number).


One researcher, Carol Gilligan (2005), concludes that "women impose a

distinctive construction on moral problems" (p. 105).

Two to Five Authors

Last names only and add commas and "&" before final name.


Signal phrase, "quote" (Author, Author, & Author, Year, p. page number).


Our text discusses the "ethical dilemmas in public relations" (Wilcox, Ault, & Agee, 2005, p. 125).

Six or More Authors

Give only the first author followed by et. al.


Signal phrase, "quote" (Author, et. al., Year, p. page number).


Our text discusses the "ethical dilemmas in public relations" (Wilcox, et. al., 2007, p. 125).

No Author

Use shortened version of title.


Signal phrase, "quote" (Shortened title, Year, p. page number).


One article states that, "A death row inmate may demand his execution for notoriety" (Right, 2005, p. 135).

Electronic Sources with No Pages

Use author or title only.


Signal phrase, "quote" (Author, Year).

Signal phrase, "quote" (Shortened title, Year).


According to a study, "Twins reared apart report similar feelings" (Palfrey, 2005). or (Twins reared, 2005).

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