Signal Phrases

For us to Appreciate Your Thinking, Use These!

If readers cannot tell where a source begins or ends–forget about whether or not it’s credible–then the paper will feature serious problems.  At all points, make it clear where you begin or end.  Some of the drafts rely on summaries where it’s not clear where the writer’s source use starts.

Other papers–and this is common–start with setup, show a summary (after which there’s no citation) and then have the writer’s interpretation and then more source material.  The problem here would be that the best part is the writer’s interpretation and it’s hidden between two citations. . . only there’s just one citation where there should be two.  So readers get distracted both by the lack of clarity and the missing citation.

Check for this in one’s writing.  Thanks!

The following link from the Shepard Academy overviews signal phrases and offers some useful models.

Lastly, remember that using no signal phrases is also a choice which signals something to readers: that you either didn’t know the source context/credibility or could not be bothered to let the audience know!

A Single Column Table Labeled "A Taxonomy on Reflection." From the bottom up, the cells read "Remembering: What did I do?", "Understanding: What was important about it?", '"Applying: Where could I use this again?", "Evaluating: How well did I do?", and "Creating: What should I do next?" An arrow points from the bottom cell up the list to the top cell.