Reporting verbs:

advocate (advocates, advocating, advocated)
VERB If you advocate a particular action or plan, you recommend it publicly.
■ a conservative who advocates fewer government controls on business
■ the tax policy advocated by the Opposition

acknowledge (acknowledges, acknowledging, acknowledged)
VERB If you acknowledge a fact or a situation, you accept or admit that it is true or that it exists. [FORMAL]
■ [+ that]
It is widely acknowledged that transferring knowledge in a classroom environment is very inefficient.
■ Belatedly, the government has acknowledged the problem.

assert (asserts, asserting, asserted)
VERB If someone asserts a fact or belief,
they state it firm ly.
■ The senator
plans to assert that the bill violates the First
■ The defendants continue to
assert their innocence.

dispute (disputes, disputing, disputed)
VERB If you dispute a fact, statement, or theory, you say that it is incorrect or untrue.
■ He disputed the allegations.
■ [+ that] No one disputes that vitamin C is of great value in the treatment of scurvy.

imply (implies, implying, implied)
VERB If you imply that something is the case, you say something which indicates that it is the case in an indirect way.
■ ‘Are you implying that I had something to do with those attacks?’
■ She was upset by the implied criticism.

justify (justifies, justifying, justified)
VERB To justify a decision, action, or idea means to show or prove that it is reasonable or necessary.
■ No argument can justify a war.
■ Ministers agreed that this decision was fully justified by economic conditions.

object (objects, objecting, objected)
VERB If you object to something, you express your dislike or disapproval of it.
■ [+ to] A lot of people will object to the book.
■ [+ that] Cullen objected that his small staff would be unable to handle the added work.
■ We objected strongly but were outvoted.

outline (outlines, outlining, outlined)
VERB If you outline an idea or a plan, you explain it in a general way.
■ The mayor outlined his plan to clean up the town’s image.

question (questions, questioning, questioned)
VERB If you question something, you have or express doubts about whether it is true, reasonable, or worthwhile.
■ Scientists began questioning the validity of the research because they could not reproduce the
■ It never occurs to them to question the doctor’s decisions. Nouns associated with persuasion:

benefit (benefits)
NOUN The benefit of something is the help that you get from it or the advantage that results from it.
■ [+ of] the benefits of this form of therapy
■ For maximum benefit, use your treatment every day.
■ [+ to] I hope what I have written will be of benefit to someone else.

debate (debates)
NOUN A debate is a discussion about a subject on which people have different views.
■ An intense debate is going on within the Israeli government.
■ [+ about] There has been a lot of debate among scholars about this.

discussion (discussions)
NOUN If there is discussion about something, people talk about it, often in order to reach a decision.
■ [+ about] There was a lot of discussion about the wording of the report.
■ Council members are due to have informal discussions later on today.

drawback (drawbacks)
NOUN A drawback is an aspect of something or someone that makes them less acceptable than they would otherwise be.
■ He felt the apartment’s only drawback was that it was too small.

UNCOUNTABLE NOUN Evidence is anything that you see, experience, read, or are told that causes you to believe that something is true or has really happened.
■ [+ of/for] the scientific evidence for global warming
■ [+ that] There is a lot of evidence that stress is partly responsible for disease.’ [+ to-inf] To date there is no evidence to support this theory.

NOUN Proof is a fact, argument, or piece of evidence which shows that something is definitely true or definitely exists.
■ [+ of] You have to have proof of residence in the state of Texas, such as a Texas ID card.
■ Economists have been concerned with establishing proofs for their arguments.