I write a fairly informal, opinionated blog about a variety of subjects, politics, relationships, mental well being, general life observations etc.

I'm trying to make my writing more concise - to convey my ideas in a nice bite sized package.

I'm wondering about whether one writing trope I use is necessary - 'I would argue...', 'One could argue...', 'One might suggest...', 'One way of looking at this...'.

For example:

I would argue that the best way to genuinely meet people is to join social groups - reading groups, dance groups etc. Online dating should be relegated to a simple pick me in your down time - while relaxing in the evenings, or riding the bus to work.

This is clearly an opinion I hold, rather a backed up fact about the world.

If it were backed by academic research, I would explictly state that.


One study showed that...

My question is - how necessary is it for me to qualify the statement with the opening 'I would argue'/'One could argue'?

For example - could I just say:

The best way to genuinely meet people is to join social groups - reading groups, dance groups etc. Online dating should be relegated to a simple pick me in your down time - while relaxing in the evenings, or riding the bus to work.


I guess what it comes down to is the tone of your writing and how you want the writing to be perceived by your audience. For example if you're wanting to come across as confident and knowledgeable, for example in a sales pitch, you might drop the qualifier, whereas more approachable and inviting debate you might use.

I think the question is - are there examples where the use of the qualifier is effective - and not effective?


I think that in the context of the blog you linked you can drop "I would argue" without losing anything. It's already implied that what you're writing about are your own thoughts and opinions. However, if you spend some time in a post citing scientific findings or other hard facts and then give your own opinion, "I would argue" is useful for transitioning between the two.

Also worth noting is that when you control the medium where your words appear (as you do with a blog), formatting can be just as powerful as word choice.

For example, you can offset anything that isn't strictly your opinion in a manner such as this,

which will tell your reader that such text comes from a source other than you. Again, given the context of your blog, I think offsetting what isn't just your opinion is fine, but if you're worried about it, you may develop a more detailed style in which, for example

external quotes are formatted in one manner


those opinions which you would normally qualify with "I would argue"
are formatted in another.

If you go this route, you might want to add a page to your blog explaining your formatting conditions.


Some statements are obviously opinion, and any identification of them as opinion is superfluous. To take an extreme, "Strawberries taste better than bananas" or "Red is a prettier color than blue". Any reader would take it for granted that you are expressing an opinion and not some scientifically-proven fact unless you clearly said otherwise. And if you're thinking, How in the world could you possibly prove scientifically that one color is prettier than another?, that's exactly my point.

On the other hand, other statements sound like statements of fact and would be interpreted thus unless you said otherwise. Like, "The population of Britain is larger than the population of France" or "The surface temperature of Venus is over 400 degrees."

Of course there are statements that are at least theoretically provable but which are subject to debate. Like, "President Roosevelt's economic policies backfired and lengthened the Depression by several years." A reader would expect you to either say that that was your opinion based on very general theories or ideological considerations, or to provide some hard evidence.

I think statements about "the best way to meet people" would normally be understood to be opinion, and so don't require qualification.

In any case, if you make a statement about a controversial or debatable subject without offering any evidence beyond "sounds plausible to me", rational readers would take everything you say with a grain of salt. I've read plenty of articles that, for example, state as fact that if such-and-such a politician is elected that his policies will destroy the country without offering any evidence, and I don't conclude, Oh, well, if some guy I never heard of before says so in his blog, it must be true.

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