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High School Research Paper Topics Examples Of Adverbs

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify adjectives and adverbs.
  2. Use adjectives and adverbs correctly.

Adjectives and adverbs are descriptive words that bring your writing to life.

Adjectives and Adverbs

An adjective is a word that describes a noun or a pronoun. It often answers questions such as which one, what kind, or how many?

1. The green sweater belongs to Iris.

2. She looks beautiful.

  • In sentence 1, the adjective green describes the noun sweater.
  • In sentence 2, the adjective beautiful describes the pronoun she.

An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Adverbs frequently end in -ly. They answer questions such as how, to what extent, why, when, and where.

3. Bertrand sings horribly.
4. My sociology instructor is extremely wise.

5. He threw the ball very accurately.

  • In sentence 3, horribly describes the verb sings. How does Bertrand sing? He sings horribly.
  • In sentence 4, extremely describes the adjective wise. How wise is the instructor? Extremely wise.
  • In sentence 5, very describes the adverb accurately. How accurately did he throw the ball? Very accurately.

Exercise 1

Complete the following sentences by adding the correct adjective or adverb from the list in the previous section. Identify the word as an adjective or an adverb (Adj, Adv).

  1. Frederick ________ choked on the piece of chicken when he saw Margaret walk through the door.
  2. His ________ eyes looked at everyone and everything as if they were specimens in a biology lab.
  3. Despite her pessimistic views on life, Lauren believes that most people have ________ hearts.
  4. Although Stefan took the criticism ________, he remained calm.
  5. The child developed a ________ imagination because he read a lot of books.
  6. Madeleine spoke ________ while she was visiting her grandmother in the hospital.
  7. Hector’s most ________ possession was his father’s bass guitar from the 1970s.
  8. My definition of a ________ afternoon is walking to the park on a beautiful day, spreading out my blanket, and losing myself in a good book.
  9. She ________ eyed her new coworker and wondered if he was single.
  10. At the party, Denise ________ devoured two pieces of pepperoni pizza and a several slices of ripe watermelon.

Comparative versus Superlative

Comparative adjectives and adverbs are used to compare two people or things.

1. Jorge is thin.

2. Steven is thinner than Jorge.

  • Sentence 1 describes Jorge with the adjective thin.
  • Sentence 2 compares Jorge to Steven, stating that Steven is thinner. So thinner is the comparative form of thin.

Form comparatives in one of the following two ways:

  1. If the adjective or adverb is a one syllable word, add -er to it to form the comparative. For example, big, fast, and short would become bigger, faster, and shorter in the comparative form.
  2. If the adjective or adverb is a word of two or more syllables, place the word more in front of it to form the comparative. For example, happily, comfortable, and jealous would become more happily, more comfortable, and more jealous in the comparative.

Superlative adjectives and adverbs are used to compare more than two people or two things.

1. Jackie is the loudest cheerleader on the squad.

2. Kenyatta was voted the most confident student by her graduating class.

  • Sentence 1 shows that Jackie is not just louder than one other person, but she is the loudest of all the cheerleaders on the squad.
  • Sentence 2 shows that Kenyatta was voted the most confident student of all the students in her class.

Form superlatives in one of the following two ways:

  1. If the adjective or adverb is a one-syllable word, add -est to form the superlative. For example, big, fast, and short would become biggest, fastest, and shortest in the superlative form.
  2. If the adjective or adverb is a word of two or more syllables, place the word most in front of it. For example, happily, comfortable, and jealous would become most happily, most comfortable, and most jealous in the superlative form.

Tip

Remember the following exception: If the word has two syllables and ends in -y, change the -y to an -i and add -est. For example, happy would change to happiest in the superlative form; healthy would change to healthiest.

Exercise 2

Edit the following paragraph by correcting the errors in comparative and superlative adjectives.

Our argument started on the most sunny afternoon that I have ever experienced. Max and I were sitting on my front stoop when I started it. I told him that my dog, Jacko, was more smart than his dog, Merlin. I could not help myself. Merlin never came when he was called, and he chased his tail and barked at rocks. I told Max that Merlin was the most dumbest dog on the block. I guess I was angrier about a bad grade that I received, so I decided to pick on poor little Merlin. Even though Max insulted Jacko too, I felt I had been more mean. The next day I apologized to Max and brought Merlin some of Jacko’s treats. When Merlin placed his paw on my knee and licked my hand, I was the most sorry person on the block.

Collaboration

Share and compare your answers with a classmate.

Irregular Words: Good, Well, Bad, and Badly

Good, well, bad, and badly are often used incorrectly. Study the following chart to learn the correct usage of these words and their comparative and superlative forms.

ComparativeSuperlative
Adjectivegoodbetterbest
Adverbwellbetterbest
Adjectivebadworseworst
Adverbbadlyworseworst

Good versus Well

Good is always an adjective—that is, a word that describes a noun or a pronoun. The second sentence is correct because well is an adverb that tells how something is done.

Incorrect: Cecilia felt that she had never done so good on a test.

Correct: Cecilia felt that she had never done so well on a test.

Well is always an adverb that describes a verb, adverb, or adjective. The second sentence is correct because good is an adjective that describes the noun score.

Incorrect: Cecilia’s team received a well score.

Correct: Cecilia’s team received a good score.

Bad versus Badly

Bad is always an adjective. The second sentence is correct because badly is an adverb that tells how the speaker did on the test.

Incorrect: I did bad on my accounting test because I didn’t study.

Correct: I did badly on my accounting test because I didn’t study.

Badly is always an adverb. The second sentence is correct because bad is an adjective that describes the noun thunderstorm.

Incorrect: The coming thunderstorm looked badly.

Correct: The coming thunderstorm looked bad.

Better and Worse

The following are examples of the use of better and worse:

Tyra likes sprinting better than long distance running.

The traffic is worse in Chicago than in Atlanta.

Best and Worst

The following are examples of the use of best and worst:

Tyra sprints best of all the other competitors.

Peter finished worst of all the runners in the race.

Tip

Remember better and worse compare two persons or things. Best and worst compare three or more persons or things.

Exercise 3

Write good, well, bad, or badly to complete each sentence. Copy the completed sentence onto your own sheet of paper.

  1. Donna always felt ________ if she did not see the sun in the morning.
  2. The school board president gave a ________ speech for once.
  3. Although my dog, Comet, is mischievous, he always behaves ________ at the dog park.
  4. I thought my back injury was ________ at first, but it turned out to be minor.
  5. Steve was shaking ________ from the extreme cold.
  6. Apple crisp is a very ________ dessert that can be made using whole grains instead of white flour.
  7. The meeting with my son’s math teacher went very ________.
  8. Juan has a ________ appetite, especially when it comes to dessert.
  9. Magritte thought the guests had a ________ time at the party because most people left early.
  10. She ________ wanted to win the writing contest prize, which included a trip to New York.

Exercise 4

Write the correct comparative or superlative form of the word in parentheses. Copy the completed sentence onto your own sheet of paper.

  1. This research paper is ________ (good) than my last one.
  2. Tanaya likes country music ________ (well) of all.
  3. My motorcycle rides ________ (bad) than it did last summer.
  4. That is the ________ (bad) joke my father ever told.
  5. The hockey team played ________ (badly) than it did last season.
  6. Tracey plays guitar ________ (well) than she plays the piano.
  7. It will go down as one of the ________ (bad) movies I have ever seen.
  8. The deforestation in the Amazon is ________ (bad) than it was last year.
  9. Movie ticket sales are ________ (good) this year than last.
  10. My husband says mystery novels are the ________ (good) types of books.

Writing at Work

The irregular words good, well, bad, and badly are often misused along with their comparative and superlative forms better, best, worse, and worst. You may not hear the difference between worse and worst, and therefore type it incorrectly. In a formal or business-like tone, use each of these words to write eight separate sentences. Assume these sentences will be seen and judged by your current or future employer.

Key Takeaways

  • Adjectives describe a noun or a pronoun.
  • Adverbs describe a verb, adjective, or another adverb.
  • Most adverbs are formed by adding -ly to an adjective.
  • Comparative adjectives and adverbs compare two persons or things.
  • Superlative adjectives or adverbs compare more than two persons or things.
  • The adjectives good and bad and the adverbs well and badly are unique in their comparative and superlative forms and require special attention.

Writing Application

Using the exercises as a guide, write your own ten-sentence quiz for your classmate(s) using the concepts covered in this section. Try to include two questions from each subsection in your quiz. Exchange papers and see whether you can get a perfect score.

This is a derivative of Writing for Success by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution, originally released and is used under CC BY-NC-SA. This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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.

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