Fact versus Opinion

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Karen Silvestri, Instructor
 FACTS are statements that can be
verified.
 They are objective (they contain
information but do not tell what the
writer thinks or believes about the
topic or issue.
My car payments are $250 a month.
 This is a fact. It can be proven
by looking at your car
payment statement.
In Washington State drivers must stop for
pedestrians and bicyclists at crosswalks
and intersections.
 This is a fact. You can check this
in the Washington State Drivers’
Guide.

OPINIONS are statements that express
a writer’s feelings, attitudes, or beliefs.

They are neither true nor false.

They are one person’s view about a topic
or an issue.
My car payments are too expensive.
 This is an opinion.
 Others may disagree with
you.
The slaughter of baby seals for their
pelts should be outlawed.
 This is an opinion.
 Hunters who make their living
selling pelts would disagree.
1.
Alligators provide no physical care for their young.
2.
Humans should be concerned about the use of pesticides that kill insects at the
bottom of the food chain.
3.
There are 28 more humans living on the earth now than there were ten seconds
ago.
4.
We must bear greater responsibility for the environment than our ancestors did.
5.
Dogs make the best pets because they can be trained to obey. Solar energy is
available wherever sunlight reaches the earth.
6.
Between 1850 and 1900 the death rate in Europe decreased due to industrial growth
and advances in medicine.
bad
good
worthwhile
wonderful
frightening
worse
better
worthless
lovely
worst
best
disgusting
amazing
1.
Purchasing a brand new car is a terrible waste of money.
2.
Many wonderful vegetarian cookbooks are available in
bookstores.
3.
Of all the film versions of Victor Hugo’s novel Les
Miserables, the 1935 version starring Charles Laughton is
the best.
4.
The introductory biology textbook comes with and
amazing CD-ROM.
5.
Volunteers for Habitat for Humanity are engaged in a
worthwhile activity.
 Sometimes writers mix fact
and opinion within a piece of
writing.


Cutting taxes was one of the best decisions
President Bush has made during his presidency.
Many Americans are pleased to find more
money in their pockets after taxes. However, the
legislation will expire in ten years unless laws are
passed to make the cuts permanent. Unless
made permanent, the tax rates will return to
their Clinton-era levels in 2011. A return to the
previous high levels will no doubt anger most
Americans who have become accustomed to
lower taxes.
Which sentences are statements of OPINION?




Use a reliable source: encyclopedia, dictionary,
almanacs, textbooks, scholarly journals.
Less reliable sources include: Internet, personal
web sites, letters to the editor, popular
magazines.
Find current sources. Information changes
quickly; make sure it is current.
Look at primary sources when possible. For
example, most American demographic
information originally comes from the U.S.
Census.

They may offer reasons that are back up their
opinion
School uniforms should not be required because they are
expensive and some parents cannot afford them.
 They may offer personal experience that


supports their opinion.
They may offer statistics (facts) to back up
their opinion.
They may offer examples of their opinion.
The opinion of experts is known
as informed opinion.

The surgeon general is regarded as an
authority on the health of Americans, and
his/her opinion on this subject is more
trustworthy than that of casual observers or
nonprofessionals
apparently
this suggests
in my view
one explanation is
it is likely that
according to
in my opinion
Presumably
it is believed
possibly
seemingly
1.
It seems clear that parents who would bring a young child to an R-rated
movie are putting their own interests ahead of what’s best for their
child.
2.
Voters rejected the proposed rapid transit system connecting the
southern and northern suburbs, possibly because of racial issues.
3.
According to the city superintendent of schools, school uniforms lead
to improved behavior and fewer disruptions in the classroom.
4.
One explanation for low attendance at professional sporting events is
the high price of tickets.
5.
It is believed that most people practice some form of recycling in their
daily lives.
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