Read this definition of a signal phrase, with examples.

Signal phrases provide clear signals to prepare the readers for the quotation. Such phrases name the author and give a context for how the source material fits into your position. When you use quotations, integrate them smoothly into the text of your paper. Your reader should be able to move from your own words to the words you quote without feeling an abrupt shift, so choose a verb that fits the context.

Here’s an example: “Charlie Beach, renowned butterfly expert, declared, “Gardens with milkweed and at least six colors of flowers will attract a plethora of species” (as cited in Martin, 2007, p. 6).

Here are some signal phrase verbs: Acknowledges, adds, admits, agrees, 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.

Last modified: Sunday, April 9, 2017, 5:37 PM