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  • Dr. V

Use Assertive Verbs

When describing their projects, scholars sometimes present the goal of their research apprehensively. Though it is important not to draw conclusions about research prematurely, a scholar should speak confidently about the purpose of a research study.


See the sentences below for an example of assertively discussing a research project.


Sentence: This project AIMS TO INVESTIGATE the relationship between substance abuse and recidivism among violent ex-offenders.


Edited Sentence: This project INVESTIGATES the relationship between substance abuse and recidivism among violent ex-offenders.


Explanation: By incorporating two verbs forms in the first sentence (“aims” and “to investigate”), the author uses one verb unnecessarily while weakening the focus of the research.


A sound study with appropriate methodology will be able to “investigate” rather than “aim,” strive or seek to investigate. Therefore, in the edited sentence, the first verb is deleted so that the true intent of the study is clear: the project “investigates” a certain relationship.

When describing research studies, utilize verbs that enable you to speak authoritatively about the goals of your research.


Until next week, happy writing!!! Dr. V

Writing Coach-Editor-Speaker


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