List Of Adverbs Used In Essays

The academic community can be conservative when it comes to writing styles, but your writing shouldn’t be so boring that people lose interest midway through the first paragraph! Given that competition is at an all-time high for academics looking to publish their papers, we know you must be anxious about what you can do to improve your publishing odds. To be sure, your research must be sound.  But it also must be clearly explained. So, how do you go about achieving the latter?

Below are a few ways to breathe life into your writing.

1. Analyze vocabulary with word clouds

Have you heard of the website, Wordle? It’s a word-cloud generation site, and if you click on “Create your own,” copy and paste your draft manuscript into the text box that appears, you may quickly discover how repetitive your writing is!

Seeing a visual word cloud of your work might also help you assess the key themes and points readers will glean from your paper. If the Wordle result displays words you hadn’t intended to emphasize, then it’s a sign you should revise your paper to make sure readers will focus on the right information. *Your browser will need access to Java to run the Wordle applet.

As an example, below is a Wordle of our recent article entitled, “How to Choose the Best title for Your Journal Manuscript.” You can see how frequently certain terms appear in that post, based on the font size of the text. The key words, “titles,” “journal,” “research,” and “papers,” were all the intended focus of our blog post.

2. Study language patterns of similarly published works

Study the language pattern found in the most downloaded and cited articles published by your target journal. Understanding the journal’s editorial preferences will help you write in a style that appeals to the publication’s readership.

Another way to analyze the language of a target journal’s papers is to use Wordle (see above). If you copy and paste the text of an article related to your research topic into the applet, you can discover the common phrases and terms the paper’s authors used.

For example, if you were writing a paper on links between smoking and cancer, you might look for a recent review on the topic, preferably published by your target journal. Copy and paste the text into Wordle and examine the key phrases to see if you’ve included similar wording in your own draft. The Wordle result might look like the following, based on the example linked above.

3. Use more active and precise verbs

Have you heard of synonyms? Of course you have, but have you looked beyond single word replacements and rephrased entire clauses with stronger, more vivid ones? You’ll find this task is easier to do if you use the active voice more often than the passive voice. Even if you keep your original sentence structure, you can eliminate weak verbs like “be” from your drafts and choose more vivid and precise actions verbs. As always, however, be careful about using a thesaurus to identify synonyms. Make sure the substitutes fit the context in which you need a more interesting or “perfect” word.

To help you build a strong arsenal of commonly used phrases in academic papers, we’ve compiled a list of synonyms you might want to consider when drafting or revising your research paper. While we do not suggest that the phrases in the “Original Word/Phrase” column should be completely avoided, we do recommend interspersing these with the more dynamic terms found under “Recommended Substitutes.”

 

A. Describing the scope of a current project or prior research

PurposeOriginal Word/PhraseRecommended Substitute
To express the purpose of a paper or research
  • This paper/ study/ investigation…
This paper + [use the verb that originally followed "aims to"] or This paper + (any other verb listed above as a substitute for “explain”) + who/what/when/where/how X. For example:
  • “This paper applies X to Y,” instead of, “This paper aims to apply X to Y.”
  • “This paper explores how lower sun exposure impacts moods,” instead of, “This paper aims to address the impact of lower sun exposure on moods.”
To introduce the topic of a project or paper
  • The paper/ study/ article/ work…
  • Prior research/ investigations…
  • surveys
  • questions
  • highlights
  • outlines
  • features
  • investigates
To describe the analytical scope of a paper or study
  • The paper/ study/ article/ work…
  • Prior research/ investigations…
  • considers
  • analyzes
  • explains
  • evaluates
  • interprets
  • clarifies
  • identifies
  • delves into
  • advances
  • appraises
  • defines
  • dissects
  • probes
  • tests
  • explores

*Adjectives to describe degree can include: briefly, thoroughly, adequately, sufficiently, inadequately, insufficiently, only partially, partially, etc.

To preview other sections of a paper
  • covers
  • deals with
  • talks about
  • outlines
  • highlights
  • sketches
  • assesses
  • contemplates

[any of the verbs suggested as replacements for “explain,” “analyze,” and “consider” above]

 

B. Outlining a topic’s background

PurposeOriginal Word/PhraseRecommended Substitute
To discuss the historical significance of a topic
  • Subject/ Mechanism…
  • plays an important in [nominalization]
  • plays a vital role in [nominalization]
Topic significantly/considerably +
  • influences
  • controls
  • regulates
  • directs
  • inhibits
  • constrains
  • governs

+ who/what/when/where/how…

 

*In other words, take the nominalized verb and make it the main verb of the sentence.

To describe the historical popularity of a topic
  • …is widely accepted as…
  • …is widely used as…

 

  • Widely accepted, … [to eliminate the weak be verb]
  • The preferred…
  • Commonly/Frequently implemented,… [to eliminate the weak be verb]
  • The prevailing method for…
To describe the recent focus on a topic
  • Much attention has been drawn to
  • …has gained much importance in recent years
  • Discussions regarding X have dominated research in recent years.
  • …has appealed to…
  • …has propelled to the forefront in investigations of Y.
  • … has dramatically/significantly shaped queries on X in recent years.
  • …has critically influenced academic dialogue on Y.
To identify the current majority opinion about a topic
  • The consensus has been that…
  • Prior research generally confirms that…
  • Several studies agree that…
  • Prior research substantiates the belief that…
To discuss the findings of existing literature
  • indicate
  • have documented
  • have demonstrated
  • have shown that
  • contend
  • purport
  • suggest
  • proffer
  • have proven that
  • evidence
To express the breadth of our current knowledge-base, including gaps
  • Much is known about…
  • But, little is known about…
  • The academic community has extensively explored X…
  • Prior research has thoroughly investigated….
  • However, little research has been conducted to show…
  • However, prior studies have failed to evaluate/ identify / (any other word suggested to replace “analyze” above)
To segue into expressing your research question
  • Several theories have been proposed to explain…
  • To solve this problem, many researchers have tried several methods
  • Recent/Previous studies have promoted…
  • Prior investigations have implemented/ queried diverse approaches to…
  • A number of authors have posited…

 

C. Describing the analytical elements of a paper

PurposeOriginal Word/PhraseRecommended Substitute
To express agreement between one finding and another
  • This paper/ study/ investigation
  • substantiates
  • confirms
  • corroborates
  • underlines
To present contradictory findings
  • This paper/ study/ investigation
  • challenges
  • disputes
  • rebuts
  • refutes
  • disproves
  • debunks
  • invalidates
  • rejects
  • questions
To discuss limitations of a study
  • The limitations of this paper include:
  • These investigations, however, disregards…
  • This method/ approach fails to…
  • This study only…
  • …falls short of addressing/ identifying / illustrating…
  • A drawback/disadvantage of this framework is…
  • This framework, however, solely pertains to…

 

D. Discussing results

PurposeOriginal Word/PhraseRecommended Substitute
To draw inferences from results
  • The data…
  • These findings…
  • extrapolate
  • deduce
  • surmise
  • approximate
  • derive
  • extract
  • evidence
To describe observations
  • [Observed event or result]…
  • manifested
  • surfaced
  • materialized
  • yielded
  • generated
  • perceived
  • detected

 

E. Discussing methods

PurposeOriginal Word/PhraseRecommended Substitute
To discuss methods
  • This study…
  • X method…
  • applied
  • administered
  • employed
  • diffused
  • disseminated
  • relayed
To describe simulations
  • was created to…
  • was used to…
  • was performed to…
This study/ research…
  • simulated
  • replicated
  • imitated

+

“X environment/ condition to..”

+

[any of the verbs suggested as replacements for “analyze” above]

 

F. Explaining the impact of new research

PurposeOriginal Word/PhraseRecommended Substitute
To explain the impact of a paper’s findings
  • This paper/ study/ investigation
  • illustrates
  • proves
  • evidences
  • strengthens (the position that)
To highlight a paper’s conclusion
  • This paper/ study/ investigation
  • attributes
  • illustrates
  • advances (the idea that)
To explain how research contributes to the existing knowledge-base
  • This paper/ study/ investigation
  • ushers in
  • proffers
  • conveys
  • promotes
  • advocates
  • introduces
  • broach (issue)
  • reveals
  • unveils
  • exposes
  • unearths

Additional writing resources

For additional information on how to tighten your sentences (e.g., eliminate wordiness and use active voice to greater effect), check out the following articles:

How to Strengthen Your Writing Style

Avoid Fillers If You Want to Write Powerful Sentences

How to Improve Your Writing: Eliminate Prepositions

How to Improve Your Writing: Avoid Nominalizations

Articles about how to draft specific parts of a research paper can be found here.

Additional grammar tips can be found here.

List of Adverbs

Scroll halfway down to go straight to the big list of adverbs.

Why do you need a list of adverbs?

If you watched Schoolhouse Rock as a child, you probably remember the song Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, get your adverbs here. This catchy song told you how adverbs were at your service to enrich your language in various ways. Now that you have the tune stuck in your head, keep reading to brush up on adverbs via the handy list of adverbs.

An adverb is a modifying part of speech. It describes verbs, other adverbs, adjectives, and phrases. They are used to describe how, where, when, how often and why something happens. Here are a few examples:

Verb- The cat climbed quickly up the tree. (quickly describes how the cat climbed)

Adverb- Mike worked very carefully on his paper. (very shows how carefully he worked) Adjective- She is nearly ready to go. (nearly tells to what extent she is ready)

Adverbs of manner describe how something happens. Where there are two or more verbs in a sentence, adverb placement affects the meaning. Some commonly used adverbs of manner include:

carefully
correctly
eagerly
easily
fast
loudly
patiently
quickly
quietly
and well.

Consider the following example:

She decided to write her paper. (no adverbs)
She quickly decided to write her paper. (her decision was quick)
She decided to write her paper quickly. (her writing was quick)

Adverbs of place describe where something happens. Most adverbs of place are also used as prepositions. Some commonly used examples include the following:

abroad
anywhere
downstairs
here
home
in
nowhere
out
outside
somewhere
there
underground
upstairs.

I wanted to go upstairs.
She has lived in the city since June. (in the city – prepositional phrase)

Adverbs of purpose describe why something happens. Here are some common examples:

so
so that
to
in order to
because
since
accidentally
intentionally
and purposely.

Jenny walks carefully to avoid falling.
Bob accidentally broke the vase.

Adverbs of frequency describe how often something happens. The following adverbs are commonly used in this way:

always
every
never
often
rarely
seldom
sometimes
and usually.

Mackenzie gets a ride from her brother every day.
The fish usually swims near the top of its tank.

Adverbs of time describe when something happens. These examples are commonly used:

after
already
during
finally
just
last
later
next
now
recently
soon
then
tomorrow
when
while
and yesterday.

He came home before dark.
It will be too dark to play outside soon.
Jessica finished her supper first.
Andy left school early.


Some adverbs often get overused, such as very, extremely, and really. Using there is/are or it is at the beginning of a sentence adds nothing. Sentences with these adverb phrases become wordy, boring, and less clear. Look at some examples:

* There are many bird species living in the sanctuary. Many bird species live in the sanctuary.
* It is important to hold hands when crossing the street. Holding hands when crossing the street is important.
* There may be more than one way to solve the problem. The problem may be solved in more than one way.

Well, did you catch all that? Recognizing the various adverbs used in the English language can take practice. Using them properly can make writing and speaking far more interesting.

Now you have a list of adverbs because you read this article carefully and thoroughly...

Adverbs of Completeness
Everywhere
here
there



List of Common Adverbs

A

abnormally
absentmindedly
accidentally
acidly
actually
adventurously
afterwards
almost
always
angrily
annually
anxiously
arrogantly
awkwardly
B

badly
bashfully
beautifully
bitterly
bleakly
blindly
blissfully
boastfully
boldly
bravely
briefly
brightly
briskly
broadly
busily
C

calmly
carefully
carelessly
cautiously
certainly
cheerfully
clearly
cleverly
closely
coaxingly
colorfully
commonly
continually
coolly
correctly
courageously
crossly
cruelly
curiously
D

daily
daintily
dearly
deceivingly
delightfully
deeply
defiantly
deliberately
delightfully
diligently
dimly
doubtfully
dreamily
E

easily
elegantly
energetically
enormously
enthusiastically
equally
especially
even
evenly
eventually
exactly
excitedly
extremely
F

fairly
faithfully
famously
far
fast
fatally
ferociously
fervently
fiercely
fondly
foolishly
fortunately
frankly
frantically
freely
frenetically
frightfully
fully
furiously
G

generally
generously
gently
gladly
gleefully
gracefully
gratefully
greatly
greedily
H

happily
hastily
healthily
heavily
helpfully
helplessly
highly
honestly
hopelessly
hourly
hungrily
I

immediately
innocently
inquisitively
instantly
intensely
intently
interestingly
inwardly
irritably
J

jaggedly
jealously
joshingly
joyfully
joyously
jovially
jubilantly
judgementally
justly
K

keenly
kiddingly
kindheartedly
kindly
kissingly
knavishly
knottily
knowingly
knowledgeably
kookily
L

lazily
less
lightly
likely
limply
lively
loftily
longingly
loosely
lovingly
loudly
loyally
M

madly
majestically
meaningfully
mechanically
merrily
miserably
mockingly
monthly
more
mortally
mostly
mysteriously
N

naturally
nearly
neatly
needily
nervously
never
nicely
noisily
not
O

obediently
obnoxiously
oddly
offensively
officially
often
only
openly
optimistically
overconfidently
owlishly
P

painfully
partially
patiently
perfectly
physically
playfully
politely
poorly
positively
potentially
powerfully
promptly
properly
punctually
Q

quaintly
quarrelsomely
queasily
queerly
questionably
questioningly
quicker
quickly
quietly
quirkily
quizzically
R

rapidly
rarely
readily
really
reassuringly
recklessly
regularly
reluctantly
repeatedly
reproachfully
restfully
righteously
rightfully
rigidly
roughly
rudely
S

sadly
safely
scarcely
scarily
searchingly
sedately
seemingly
seldom
selfishly
separately
seriously
shakily
sharply
sheepishly
shrilly
shyly
silently
sleepily
slowly
smoothly
softly
solemnly
solidly
sometimes
soon
speedily
stealthily
sternly
strictly
successfully
suddenly
surprisingly
suspiciously
sweetly
swiftly
sympathetically
T

tenderly
tensely
terribly
thankfully
thoroughly
thoughtfully
tightly
tomorrow
too
tremendously
triumphantly
truly
truthfully
U

ultimately
unabashedly
unaccountably
unbearably
unethically
unexpectedly
unfortunately
unimpressively
unnaturally
unnecessarily
utterly
upbeat
upliftingly
upright
upside-down
upward
upwardly
urgently
usefully
uselessly
usually
utterly
V

vacantly
vaguely
vainly
valiantly
vastly
verbally
very
viciously
victoriously
violently
vivaciously
voluntarily
W

warmly
weakly
wearily
well
wetly
wholly
wildly
willfully
wisely
woefully
wonderfully
worriedly
wrongly
Y

yawningly
yearly
yearningly
yesterday
yieldingly
youthfully
Z

zealously
zestfully
zestily


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