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RMIT University Library - Learning Lab

Integrating ideas

 

Integrating ideas

The ability to write a cohesive argument rests upon your ability to link your arguments together. Look at the following example to see how the different parts are integrated together.

  • Notice how the writer uses linking words, e.g. similarly, to link the ideas.
  • Notice how the writer has used reporting words, i.e. linking verbs, to introduce the ideas of different authors, e.g. maintains, and claims.

Example

It is argued that leadership is integral to effective teamwork. For example, Rowlings (2017) maintains that the leadership role is the most significant factor in team success, with direct links to team outcomes. Similarly, Fender (2018) claims it is the team leader who "creates team success by maintaining the focus and motivation of team members" (p. 62). In addition, it is argued that the leader or manager is responsible for ensuring that all team members understand their role in the group, leading to successful task completion (Keeley, 2018; Singh & Lyons, 2017). Thus, it appears that the leadership role is significant in determining the success of a team.

Paraphrases
Linking words
Reporting verbs
Quote
Student analysis
It is argued that leadership is integral to effective teamwork. [Linking word: For example], Rowlings (2017) [Reporting word: maintains]that the [Paraphrases: leadership role is the most significant factor in team success, with direct links to team outcomes.] [Linking word: Similarly], Fender (2018) [Reporting verbs: claims] it is the team leader who "[Quote: creates team success by maintaining the focus and motivation of team members]" (p. 62). [Linking word: In addition], it is argued that [Paraphrases: the leader or manager is responsible for ensuring that all team members understand their role in the group, leading to successful task completion](Keeley, 2018; Singh & Lyons, 2017). [Linking word: Thus], [Student analysis: it appears that the leadership role is significant in determining the success of a team.]

Reporting words/phrases

The ability to write a cohesive argument rests on your ability to link your arguments. This is achieved through using reporting verbs to integrate your arguments and citations together.

The following phrases can be used to refer to citations. It is poor writing to use the same verbs all the time. Reporting verbs also allow the writer to indicate the degree to which they support the author of the research, e.g. claims that as opposed to suggests that. Please note that they can be used in different tenses and they need to be used appropriately in a paragraph.

Suggest(s) (that) Maintain(s) (that)
Argue(s) (that) Found (that)
According (to) Promote(s)
Outline(s) Establish(ed) (by)
Focus(es) on Asserts (that)
Define(s) Show(s)
Conclude(s) that Claim(s) (that)
State(s) Report(s)
Mention(s) Address(es)