You can reference a variable from an action by using percent signs, ie %USERNAME%. See Using Variables.
To insert a percent sign, use %% - ie "%%Hello" will expand to "%Hello".
Some other characters are also escaped:
|$( and # are deprecated ways of referring to variables and Target parameters. We recommend you use % wherever possible.|
If you have a variable whose contents contain characters marked above, then you can use %!USERNAME% to tell Automise not to expand any variable references in the contents.
Suppose you had a project variable MySQL, which contained the text "WHERE Connection LIKE 'G%'". If you reference the variable as %!MySQL%, then the contents will inserted verbatim without being scanned for variable references.
The Read Text File action has an "escape any variables" option which will automatically escape any variable references found when reading a file.