In most instances where writers use phrases such as "in my opinion," they are being unnecessarily apologetic. The reader is often left with the impression that the writer is unsure of the position. To understand the effect of this and similar phrases on your credibility, consider the following.
First Dentist: "I think you have a cavity."
Second Dentist: "You have a cavity."
First Gas Station Attendant: "In my opinion, you need a quart of oil."
Second Attendant: "You need a quart of oil."
The weakening effect is most pronounced in a thesis. The thesis is clearly the opinion of the author, so there is no need to add a phrase stating this fact.
In my opinion, Sax Rohmer's creation of the character Dr. Fu Manchu has had a lasting impact on popular culture.
Whether this writer begins with "In my opinion," "I believe," "I feel," "I see" or "To me," the net effect is weakened credibility. Better to just state the thesis boldly.
Sax Rohmer's creation of the character Dr. Fu Manchu has had a lasting impact on popular culture.
Sax Rohmer? Dr. Fu Manchu?
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