What is a qualifier?

A qualifier is a word or phrase that tempers language nearby. Words like fairlyrathersomewhat, and relatively, and expressions like seems to bea 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 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 essay topics on the 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

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