21. Useful Phrases

by Adrian Wallwork

Source: English for Writing Research Papers, Springer, 2011, pp. 273-293

Link for freely downloading: http://www.focusoptekst.nl/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/English-for-writing-research-papers.pdf

Index of Useful Phrases

  1. Establishing why your topic (X) is important
  2. Outlining the past-present history of the study of X (no direct references to the literature)
  3. Outlining the possible future of X
  4. Indicating the gap in knowledge and possible limitations
  5. Stating the aim of your paper and its contribution
  6. Explaining the key terminology in your field
  7. Explaining how you will use terminology and acronyms in your paper
  8. 8. Giving the structure of paper – what is and is not included
  9. Giving general panorama of past-to-present literature
  10. Reviewing past literature
  11. Reviewing subsequent and more recent literature
  12. Reporting what specific authors of have said
  13. Mentioning positive aspects of others’ work
  14. Highlighting limitations of previous studies – authors not mentioned by name
  15. Highlighting limitations of previous studies – authors mentioned by name
  16. Using the opinions of others to justify your criticism of someone’s work
  17. 17. Describing purpose of testing / methods used
  18. Outlining similarities with other authors’ models, systems etc.
  19. Describing the apparatus and materials used and their source
  20. Reporting software used
  21. Reporting customizations performed
  22. Formulating equations, theories and theorems
  23. Explaining why you chose your specific method, model, equipment, sample etc.
  24. Explaining the preparation of samples, solutions etc.
  25. Outlining selection procedure for samples, surveys etc.
  26. Indicating the time frame (past tenses)
  27. Indicating the time frame in a general process (present tenses)
  28. Indicating that care must be taken
  29. Describing benefits of your method, equipment etc.
  30. Outlining alternative approaches
  31. Explaining how you got your results
  32. Reporting results from questionnaires and interviews
  33. Stating what you found
  34. Stating what you did not find
  35. Highlighting significant results and achievements
  36. 36. Stating that your results confirm previous evidence
  37. Stating that your results are in contrast with previous evidence
  38. Stating and justifying the acceptability of your results
  39. Expressing caution regarding the interpretation of results
  40. Outlining undesired or unexpected results
  41. Admitting limitations
  42. Explaining and justifying undesired or unexpected results
  43. Minimizing undesired or unexpected results
  44. Expressing opinions and probabilities
  45. Announcing your conclusions and summarizing content
  46. Restating the results (Conclusions section)
  47. Highlighting achievements (Conclusions section)
  48. Highlighting limitations (Conclusions section)
  49. Outlining possible applications and implications of your work
  50. Future work already underway or planned by the authors
  51. Future work proposed for third parties to carry out
  52. Acknowledgements
  53. Referring to tables and figures, and to their implications
  54. Making transitions, focusing on a new topic
  55. Referring backwards and forwards in the paper
  56. Referring back to your research aim
  57. Referring outside the paper


  1. Establishing why your topic (X) is important

X is the main / leading / primary / major cause of

Xs are a common / useful / critical part of

Xs are among the most widely used / commonly discussed / well-known / well-documented / widespread / commonly investigated types of

X is recognized as being / believed to be / widely considered to be the most important

It is well known / generally accepted / common knowledge that X is

X is increasingly becoming / set to become a vital factor in …

Xs are undergoing a revolution / generating considerable interest in terms of

Xs are attracting considerable / increasing / widespread interest due to

X has many uses / roles / applications in the field of

A striking / useful / remarkable feature of

The main / principal / fundamental characteristics of X are:

X accounts / is responsible for

  1. Outlining the past-present history of the study of X (no direct references to the literature)

Last century X was considered to be / viewed as / seen as the most

Initial / Preliminary / The first studies of X considered it to be

Traditionally X / In the history of X, the focus has always been

Scientists / Researchers / Experts have always seen X as

Until now / For many years / Since 1993 Xs have been considered as

X has received much attention in the last two years / in the past decade / over the last two decades …

For the past five years / Since 2011 there has been a rapid rise in the use of Xs The last two years have witnessed / seen a huge growth in X …

The past decade / last year has seen a renewed importance in X …

Recent developments in / findings regarding X have led to

X has become a central / an important / a critical issue in …

  1. Outlining the possible future of X

The next decade is likely to see / witness a considerable rise in X

In the next few years X will become / is likely to have become

Within the next few years, X is set / destined / likely to become an important component in

By 2025 / Within the next ten years, X will have become

X will soon / shortly / rapidly / inevitably be an issue that

  1. Indicating the gap in knowledge and possible limitations

Few researchers have addressed the problem / issue / question of

Previous work has only focused on / been limited to / failed to address …

A basic / common / fundamental / crucial / major issue of

The central / core problem of

A challenging / An intriguing / An important / A neglected area in the field of

Current solutions to X are inconsistent / inadequate / incorrect / ineffective / inefficient / over-simplistic / unsatisfactory

Many hypotheses regarding X appear to be ill-defined / unfounded / not well grounded / unsupported / questionable / disputable / debatable

The characteristics of X are not well understood / are misunderstood / have not been dealt with in depth.

It is not yet known / has not yet been established whether X can do Y.

X is still poorly / not widely understood.

X is often impractical / not feasible / costly …

Techniques to solve X are computationally demanding / subject to high overheads / time consuming / impractical / frequently unfeasible.

A major defect / difficulty / drawback / disadvantage / flaw of X is

One of the main issues in our knowledge of / what we know about X is a lack of

This particular / specific area of X has been overlooked / has been neglected / remains unclear …

Despite this interest, no one to the best of our knowledge / as far as we know has studied

Although this approach is interesting, it suffers from / fails to take into account / does not allow for …

In spite of / Despite its shortcomings, this method has been widely applied to …

However, there is still a need for / has been little discussion on …

Moreover, other solutions / research programs / approaches have failed to provide

Most studies have only focused / tended to focus on

To date / Until now this methodology has only been applied to

There is still some / much / considerable controversy surrounding

There has been some disagreement concerning / regarding / with regard to whether

There is little / no general agreement on

The community has raised some issues / concerns about

Concerns have arisen / been raised which question / call into question the validity of

In the light of recent events in x, there is now some / much / considerable concern about

  1. Stating the aim of your paper and its contribution 

In this report / paper / review / study we

This paper outlines / proposes / describes / presents a new approach to

This paper examines / seeks to address / focuses on / discusses / investigates how to solve

This paper is an overview of / a review of / a report on / a preliminary attempt to …

The present paper aims to validate / call into question / refute Peng’s findings regarding

X is presented / described / analyzed / computed / investigated / examined / introduced / discussed in order to

The aim of our work / research / study / analysis was to further / extend / widen / broaden current knowledge of

Our knowledge of X is largely based on very limited data. The aim of the research was thus / therefore / consequently to

The aim of this study is to study / evaluate / validate / determine / examine / analyze / calculate / estimate / formulate …

This paper calls into question / takes a new look at / re-examines / revisits / sheds new light on …

With this in mind / Within the framework of these criteria / In this context we tried to

We undertook this study / initiated this research / developed this methodology to

We believe that we have found / developed / discovered / designed an innovative solution to

We describe / present / consider / analyze a novel / simple / radical / interesting solution for

  1. Explaining the key terminology in your field 

The term ‘X’ is generally understood to mean / has come to be used to refer to / has been applied to …

In the literature, X usually refers / often refers / tends to be used to refer to

In the field of X, several / various / many definitions of Y can be found.

The term X is / was / has been used by Molotov [2011] to refer to …
Molotov uses the term X [2011] to refer to / denominate …

X is defined by Peng [1990] to refer to / to mean …

Vitous [2015] has provided / put forward / proposed a new definition of X, in which

X is defined / identified / described as … [Njimi 2004].

In the literature there seems to be no general definition of X / a general definition of X is lacking / there is no clear definition of X.

Several authors have attempted to define X, but as yet / currently / at the time of writing there is still no accepted definition.

In broad / general terms, X is / can be defined as a way to

The broad / general / generally accepted use of the term X refers to

X is sometimes equated with / embodies a series of …

X, Y and Z are three kinds / types / categories / classes of languages.

There are three kinds of languages: / The three kinds of languages are: / Languages can be divided into three kinds: X, Y and Z.

  1. Explaining how you will use terminology and acronyms in your paper

The acronym PC stands for / denotes …

The subjects (henceforth named / hereafter ‘X’) are…

The subject, which we shall call / refer to as ‘X’, is …

Throughout this paper / section we use the terms ‘mafia’ and ‘the mob’ interchangeably, following / in accordance with the practice of this department where this study was conducted.

The fonts, i.e. / that is to say the form of the characters, are of various types.

There are three different types, namely / specifically: X, Y and Z.

Throughout the / In this paper we use / will use the term X to refer to …
In this chapter X is used / will be used to refer to

In this paper the standard meaning of X is / will be used ..

This aspect is / will be dealt with in more detail in Sect. 2.

We will see / learn / appreciate how relevant this is in the next subsection.

  1. Giving the structure of paper – what is and is not included

This paper is organized as follows / divided into five sections.

The first section / Section 1 gives a brief overview of

The second section examines / analyses …

In the third section a case study is presented / analyzed …

A new methodology is described / outlined in the fourth section

We / I propose a new procedure in Section 4.
Some / Our conclusions are drawn in the final section.

This paper / chapter / section / subsection begins by examining

The next chapter looks at / examines / investigates the question of

Problems / Questions / Issues regarding X are discussed in later sections.

A discussion of Y is / falls outside the scope of this paper.

For reasons of space, Y is not addressed / dealt with / considered in this paper.

  1. Giving general panorama of past-to-present literature 

There is a considerable / vast amount of literature on

In the literature there are many / several / a surprising number of / few examples of

What we know / is known about X is largely based on

Much / Not much / Very little is known about

Many / Few studies have been published on … [Ref]

Various approaches have been proposed / put forward / suggested / hypothesized to solve this issue [Ref].

X has been identified / indicated as being … [Ref]

X has been shown / demonstrated / proved / found to be [Ref]

X has been widely investigated / studied / addressed … [Ref]

Xs have been receiving / gaining much attention due to …

In the traditional / classical approach, X is used to

In recent years there has been considerable / growing interest in … [Ref]

A growing body of literature has examined / investigated / studied / analyzed / evaluated … [Ref]

Much work on the potential of X has been carried out [Ref], yet / however there are still some critical issues … [Ref]

  1. Reviewing past literature

In their seminal / groundbreaking / cutting edge paper of 2001, Peters and Jones

Initial / Preliminary work in this field focused primarily on

Some preliminary work was carried out in the early 1990s / several years ago …

Doyle in 2000 was among / one of the first to

The first investigations into / studies on X found that …

The first systematic study / report on X was carried out / conducted / performed in 1995 by

An increase in X was first noted / reported / found by

  1. Reviewing subsequent and more recent literature

Experiments on X were conducted / carried out / performed on X in 2009 by a group of researchers from …

In a major advance in 2010, Berlusconi et al. surveyed / interviewed …

Jeffries and co-workers [2011] measured / calculated / estimated …

In [67] the authors investigated / studied / analyzed …

A recent review of the literature on this topic / subject / matter / area [2012] found that

A number / An increasing number of studies have found that …

Since 2011 / In the last few years, much more information on X has become available

Several studies, for example / instance [1], [2], and [6], have been carried out / conducted / performed on X.

More recent evidence [Obama, 2013] shows / suggests / highlights / reveals / proposes that

It has now been suggested / hypothesized / proposed / shown / demonstrated that … [Cosimo 2010]

Many attempts have been made [Kim 2009, Li 2010, Hai 2011] in order to / with the purpose 
of / aimed at …

  1. Reporting what specific authors of have said 

In her analysis / review / overview / critique of X, Bertram [2] questions the need for

In his introduction to / seminal article on / investigation into X, Schneider [3] shows that

Dee [4] developed / reported on a new method for X and concluded that

Southern’s group [5] calls into question some past assumptions / hypotheses / theories about X.

Burgess [6], an authority on X, notes / mentions / highlights / states / affirms that She questions / wonders / considers / investigates whether [or not] X can

He traces the advances in / development of / history of / evolution of X

They draw our attention to / focus on X.

They make / draw a distinction between …
He claims / argues / maintains / suggests / points out / underlines that

She concludes / comes to the conclusion / reaches the conclusion that

She lists / outlines / describes / provides several reasons for

Her theory / solution / proposal / method / approach is based on

  1. Mentioning positive aspects of others’ work

Smith’s [22] use of X is fully justified / very plausible / endorsed by experience.

Kamos’s [23] assumptions seem to be realistic / well-founded / well-grounded / plausible / reasonable / acceptable.

The equations given in [24] are accurate / comprehensive …

It has been suggested [25] that … and this seems to be a reliable / useful / innovative 

  1. Highlighting limitations of previous studies – authors not mentioned by name 

Research has tended to focus on X rather than Y. An additional problem is that / Moreover X is

The main limitation / downside / disadvantage / pitfall / shortfall of X is …

One of the major drawbacks to adopting / using / exploiting this system is …

This is something of a pitfall / disadvantage …

A well-known / major / serious criticism of X is

A key problem with much of the literature on / regarding / in relation to X is that

This raises many questions about / as to / regarding whether X should be used for …

One question / issue that needs to be asked / raised is

Unfortunately, it does not / fails to / neglects to explain why

This method suffers from a number / series / plethora of pitfalls.

There is still considerable ambiguity / disagreement / uncertainty with regard to

Many experts contend, however / instead / on the other hand, that this evidence is not conclusive.

A related hypothesis holds / maintains that X is equal to Y, suggesting / indicating that …

Other observations indicate / would seem to suggest that this explanation is insufficient

  1. Highlighting limitations of previous studies – authors mentioned by name

Peng [31] claimed / contended that X is … but she failed to provide adequate proof of this finding.

Peng’s findings do not seem / appear to support his conclusions.

This has led authors such as / for example / for instance Mithran [32], Yasmin [34] and Hai [35] to investigate ..

The shortcomings / pitfalls / flaws of their method have been clearly recognized.

A serious weakness / limitation / drawback with this argument, however, is that …

Their approach is not well suited to / appropriate for / suitable for …

The main weakness in their study is that they make no attempt to … / offer no explanation for … / they overlook …

Their experiments were marred / flawed / undermined by X.

X is the major flaw in / drawback to / disadvantage of their experiments.

The major defect in their experiments is that they entail tedious / repetitive / time-consuming / laborious / labor-intensive calculations with regard to …

Such an unreasonable / unjustified / inappropriate / unsuitable / misleading assumption can lead to serious / grave consequences with regard to …

Their claims seem to be somewhat exaggerated / inaccurate / unreliable / speculative / superficial …

In our view, their findings are only conjectures / speculations based on unjustified / implausible / unsatisfactory / ambivalent / unsubstantiated assumptions.

Their paper / work / study / research / approach / findings / results might have been more interesting / innovative / useful / convincing / persuasive if …

Their attempts to do X are cumbersome / unnecessarily complicated / financially unfeasible …

Their explanations are superficial / impenetrable / doubtful / confusing / misleading / irrelevant …

Another / An additional weakness is

An even greater source of concern / issue / problem is

  1. Using the opinions of others to justify your criticism of someone’s work

As mentioned by Burgess [2011], Henri’s argument / approach / reasoning relies too heavily on

As others have highlighted [34, 45, 60], Ozil’s approach raises many doubts / is questionable …

Several authors / experts / researchers / analysts have expressed doubts about / called into question / challenged Guyot on the grounds that …..

Marchesi [2010] has already noted an inconsistency with Hahn’s claim / methodology / method / results / approach …

Friedrich’s approach [2013] has not escaped criticism / been subjected to much criticism and has been strongly / vigorously challenged

Many experts now contend / believe / argue that rather than using Pappov’s approach it might be more useful to …

Their analysis has not found / met with / received general acceptance

Some recent criticisms of / critical comments on Kim’s work are summarized in [25].

The most well-known critic of Sadie’s findings is … who argued / proposed / suggested that an alternative explanation might be that / could be found in …

  1. Describing purpose of testing / methods used

In order to identify / understand / investigate / study / analyze X …

To enable / allow us to … , we …

To see / determine / check / verify / determine whether

To control / test for X, Y was done.

So that we could / would be able to do X, we …

In an attempt / effort to do X, we …

X was done / We did X in order to

  1. Outlining similarities with other authors’ models, systems etc. 

The set up we used can be found / is reported / is detailed in [Ref 2].

Our experimental set up bears a close resemblance to / is reminiscent of / is based on / is a variation on / was inspired by / owes a lot to / is more or less identical to / is practically the same as the one proposed by Smith [2014].

We used a variation of Smith’s procedure. In fact / Specifically, in our procedure we …

Our steps proceed very much in the same way as / follow what is indicated in [Ref. 2]. First, …

The procedure used is as described / explained / reported / proposed by Sakamoto [2013].

The method is in line with a variation of / essentially the same as that used by Kirk [2009] with some changes / modifications / alterations / adjustments.

We refined / altered / adapted / modified / revised the method used / reported / suggested / explained / proposed / put forward by Bing [2012].

Our technique was loosely / partially / partly / to some extent based on …

More details can be found / are given in our previous paper [35].

This component is fully compliant with international norms / regulations / standards.

  1. Describing the apparatus and materials used and their source 

The instrument used / utilized / adopted / employed was

The apparatus consists of / is made up of / is composed of / is based on …

The device was designed / developed / set up in order to

X incorporates / exploits / makes use of the latest technological advances.

The system comes complete / is equipped / is fully integrated / is fitted with a

It is mounted on / connected to / attached to / fastened to / fixed to / surrounded by / covered with / integrated into / embedded onto / encased in / housed in / aligned with …

It is located in / situated in / positioned on ….

X was obtained from / supplied by Big Company Inc.

X was kindly provided / supplied by Prof Big.

  1. Reporting software used

The software application / program / package used to analyze the data was SoftGather (Softsift plc, London).

The data were obtained / collected using SoftGather.

Data management / analysis was performed by / using SoftGather.

X was carried out / performed / analyzed / calculated / determined using SoftGather.

Statistical significance was analyzed by using / through the use of SoftGather.

We used commercially available software / a commercially available software package.

Free software, downloaded from http://www.free.edu, was used / adopted to …

  1. Reporting customizations performed

X was tailored / customized for use with

X can easily be customized / adapted / modified to suit all requirements.

Measurements were taken using purpose-built / custom-built / customized equipment.

The apparatus was adapted as in [Ref] / in accordance with [Ref] / as follows:

The following changes / modifications were made:

The resulting ad hoc device can / is able to / has the capacity to …

  1. Formulating equations, theories and theorems

This problem can be outlined / phrased / posed in terms of …

The problem is ruled by / governed by / related to / correlated to …

This theorem asserts / states that

The resulting integrals / solution to X can be expressed as …
… where T stands for / denotes / identifies / is an abbreviation for time.

By substituting / Substituting / Substitution into

Combining / Integrating / Eliminating .. we have that:

Taking advantage of / Exploiting / Making use of X, we …

On combining this result with X, we deduce / conclude that

Subtracting X from Y, we have that / obtain / get …

Equation 1 shows / reveals that

This gives the formal solution / allows a formal solution to be found …

It may easily / simply verified that

It is straightforward / easy / trivial to verify that

For the sake of simplicity / reasons of space, we

  1. Explaining why you chose your specific method, model, equipment, sample etc. 

The aim / purpose of X is to do Y. Consequently we / As a result we / Therefore we / We thus …

This method / model / system was chosen because it is one of the most practical / feasible / economic / rapid ways to …

We chose this particular apparatus because / on account of the fact that / due to / since …

It was decided that the best procedure / method / equipment for this investigation / study was to …

An X approach was chosen / selected in order to …

The design of the X was based on / is geared towards …

We opted for / chose a small sample size because / due to / on the basis of …

By having / By exploiting / Through the use of X, we were able to …

Having an X enabled us to / allowed us to / meant that we could do Y.

  1. Explaining the preparation of samples, solutions etc.

We used reliable / innovative / classic / traditional techniques based on the recommendations of …

Xs were prepared as described by / according to / following Jude [2010].

Xs were prepared in accordance with / in compliance with / as required by….

Y was prepared using the same / a similar procedure as for X.

All samples were carefully / thoroughly checked for …

X was gradually / slowly / rapidly / gently heated

The final / resulting solutions contained …

This was done by means of / using / with a calculator.

  1. Outlining selection procedure for samples, surveys etc. 

The traditional / classical / normal / usual approach to sample collection is to

The criteria / reasons for selecting Xs were:

The sample was selected / subdivided on the basis of X and Y.

The initial sample consisted of / was made up / was composed of …

Approximately / Just over / Slightly under a half / third / quarter of the sample were

A total of 1234 Xs were recruited for this study / this survey / for interviews.

At the beginning of the study, all of the participants / subjects / patients were aged ……

In all cases patients’ / subjects’ / participants’ consent was obtained.

Interviews were performed / conducted / carried out informally

The interviewees were divided / split / broken down into two groups based on / on the basis of …

  1. Indicating the time frame (past tenses) 

Initial studies were made / performed / done / carried out / executed using the conditions described above over / for a period of

X was collected / used / tested / characterized / assessed during the first / initial step. Prior to / Before doing X, we did Y.

First we estimated / determined the value of X, then / subsequently we studied / analyzed / evaluated Y.

Once / As soon as / After X had been done, we then did Y.

The levels were thus / consequently / therefore set at …

After / Afterwards / Following this, X was subjected to Y.

The resulting / remaining Xs were then

The experiment was then repeated / replicated under conditions in which …

Finally, independent / separate / further / additional tests were performed on the

  1. Indicating the time frame in a general process (present tenses) 

In the first step / During the first phase / In the initial stage of the process …

Once / As soon as / After X has been done, we can then do Y.

This sets the stage / We are now ready for the next step.

At this point / Now X can be …

After / When / As soon as these steps have been carried out, X …

With the completion of these steps / When these steps have been completed, we are now ready to …

This condition cannot be reached until / unless X has been …

When / As soon as X is ready, the final adjustments can be made.

The completed X can now / then / subsequently be used to …

By reducing the amount of X / If the amount of X is reduced, Y can then be done.

To reduce the risk of Y, place / The risk of X can be reduced by placing all the Xs in a container.

The experiment proceeds / continues following the steps outlined below.

  1. Indicating that care must be taken

To do this entails / involves / requires doing X.

It is seldom / rarely / usually / generally / often / always practical to …

Considerable / Great care are must be taken / exercised when

A great deal of / Considerable attention must be paid when …

Extreme caution must be taken / used when

  1. Describing benefits of your method, equipment etc.

This method represents a viable / valuable / useful / groundbreaking / innovative alternative to …

This equipment has the ability / capacity / potential to outperform all previous Xs.

This apparatus has several / many interesting features / characteristics.

Our method has many interesting / attractive / beneficial / useful / practical / effective / valuable applications.

Of particular / major / fundamental interest is …

The key / basic / chief / crucial / decisive / essential / fundamental / important / main / major 
/ principal advantages are:

Our procedure is a clear improvement / advance on current methods.

We believe this solution will aid / assist researchers to 

This solution improves on / enhances / furthers / advances previous methods by …

The benefits / advantages in terms of X far outweigh the disadvantages with regard to Y.

  1. Outlining alternative approaches 

A less lengthy / time-consuming / cumbersome / costly approach is

A neater / more elegant / simplified / more practical solution for this problem …

An alternative solution, though with high overheads / slightly more complicated / less exhaustive is …

One / One possible / A good way to avoid the use of X is to use Y instead.

  1. Explaining how you got your results

To assess X / evaluate X / distinguish between X and Y, Z was used.

X analysis was used to test / predict / confirm Y.

Changes in X were identified / calculated / compared using

The correlation / difference between X and Y was tested.

The first set of analyses investigated / examined / confirmed / highlighted the impact of …

  1. Reporting results from questionnaires and interviews

Of the study population / initial sample / initial cohort, 90 subjects completed and returned the questionnaire.

The response rate was 70% at / after / for the first six months and

The majority of respondents / those who responded felt that ….

Over half / Sixty per cent of those surveyed / questioned reported that …

Almost / Just under / Approximately two-thirds of the participants (64%) said / felt / commented that

Only / Just a small number / Fifteen per cent of those interviewed reported / suggested / indicated that

Of the 82 subjects who completed the questionnaire / took part in the survey / agreed to par- ticipate, just under / over half replied that ….

A small minority of / Hardly any / Very few participants (4%) indicated …

In response to Question 1, most / nearly all / the majority of those surveyed indicated that

When the subjects were asked about / questioned on X the majority commented that ….

The overall response to this question was surprisingly / unexpectedly / very / quite negative.

  1. Stating what you found

These tests revealed / showed / highlighted that

Strong / Some / No evidence of X was found …

Interestingly / Surprisingly / Unexpectedly, for high values of X, Y was found ..

There was a significant positive / no correlation between

On average / Generally speaking / Broadly speaking, we found values for X of …

The average / mean score for X was …

This result is significant only / exclusively at an X level.

Further analysis / analyses / tests / examinations / replications showed that

  1. Stating what you did not find 

No significant difference / correlation was found / identified / revealed / detected / observed / highlighted between ….

There were no significant differences between X and Y in terms of Z / with regard to Z / as far as Z is concerned.

The analysis did not show / reveal / identify / confirm any significant differences between

None of these differences were / Not one of these differences was statistically significant.

Overall / Taken as a whole / Generally speaking / With a few exceptions, our results show X did not affect Y.

  1. Highlighting significant results and achievements

The most striking / remarkable result to emerge from the data is that

Interestingly / Curiously / Remarkably / Inexplicably, this correlation is related to ….

Significantly / Importantly / Crucially / Critically, X is …

The correlation between X and Y is interesting / of interest / worth noting / noteworthy / worth mentioning because

The most surprising / remarkable / intriguing correlation is with the

The single most striking / conspicuous / marked observation to emerge from the data comparison was …

It is interesting / critical / crucial / important / fundamental to note that …

We believe that / As far as we know / As far as we aware this is the first time that X

We believe that / We are of the opinion that / In our view the result emphasizes the validity of our model.

This result has further strengthened our confidence in X / conviction that X is / hypothesis that X is …

Our technique shows a clear / clearly has an advantage over

The importance of X cannot be stressed / emphasized too much.

This underlines / highlights / stresses / proves / demonstrates just how important X is.

The utility of X is thus underlined / highlighted / stressed / proved / demonstrated.

This finding confirms / points to / highlights / reinforces / validates the usefulness of X as a…

Our study provides additional support for / further evidence for / considerable insight into X.

These results extend / further / widen our knowledge of X.

These results offer compelling / indisputable / crucial / overwhelming / powerful / invaluable / unprecedented / unique / vital evidence for …

  1. Stating that your results confirm previous evidence

Our experiments confirm / corroborate / are in line with / are consistent with previous results [Wiley 2009].

The values are barely / scarcely / hardly distinguishable from [Li 2010] who …

This value has been found to be / is typical of X.

This is in good agreement / in complete agreement / consistent with …

This fits / matches / concurs well with [65] and also confirms our earlier / previous findings [39, 40, 41].

This confirms / supports / lends support to / substantiates previous findings in the literature …

These values correlate favorably / satisfactorily / fairly well with Svenson [2009] and further support the idea / role / concept of …

Further tests carried out with X confirmed / corroborated / concurred with our initial findings.

As proposed / suggested / reported / indicated / put forward by Dong [2011], the evidence we found points to …

Our results share / have a number of similarities with Claire et al.’s [2012] findings …

  1. Stating that your results are in contrast with previous evidence 

It was found that X = 2, whereas / on the other hand Kamatchi [2011] found that

We found much higher values for X than / with respect to those reported by Pandey [2000].

Although / Despite the fact that Li and Mithran [2014] found that X = 2 we found that X = 3.

In contrast to / contradiction with earlier findings [Castenas, 2009], we

This study has not confirmed previous research on X. However / Nevertheless / Despite this, it serves to …

Even though these results differ from some published / previous / earlier studies (Cossu, 2001; Triana, 2002), they are consistent with those of …

Kosov et al. noted that x = y. Our results do not support / appear to corroborate / seem to confirm their observation, in fact …

Georgiev is correct to argue / propose / claim that x = y. However, his calculation only referred to the limited case of …. and our conclusion of x = z, would thus seem to be justi- fied / justifiable / defensible / correct / acceptable / warranted.

Although our results differ slightly / to some extent / considerably from those of Minhaz [2001], Erturk [2007], and Hayk [2014], it can / could nevertheless be argued that

Our findings do / The current study does not support previous research in this area. In fact, contrary to / unlike / in contrast with what was previously thought, we found that …

These findings refute / disprove / are in contradiction with / contrast with / significantly differ from previous results reported in the literature.

  1. Stating and justifying the acceptability of your results

As expected / anticipated / predicted / forecast / hypothesized, our experiments show / dem- 
onstrate / prove that

Our formula captures / reproduces the response of …

Apart from this slight discordance / discrepancy / disagreement / non-alignment, the result is confirmation of …

Despite / Notwithstanding the lack of agreement, we believe our findings compare well with …

Although / Even though / Despite the fact that there was some inconsistency

There is satisfactory / good / exceptional / perfect agreement between

No significant / substantial / appreciable / noteworthy differences were found … Our findings appear to be well substantiated / supported by …

The number of Xs that confirmed our findings was appreciable / significant / substantial.

  1. Expressing caution regarding the interpretation of results

Initially we thought that x was equal to y. However, a more careful analysis / closer inspection 
revealed that …

These results / data / findings thus need to be interpreted with caution / care / attention.

The conclusions of the review should be treated / interpreted / analyzed / read with caution.

However, due care / careful attention / extreme caution must be exercised / paid in

Given that our findings are based on a limited number of Xs, the results from such analyses should thus / consequently / therefore be treated with considerable / the utmost caution.

Other researchers have sounded / We should sound a note of caution with regard to such findings.

  1. Outlining undesired or unexpected results

As was / might have been expected, our findings were often contradictory …

Contrary to expectations / Unlike other research carried out in this area, we did not find a significant difference between … O

ur results were disappointing / poor / inadequate / unsatisfactory / below expectations. However, …

Our study was unsuccessful / not successful in proving that …

Our research failed to account for / justify / explain / give an explanation for / give a reason 
for the low values of …

Surprisingly / Unfortunately / Disappointingly / Regrettably, no signs of X were / evidence 
for X was found.

What is surprising / we were surprised to find / we are unable to account for is the fact that …

A substantial / appreciable / noticeable disagreement is evident.

The Xs appear to be over-predicted / overestimated / overstated …

This number is slightly lower than the value we expected / anticipated / predicted and there is certainly room for improvement.

  1. Admitting limitations 

We aware that our research may have two limitations. The first is … The second is … These limi- tations highlight / reveal / underline / are evidence of the difficulty of collecting data on ….

It is plausible that a number of limitations may / might / could have influenced the results obtained. First / To begin with … An additional / Another possible source of error is

Since / Given that / As the focus of the study was on X … there is a possibility / there is some likelihood / it is not inconceivable that dissimilar evaluations would have arisen if the focus had been on Y.

The restricted use of X could account for / be the reason for / explain why …

There are several sources for / causes of / reasons for possible error.

A major source of unreliability / uncertainty / contamination is in the method used to

Unfortunately, it was not possible / we were unable to investigate the significant relationships of X and Y further because / due to the fact that Z is

Inevitably / Not surprisingly / As expected / As anticipated, there were some discrepancies / inaccuracies / problems due to …

The performance was rather / slightly / a little disappointing. This was probably as a result of …

One downside / disadvantage / negative factor regarding our methodology is that

Further data collection is required / would be needed to determine exactly how X affects Y.

  1. Explaining and justifying undesired or unexpected results

It is very likely / probable / possible that participants may have erroneously … and this may have led to / brought about changes in …

The prime / primary / foremost cause of the discrepancy is due to / a result of / a consequence 
of X.

This apparent lack of correlation can be attributed to / explained by / justified by …

The reason for this rather contradictory result is still not entirely / completely clear, but …

There are several possible explanations for this result / finding / outcome.

These differences can be explained / justified / accounted for in part by

It can thus be suggested / conceivably hypothesized / reasonably assumed that

The unexpectedly high / low level of X is undoubtedly / certainly / without any doubt due to …

A possible / reasonable / satisfactory explanation for X may be that ….

Another possible explanation / rationalization / reason for this is that …

Clearly / Evidently / Naturally there may be other possible explanations.

This happened / occurred / may have happened / may have occurred because we had not examined X sufficiently / in enough depth due to …

The reasons for this result are not yet wholly / completely / entirely understood.

It cannot be ruled out / ignored that there was some unintended bias in

An unintended bias cannot be ruled out / should be taken into consideration.

We cannot rule out that X might / may have influenced Y.

The observed increase in X could be attributed to / might be explained by it / could be inter- preted as being a result of …

Despite the fact that / Although X was expected to do Y, it was not predicted that X would also do Z. However, this is not particularly surprising given the fact / in light of the fact / if we consider that

  1. Minimizing undesired or unexpected results 

Although performance was not ideal / perfect / optimal, we still / nevertheless believe that …

This poor performance was not unexpected / surprising / very significant. In fact …

This result was not expected / predicted / anticipated. However, the reason for this is prob- ably / it is likely that the reason for this is / it is probable that the reason for this is that …

Our investigations so far have only been on a small scale / applied to …

These discrepancies are negligible / can be neglected / considered as insignificant / are of no 
real consequence due to the fact that …

Despite the limitations of this method, and consequently the poor results in Test 2, our findings do nevertheless / in any case / however suggest that …

Given that / Since / On account of the fact that this was only a preliminary attempt to do X it is hardly surprising that …

As is well known, Xs are extremely hard / difficult / problematic / time-consuming / cumbersome 
to control, so / thus / consequently ….

In fact, X was beyond the scope of this study / not a primary goal in this research / not the 
focus of this study / not attempted in this study.

Consequently, it is inevitable / understandable / not hard to appreciate / not surprising that…

Note / It should be noted / It is worthwhile noting that

A / One limitation of our research is that the surveys were not conducted in the same period. However / Nevertheless / Despite this, we can still state that …

We failed / were not able / were unable to find a link between x and y, but this may / might depend on the methodology chosen for our research.

  1. Expressing opinions and probabilities

To the best of our knowledge / As far as we know / We believe that no other authors have found that x = y.

It would seem / appear that

Our findings would seem to show / demonstrate / suggest / imply that x = y.

This factor may be responsible / is probably responsible / could well be responsible for this result.

Presumably / We hypothesize / I argue that this factor is …

We believe that our method could be used / probably be usefully employed in

Our approach would lend itself well for use by / may be useful for

In our opinion / view, this method could be used in …

We believe / feel strongly that

There is evidence to suggest / support the hypothesis that

It is proposed / This may mean / It seems likely / It may be assumed that

This implies / suggests / would appear to indicate that

The results point to the likelihood / probability that

There is a strong / definite / clear / good probability that …

  1. Announcing your conclusions and summarizing content

In conclusion / In summary / In sum / To sum up, our work

Our work has led us to conclude / the conclusion that

We have presented / outlined / described

In this paper / study / review we have …

This paper has investigated / explained / given an account of

  1. Restating the results (Conclusions section)

The evidence from this study suggests / implies / points towards the idea / intimates that

The results / findings of this study indicate / support the idea / suggest that

In general, / Taken together, these results suggest / would seem to suggest that

An implication / A consequence / The upshot of this is the possibility that

  1. Highlighting achievements (Conclusions section)

Our research / This paper has highlighted / stressed / underlined the importance of …

We have managed to do / succeeded in doing / been able to do / found a way to do X.

We have found an innovative / a new / a novel / a cutting-edge solution for …

We have obtained accurate / satisfactory / comprehensive results proving / demonstrating / showing that

We have devised a methodology / procedure / strategy which

We have confirmed / provided further evidence / demonstrated that

Considerable progress has been made / insight has been gained with regard to

Taken together, these findings suggest / implicate / highlight a role for X Our study provides the framework / a springboard / the backbone / the basis / a blueprint / an agenda / a stimulus / encouragement for a new way to do X.

The strength / strong point / value / impact / benefit / usefulness / significance / importance of our work / study / contribution lies in …

X provides a powerful tool / methodology for

X ensures / guarantees that X will do Y, and it can be generalized to …

Our investigations into this area are still ongoing / in progress and seem likely to confirm our hypothesis.

These findings add to a growing body of literature on / substantially to our understanding of X.

  1. Highlighting limitations (Conclusions section)

Our work clearly has some limitations. Nevertheless / Despite this we believe our work could be the basis / a framework / a starting point / a springboard for

Despite the fact that there are / In spite of the fact that / Although there are limitations due to Y, we

The most important limitation lies in / is due to / is a result of the fact that

The current study was limited by / unable to / not specifically designed to…

The present study has only investigated / examined X. Therefore / Consequently …

The project / analysis / testing / sampling was limited in several ways. First,

Finally, a number of potential limitations / weaknesses / shortfalls / shortcomings / weak points need to be considered. First, …

However, given the small sample size, caution must be exercised / taken / used / applied.

The findings might not be transferable to / generalized to / representative of

The picture / situation is thus still incomplete.

  1. Outlining possible applications and implications of your work 

This study is the first step / has gone some way towards enhancing our understanding of

These observations have several / three main / many implications for research into

This work has revealed / shown / highlighted / demonstrated / proved that

The present findings might help to solve / have important implications for solving / suggest several courses of action in order to solve this problem.

X is suitable for / has the potential to …

Our method / technique / approach / procedure could be applied to …

One possible / potential / promising application of our technique would be …

Results so far have been very promising / encouraging and

This approach has the potential / requirements / characteristics / features to

This could eventually / conceivably / potentially / hypothetically lead to

Our data suggest that X could be used / exploited / taken advantage of / made use of in order to …

In our view these results are / constitute / represent an excellent initial step toward

We believe / are confident that our results may improve knowledge about

These early successes may hope to resolve / tackle / solve / deal with … Another / An additional / A further important implication is …

Our research could help / be a useful aid for / possibly support decision makers because …

We think that our findings could / might be useful for …

We hope that our research will be helpful / useful / beneficial / constructive / valuable in solving the difficulty of … At the same time / In addition / Further / Furthermore we believe that …

Our research suggests that the policy makers should encourage / it is important for policy makers to encourage stakeholders to …

The findings of my research have serious / considerable / important managerial implications.

  1. Future work already underway or planned by the authors

We are currently / now / in the process of investigating

Research into solving this problem is already underway / in progress.

To further our research we plan / are planning / intend to

Future work will concentrate on / focus on / explore / investigate / look into …

Further studies, which take X into account, will need to be undertaken / performed.

We hope that further tests will prove our theory / confirm our findings.

These topics are reserved for / deferred to future work.

  1. Future work proposed for third parties to carry out 

Further work needs to be done / carried out / performed to establish whether

Further experimental investigations / tests / studies are needed to estimate

More / Additional / Further work on X, would help us to do Y.

We hope / believe / are confident that our research will serve as a base for future studies on

It is recommended / We recommend / We suggest / We propose that further research should be undertaken in the following areas:

More broadly / On a wider level, research is also needed to determine ….

This research has raised / given rise to / thrown up many questions in need of further inves- 
tigation / study / examination.

This is an important / a fundamental / a vital issue for future research.

The design and development of Xs will challenge / be a challenge for us for years.

Future work should concentrate / focus on enhancing the quality of X.

Future studies should target / aim at / examine / deal with / address X.

Future studies on the current topic are therefore required / needed / recommended / suggested in order to establish / verify / validate / elucidate …

Our results are encouraging / promising and should be validated by a larger sample size.

These findings suggest the following directions / opportunities for future research: ….

An important issue / matter / question / problem to resolve for future studies is

The prospect of being able to do X, serves as a continuous incentive for / stimulus for / impulse for / spur to future research.

  1. Acknowledgements

This work was carried out / performed within the framework of an EU project and was partly sponsored by …

This research was made possible by / benefited from a grant from

Support was given by the Institute of X, who funded the work in all its / its initial stages.

We thank / would like to thank the following people for their support, without whose help this work would never have been possible:

We gratefully acknowledge the help provided by Dr. X / constructive comments of the anonymous referees.

We are indebted / particularly grateful to Dr. Alvarez for

We thank / are grateful to / gratefully acknowledge Dr. Y for her help / valuable suggestions 
and discussions.

Thanks are also due to / The authors wish to thank Prof. X, who gave us much valuable advice in the early stages of this work.

Dr. Y collaborated with / worked alongside our staff during this research project.

We also thank Prof. Lim for her ongoing collaboration with our department / technical assis- tance in all our experimental work.

  1. Referring to tables and figures, and to their implications

Table 1 compares / lists / details / summarizes the data on X.

Table 2 proves / shows / demonstrates / illustrates / highlights that X is

Figure 1 presents / reports / shows / details the data on X.

Figure 3 pinpoints / indicates exactly where X meets Y.

As shown / highlighted / illustrated / detailed / can be seen in Fig. 1, the value of

The value of X is greater when Y = 2 (Fig. 1 / Eq. 2)

The results on X can be seen / are compared / are presented in Fig. 1.

From the graph / photo / chart / histogram we can see / note that

It can be seen in / is apparent from Fig. 1 that

We observe / note from Table 1 that ..

The graph above / below / to the left / to the right shows that …

Figure 8 shows a clear trend / significant difference in

The table is revealing / interesting in several ways. First …

  1. Making transitions, focusing on a new topic

If we now turn to / Turning now to / Let us know look at the second part …

As far as X is / Xs are concerned …

As regards / Regarding / Regarding the use of / As for X, it was found that

  1. Referring backwards and forwards in the paper

As was mentioned / stated / noted / discussed / reported in the Methods, …

As reported above / previously / earlier / before …

As mentioned / stated / outlined in the literature review …

The above- / afore-mentioned X is …

More details on this will be given below / in the next section / in the appendix.

The following is / Here follows / Below is a list of …

Please refer to Appendix 2 / Table 6 / the Supplementary Material for….

  1. Referring back to your research aim

As stated in the Introduction, our main aim / objective / target / purpose / goal was to …

As stated in the Introduction, the research was conducted / undertaken / carried out in order to …

Given that / Since our main aim was, as mentioned in the Introduction, to …

Before interpreting our results, we remind the reader of / would just like to restate our main aims.

Returning to the hypothesis / question posed at the beginning of this study, it is now possible to state that …

  1. Referring outside the paper

See the respective handbook [Ref] for a description of X.

For a detailed review on this topic see [Ref].

More details on this topic can be found in [Ref].



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