Analysis of Citation Verbs in EFL Academic Writing: The Case Study of Dissertations and Theses at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Document Type: Research Paper


University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania



This study was an analytical account of EFL postgraduate learners’ use of verbs in citing other scholars in their own writing. Particular interest was differing extents of these verbs as categorised by Myer (1997), namely verbs representing a statement of scholarly writing, verbs communicating knowledge of scholarly writing, and verbs denoting cognition of scholarly writing, each of which has subcategories. To achieve this, 40 postgraduate dissertations and theses by the University of Dar es Salaam students were purposively selected. From these citation verbs from the introduction and literature review chapters were posted to the Microsoft Excel sheets and frequencies of occurrences were computed for each verb before assigning them to their relevant categories. The findings indicate the predominance of verbs of cognition of scholarly writing (notably perception and interpretation verbs) followed by those denoting knowledge of scholarly writing (notably procedural verbs). The least used category was verbs belonging to a statement of scholarly, especially inclusive verbs with only 10 instances of occurrence.