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   AWA Essay Guide
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spacer left_arrow Chapter 1: AWA Introduction
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spacer left_arrow Chapter 2: Analysis of Argument
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spacer left_arrow Chapter 3: About the E-Rater
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spacer active_arrow Chapter 4: Improving Your Writing
    4a: Writing Style
spacer4a(1): Fill Sentences
spacer4a(2): Be concise
spacer4a(3): Qualification
spacera4a(4): Start Strong
spacerz4a(5): Active Voice
spacerz4a(6): Self-Reference
spacerz4a(7): Redundancy
spacerz4a(8): Vague
spacerz4a(9): Cliche
spacerz4a(10): Jargon
z4b: Grammar Rules
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spacer left_arrow Chapter 5: Real Essay Questions
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spacer left_arrow 10 Most Common Errors
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Chapter 4 - Section 4a3: Qualification
 
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What is a qualifier?

A qualifier is a word or phrase that tempers the language nearby. Words like fairly, rather, somewhat, and relatively, and expressions like seems to be, a little, and a certain amount of limit the severity of other words or phrases they modify.

Why use qualifiers?

Writing an Analysis of Issue essay is like walking a tight rope. You must be persuasive about your argument, yet you cannot be excessively one-sided. There are no clear-cut answers to Analysis of Issue questions, so do not overstate your case. To express that you are reasonable, sporadically use qualifiers in your essay. Qualifiers show that you are conscious of the nuances of the issue at hand and that you understand both sides of it.

Be careful!

As useful as qualifiers are, excessive qualification will dilute your argument and weaken the essay.

WORDY: The Hess spy case was a rather serious breach of national security and likely helped the Soviets.

CONCISE: The Hess spy case breached national security and helped the Soviets.

Too many qualifiers in the first sentence make it vague and confusing. Remember, you want to be clear about what you are saying, just not unreasonably opinionated.

Clear up the following sentences by eliminating excessive qualifiers.

1. You yourself are the very best person to decide what you should do for a living.

2. It is possible that the author overstates his case somewhat.

3. The president perhaps should use a certain amount of diplomacy before he resorts to force.

4. In Italy, I found about the best food I have ever eaten.

5. Needless to say, children should be taught to cooperate at home and in school.

 

 

Answers:

1. You are the best person to decide what you should do for a living.

2. The author overstates his case somewhat.

3. The president should use diplomacy before he resorts to force.

4. In Italy I found the best food I have ever eaten.

5. Children should be taught to cooperate at home and in school.

If there's no need to say it, don't!

 

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 Chapter 4a(4): Start Strong