Definition of Signal Phrase:
"In academic writing (as well as in speaking), a writer must use certain words and phrases to connect their ideas, show a logical relationship between ideas, and guide the reader in the direction that the writer wants them to go. We use signal words and phrases to do this."
Source: www.mscc.edu/WritingResources/Signal Words and Phrases.pdf
"Whenever you include a paraphrase, summary, or direct quotation of another writer's work in your paper, prepare your readers for it with introductory words called a signal phrase. A signal phrase usually names the author of the source and often provides some context for the source material." (Hacker and Sommers 573)
Source: Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. The Bedford Handbook. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2014. Print.
Signal phrases usually include the author’s name and a verb to introduce the material. Using the author’s name in the phrase allows you to keep the parenthetical citation brief. If you do not include the author’s name in the signal phrase, then include the author’s last name in the parenthetical citation along with the page number.
Signal phrase with quotation:
Murray states that “personal electronic devices allow us to do more work in less time” (15).
Signal phrase with paraphrase:
Murray illustrates how personal electronic devices have changed our daily lives (15).
The signal 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, "__________________" (page #).
In her book, Title of Book, X defined "_______________________" (page #).
According to X, "_________________" (page #).
Summarizing, Paraphrasing, & Quotations:
These signal phrases alert the reader that the author is about to summarize or paraphrase another idea established by an authority on a chosen topic.
X emphasizes ____________________ (page #).
X observes ______________________ (page #).
X reports ________________________ (page #).
"When you write a signal phrase, choose a verb that is appropriate for the way you are using the source. Note that MLA style calls for verbs in the present or present perfect tense (argues, has argued) to introduce source material unless you include a date that specifies the time of the original author's writing." (Hacker and Sommers 574)
Source: Hacker, Diana, and Nancy Sommers. The Bedford Handbook. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2014. Print
Acknowledges Comments Endorses Predicts States
Adds Compares Estimates Proposes Suggests
Admits Concedes Finds Reasons Supports
Affirms Confirms Grants Recognizes Supposes
Agrees Contends Illustrates Recommends Surmises
Answers Contrasts Implies Refutes Tells
Argues Counters Insinuates Rejects Theorizes
Asks Declares Insists Reports Thinks
Asserts Defines Labels Responds Verifies
Attacks Denies Mentions Retorts Warns
Believes Disputes Notes Reveals Writes
Calls Echoes Observes Says
Claims Emphasizes Points out Speculates