Creative Writing - Modifying Words and Phrases

There are a number of words and phrases that can help express your opinion. These words and phrases are common in creative writing, writing reports, and other types of writing intended to persuade.

Giving Your Opinion

Using a modifying word can help you express your opinion when making a statement. For example: Investing in high-tech stocks is risky. You could agree or disagree with this statement. Using a word such as undoubtedly expresses your own opinion about the statement.

Here are some other modifying words and phrases that can help:

(most) assuredly + adjective: These investments will most assuredly help to build equity.
without a doubt + clause: Without a doubt, this investment is risky.
It is doubtful that + clause: It is doubtful that we will succeed with this attitude.

Qualifying Your Opinion

Sometimes, when giving an opinion it is important to qualify what you say by leaving room for other interpretations. For example: There is hardly any doubt that we will succeed. leaves room for other interpretations (hardly any doubt = a little room for doubt). Here are some other modifying words and phrases that can help qualify your opinion:

almost / nearly + adjective: It's nearly impossible to make a mistake.
largely / mainly + noun: It's largely a matter of getting the facts right.
many ways / some ways + it/this/that, etc: In many ways it's a sure bet.

Making a Strong Assertion

Certain words mark strong opinions about something you believe. For example: It is not true that I implied you were wrong. is strengthened by adding the word 'just': It is just not true that I implied you were wrong. Here are some other modifying words and phrases that can help strengthen an assertion:

simply / just + adjective: It is simply wrong to believe that about John.
mere + noun: That is mere distraction from the main point.
merely / only + the + first, last: This is merely the last in a number of problems.
sheer / utter + noun: The sheer idiocy of the project speaks for itself.

Emphasizing Your Point

When stating that an action is increasingly true, these phrases help to emphasize. For example: We have decided over and over again that we need to continue down this path. Here are some other phrases that help to emphasize your point:

more than + adjective: It is more than likely he will fail.
more and more + adjective: I'm afraid it is becoming more and more difficult to believe you.

Giving Examples

When stating your opinion it is important to give examples to support your statements. For example: It is more than likely he will fail. In the case of Mr Smith, he failed to follow-up and caused us to pay heavy fines. The following phrases are used to give examples to back up your opinion.

such as + noun: Critics of this policy, such as Jack Beam of Smith and Sons, say that ...
This is an example of + clause: This is an example of our need to diversify investments.
In the case of + noun: In the case of Ms Anderson, the company decided to ...

Summarizing your Opinion

Finally, it is important to summarize your opinion at the end of a report or other persuasive text. For example: In the end, it is important to remember that ... These phrases can be used to summarize your opinion:

All in all,: All in all, I feel we need to diversify due to ...
In the end,: In the end, we must decide quickly to implement this plan.
In conclusion,: In conclusion, let me repeat my strong support for ...