type of information verb form example
facts present tense To stay ahead in their markets, manufacturers often seek to apply innovative design features and functions to their products.

There is no current legislation which forces manufacturers to recycle used products

general statements about the level of research activity present perfect tense (active or passive) Research has led to many accomplishments including a reduction in the use of energy. (active)

Less is known about the possibilities offered by the new technique, although several studies have been published. (passive)

weak author citations (several authors mentioned and authors names given in brackets) present perfect tense (active or passive) Some authors (Mattila 1995, Loots and Wolfson 20022) have suggested that the non-linear effects in the screening procedures are important in the calculations 
prominent author citations (the findings of authors in single studies) simple past tense

common verbs:

  • found

  • obtained

  • showed

  • introduced

  • reported

  • noted

  • suggested

  • proposed

Koskela et al [10] suggested a slightly different model 

Very recently, Lönnkvist et al [8] introduced a model which has already gained some standing

ignalling the problem or our gap in knowledge

present tense (active or passive)


There are still very few publications in the scientific literature based on this process 

There is an urgent need to define a suitable test method for these types of boilers

Less is known about the possibilities offered by the TRF technique, although several studies have been published. (passive)

purpose of the report

present tense

 common verbs:

  • discusses

  • outlines

  • describes

  • considers

  • deals with

  • presents

  •  is concerned with

  • investigates

  • compares

  • determines

The present paper deals with the possibilities for modifying the codes 

This work compares three bleaching processes which can be used for pulp manufacture from recycled paper 

This paper looks at an area which has so far been given little consideration

purpose of the research simple past tense


present tense

The objective of this study was to compare the outcome of manual and automatic quality control procedures 

The main research objective of this investigation was to substantially reduce energy consumption 

The objectives of this project are to develop a powerful  framework  for life cycle analysis

value of study modal auxiliary verbs: (which signal that author’s attitude is “tentative”)
  • will           (sure)

  • would          

  • should           

  • can              

  • may             

  • might           

  • could        (tentative)

This project shows that the process can be significantly enhanced by incorporating two new technological developments

 Thus, it can perhaps be claimed as an innovation on a theoretical level

As a result, successful short-term projects might be the key to incorporating long-term benchmarking in the future


(pages by Charles Darling at Capital Community College)

click here to go back to the VERBS IN TECHNICAL REPORTS menu 


© S.McAnsh 2002