A helpful attribution word search for beginning writers (A Throwback Post)

Maybe grading too many intro to writing papers in a row has me punchy, but I often wonder if my voice is somehow only audible to dogs. After an entire semester of pounding single-sentence paragraphs of paraphrase, quotes as their own paragraphs  placement of attributions and more into my kids’ heads, I am only marginally surprised that none of it has stuck for most of them.

That said, if I have noticed one thing above all else, it’s an almost pathological fear of the word “said” as a verb of attribution. I’ve gotten “noted,” “explained,” “delineated,” “clarified,” “mentioned,” and “commented” list a few. The most frequent one that has become popular is “expressed.” When a student relies on this, I want to send this video back to them just to break the habit in a truly horrific way:

That said, for those folks who might prefer a little less mess, here’s a word search I made a few years back that might help students  find attribution verbs that are acceptable in journalism:


An attribution-verb word search for beginning journalism students

Professors are always looking for exercises to help their students learn important lessons. After my introductory media writing class had a few “issues” with properly attributing quotes, I decided to put together this handy little word search. Feel free to steal it and use it:


Let’s just say that Wednesday was a trying day…

Hope the rest of your week goes well.

Vince (a.k.a. The Doctor of Paper)

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