College Humanities Writing Tips IV – Verbs

4. Verbs

Well chosen verbs clarify and strengthen your claims. As you read any piece of writing, make a list of strong, active verbs that might be useful for critical analysis of the arguments a text and/or its author are making. Consult the list when you’re writing to help you identify exactly what you want to say and the best way to say it.

Here’s a start:

Accommodate
Ameliorate
Answer
Anticipate
Appropriate
Assert
Balance
Betray
Claim
Combine
Complicate
Condone
Contradict
Corrupt
Create
Criticize
Critique
Defy
Demonstrate
Destabilize
Develop
Discredit
Display
Distinguish
Echo
Enumerate
Establish
Exaggerate
Examine
Exemplify
Exploit
Expose
Idealize
Identify
Incorporate
Inscribe
Interrogate
Justify
Juxtapose
Legitimize
Magnify
Minimize
Mitigate
Mirror
Parallel
Paralyze
Parody
Perpetuate
Persuade
Portray
Present
Quantify
Question
Rationalize
Recognize
Rectify
Refine
Refuse
Refute
Reinforce
Reject
Render
Renounce
Repeat
Reveal
Revolutionize
Romanticize
Satirize
Show
Solidify
Subvert
Suggest
Support
Sympathize
Undermine
Underscore
Write

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About sarahjpurdy

I am a writer, editor, English teacher, and Spanish student living in Valparaíso, Chile, where I teach English at the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María. I also telecommute to the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), where I have worked as a marketing publications writer and editor since 2004. Prior to joining UNR, I worked as a journalist, editing and writing features and news stories for the Reno Gazette-Journal. I earned a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from UNR, where I was chosen for a graduate research assistantship in Victorian literature and graduated with a 4.0/4.0 cumulative GPA. I also taught at UNR for three semesters as a discussion leader for cross-disciplinary Core Humanities 201 and 202 courses, which examine Western literature, history, and culture from Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece through the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution to World War II, the postcolonial era, and postmodernity. For eight months prior to moving to Chile in February 2011, I volunteered as ESL tutor for the ESL In-Home Program of Northern Nevada. In fall 2010 I earned a 50-hour TEFL Certificate from the University of Arizona and a 30-hour Social Media Marketing Certificate from UNR, and completed a graduate TESOL course through UNLV.
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