I would like to ask you, what is the precise meaning of the word endeavours in the phrase:

This paper endeavours to show that...

I am writing an article and I wrote originally like this :

I want to show that

But a proof-reader suggested the change. What is the meaning of this change?

  • The appropriate phrasing would depend on the nature of the article: its subject matter and its audience. You have not provided enough information for us to assess "the meaning of this change". We can only say what the word endeavo(u)r means.
    – TimR
    Oct 16, 2014 at 10:56

2 Answers 2


Endeavor is a fancy word that means to try or to attempt.

But if I were the editor and had suggested that change, I would have done it for the following reasons:

1) to change the subject of the sentence from first person singular (I) to third person singular (this paper).

Scholastic or scientific papers are usually written in the third person. This makes them sound more objective. If you use the first person in a paper, then the paper can come across as the author (you) expressing your opinion rather than facts.

2) Closely related to #1 is to change the language of the paper to be more formal in sentence structure and word choice (endeavor sounds more formal than try). The reason is to conform to the normal and expected style of academic papers.

So, I am assuming the article you are writing is academic or scholastic in nature. But if it is not, perhaps the editing suggestions are not the best.


The change emphasizes on the effort that the "paper" takes to show something. The word endeavor suggests a presence of effort/a higher difficulty that is gone through. If you need an opinion of whether the change is worth it or not, I'd weigh in and say that it is quite good if you wish to use a argumentative approach to your paper.

Further dictionary meanings are here

  • By the way, I did not downvote your answer.
    – user6951
    Oct 16, 2014 at 10:35
  • No problem :) your answer is more precise either way.
    – Tushar
    Oct 16, 2014 at 10:40

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