Columns Columns. As the saying goes, opinions are like that unspoken, timid body part. Everyone has one. And although opinions are the lowest form of human knowledge, I love sharing my intellectual laziness on a variety of topics. I often use biased words and share personal viewpoints with no real accountability. No critical understanding required. We often distribute opinions with abandon.
Opinions are far easier to defend when truths are sandwiched into the argument. Most of my strongly worded, passionate opinions are doled out deliberately. I spin them as truth; and to be clear, some of them are not embedded in facts.
My truth is simply a perception of the reality I create. And at the heart, most truths are subjective until proven factually. I accepted them because I wanted to obey and listen to authority. But because these universal truths are simply long-held beliefs that have weaved themselves into the fabric of our culture, they have become harder to eradicate from the prefrontal cortex of our personalities. For example, we base historical truths on an established past, not actual facts from the past.
These are false truths, spoken forcefully and confidently by media personalities and gregarious leaders. These influencers are part of a vicious wolf pack preying on the vulnerable and marginalized. This unfounded, fictitious narrative has detrimental implications when espoused as truth. They are nothing but craftily worded opinions breeding misinformation, spreading hate, and fueling divisiveness. We require more science to prove a fact than to dispute its truth.
No one likes to be proven wrong. For example, there is no evidence that oxygen intake is decreased by wearing a mask, yet we still condemn fact-based science. A friend recently posted a picture of her wearing two masks, an N and a regular mask.
She took the mask off only once, to eat lunch. Again, to take it one step further, there is no evidence of rampant voter fraud in America. Choosing to stay silent, offering no show of condemnation may result in enabling ethnocentric bigots who will be on the wrong side of history. Andrea Chacos lives in Carbondale, Colorado balancing work and happily raising three children with her husband.
She strives to dodge curveballs life likes to throw with a bit of passion, humor and some flair.
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Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference. Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.Wait a second, aren't they? Sure, we grind it into students' heads teach students to tell the difference between a fact and an opinion, but what about the important bond they have? James Bon-- err, no.
As students move into persuasive and argumentative writing, we need to show them the powerful relationship a fact has with an opinion, one in which facts can serve to support and strengthen an opinion. Let's dive into an example. If I asked students whether or not kids should read every day during the summer, their answers are instinctively supported by their personal feelings and experiences:.
We can even help students elaborate their initial reasoning by explaining personal examples:. Heck yeah. But students' writing gets even more sophisticated when a relevant fact is used to validate and strengthen their reasoning:. A relevant, well-explained fact is powerful. It makes an argument more substantial, more authoritative, more persuasive.
At least, I know what I was thinking every time I wanted students to find facts to help support their opinion: I was thinking how "research" is a whole ball of wax itself.Fact VS Opinion
I couldn't just tell my students, "Hey, go find some facts," and expect good, reliable results. So I had to pick and choose when we had the time to do the research. While good research skills are clearly important, and there were times when putting the time into developing those skills was worthwhile, often I found myself wanting to focus our energy on the writing.
I thought, if I could already have a supply of relevant facts for our writing topic, we could really zoom in on how to use the facts to write powerful, well-supported opinions.
The research is already done for an engaging issue, from which a careful selection of facts has been sifted out, so teachers can focus their writing instruction on the writing, not always the fact-finding. I recently used my Fact-Based Opinion Writing activity that deals with the issue of deforestation. The focus question for this activity is: Is deforestation an issue kids should worry about?
With Earth Day approaching, it was the perfect topic to dig into. In this case, students did not have much personal experience related to the issue of deforestation, so the facts that I read and discussed with them gave a solid base of knowledge from which their opinions could form. After introducing eight facts related to deforestation, I gave students a sheet of the same facts, this time arranged in cards, for them to cut out and sort.
Students worked with a partner to analyze the facts and sort each one by which opinion it would best support: either YES, deforestation is an issue kids should worry about, or NO it isn't. Since some facts could support both opinions, students had a category for this as well. For example, one fact states that if deforestation continues at its current rate, all rainforests will be destroyed within years.
Some students thought, wow, years, that's like forever.The term opinion refers to a personal view, appraisal, or judgment that is based on information that is not sufficient to be certain.
In a legal sense, the term has a similar, though more specific meaning, depending on its use. To explore this concept, consider the following opinion definition. Opinion is a belief that is stronger than an idea or intuition, but not as strong as having definite knowledge. Many people have a strong belief or judgment about a person, thing, or behavior that becomes their generally held opinion.
For instance, a man may have the opinion that lawyers are arrogant and untrustworthy.
What are facts and opinions?
While his life experience may have led to this assessment, he may not have actual facts to be positive about the trustworthiness of lawyers in general. People are quick to express what they know about any given situation, object, or person, though it is sometimes difficult to determine whether their expressions are based in fact or opinion.
While technically, real facts are obtained only through scientific evaluation, the term is used in a more general way, referring to something that can be shown to have happened, to exist, or to be true.
Speaking to the more general view of fact, there are four types:. John knew that Norman had a bad cough that had been hanging around for several weeks. Norman eventually got very ill, and was hospitalized, and eventually died of pneumonia. The court needs to understand one fact: was John responsible. The answers in the duty of care test will determine whether John had a moral and legal obligation to know about the illness, and to treat it.
There are some things for which many people hold the same opinion, making it difficult to evaluate statements about that thing, or to separate fact from opinion. So is this sentence fact, or opinion? In a general discussion, the distinction hardly matters, but in a legal context, fact and opinion must be separated.
A court opinion is a formal, written explanation by a judge, or panel of judges, of how the court arrived at its ruling. Such a document spells out the rationale, case law, and legal principles that led to the decision, and is published at the direction of the court. Not every case decided by a court, however — even a higher court — is published. Published court opinions contain assertions of how the law is to be interpreted going forward; or they reinforce, make changes to, establish, or overturn existing law or precedent.
Although most published court opinions contain something new or different in the way a law is to be used, high profile cases in which the public has great interest often also result in the issuance of written opinions. Unlike an Opinion, a Memorandum Decision does not establish precedent, and cannot be used in future rulings. In such cases, providing a written legal opinion enables the legal professional to offer advice that is precise, and which provides the client with enough information to ultimately make a decision about how to proceed.
Effective opinion writing begins with the qualities of good writing in general. To do this, it is vital that the writer use clear and concise language, maintaining good spelling and grammar techniques, in order to avoid misunderstanding. Some legal professionals cling to the use of legalese and antiquated language, but this makes for difficult reading.
By using plain English, just saying what needs to be said, opinion writing becomes useful and efficient. In order to keep from getting lost in the complexity of the larger issue, the writer may break it down into a list of specific legal questions or issues. He or she may then address each separately, using clear, easy-to-understand language.
Organization when writing a legal opinion is key — addressing a list of legal issues might still be confusing, should they be presented in an illogical order. Once the issues have been separated, the list should be adjusted to reflect order, though modern software allows reorganization at any time, even during proofreading and review. An expert opinion can only be given by someone who has garnered a high level of knowledge and skills in a particular subject or field.
In reading a Supreme Court opinionit is easy to get lost, and even confused. The Court must identify and address a lot of issues in order to lay out a roadmap to its ultimate decision. There is a formula used in writing such opinions.Simply stated, a fact is a truth.
A fact is a statement of truth that can be verified and is able to be proven as true. An opinion, in contrast to a fact, is a statement that reflects an author's or the speaker's point of view, beliefs, perspective, personal feelings, and values; opinions cannot be verified and proven to be true or false like a fact can be verified and proven to be true; however, a person's opinion can be supported or refuted when a critical thinker and a critically thinking reader of a text scrutinizes and critically evaluates the author's opinions, point of view, beliefs, perspective, personal feelings and values, and these opinions are based on documented valid and reliable facts.
Opinions can be accurate and true but opinions can also be completely false and untrue.
Fact and Opinion Worksheets
In other words, an opinion can be a fact when it is accurate, true, and verifiable with evidence. In addition to these differences between a fact and an opinion, facts are objective and opinions are subjective; facts are consistently repeatable in terms of their measurement and observation with empirical senses, and, opinions are not repeatable in terms of their measurement and observation with empirical senses. Empirical data and information, which can be used as evidence of a fact, include the use of one's five senses.
The five senses are vision, hearing, smelling, which is referred to as the olfactory sense, tasting, which is referred to as the gustatory sense, and the sense of touch, which is the tactile sense. For example, empirical data and information is collected when we can establish the time of day by looking at a reliable and valid time instrument and seeing the time with our eyes; when we can verify and determine that thunder is clapping because we hear this clapping with our ears and our auditory senses; when we can determine that something is hot because we can feel it with our fingers and our tactile, or touch, senses; when we can determine that something is bitter and sour because we can taste it with our taste buds in our mouth and we use our sense of taste, or gustatory senses; and, we can also determine that an odor is noxious because when we use our nose, our olfactory senses and our olfactory nerves to smell things and identify odors according to their characteristics.
As shown in the diagram above, the scientific method and scientific inquiry include a hypothesis or hypotheses which seek to find out about the relationships between and among the variables under study when the research study is being conducted.
For example, a researcher may state that "The pulse rates of patients who will be getting open-heart surgery will increase according to the amount of fear and stress that they are experiencing as a result of this pending invasive surgery. A research study will NOT prove that the hypothesis is true or false. The research will only support the hypothesis or refute a hypothesis. A hypothesis, or educated guess, is supported when the rigors of scientific inquiry and statistical analysis indicate that the hypothesis can be upheld and accepted.
On the other hand, a hypothesis is rejected when the rigors of scientific inquiry and statistical analysis failed to indicate that the hypothesis can be upheld and accepted. As stated above, a hypothesis can be neither proven to be true of proven to be false.
A hypothesis can simply be supported or rejected by the research project. Based on the limitations of a hypothesis, research does not conclude with a theory or facts. Theories are developed over time when repeated valid and relatable research is done and there is finally a consensus and agreement among scientists that a theory is valid and then a fact does exist.
As mentioned above, an opinion, in contrast to a fact, is a statement that reflects an author's or the speaker's point of view, beliefs, personal feelings, and values; opinions cannot be verified and proven to be true unless, of course, these opinions are based on facts and evidence. Opinions can be true and valid but opinions can also be completely invalid, false and untrue. In addition to these differences between a fact and an opinion, facts are objective and opinions are subjective; facts are consistently repeatable in terms of their measurement and observation with empirical senses and opinions are not repeatable in terms of their measurement and observation with empirical senses.
Read the two brief reading passages below and identify the facts and identify the opinions:. The Fact: The fact in the above statement is "a person's pulse rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate increase when the person is under stress " and the opinion in the above statement is "All people, therefore, should do stress management techniques on a daily basis. This fact has undergone the rigors of scientific research, it is objective, it is verifiable, and it has been proven to be true with research and empirical evidence and the use of empirical senses.
For example, the person's pulse can be felt with the tactile sense, the blood pressure of the person can be accurately measured with the sense of vision while looking at the blood pressure machine and the person's respiratory rate can be counted while observing the person's chest rise and fall with each respiration which uses thee empirical sense of vision.
Additionally, levels of stress can also be empirically verified and proven to be true. The Opinion: The opinion statement, in contrast to the factual statement in the reading passage above, is not verifiable and not able to be proven true with empirical evidence and the use of our empirical senses.
This statement is a subjective statement; it is not repeatable or replicable terms of measurement and observation with empirical senses. The Fact: The fact in the above statement is "Cigarette smoking causes bodily and health problems such as lung cancer and premature infants" and the opinion in the above statement is "It is clear and obvious that only stupid and ignorant people smoke cigarettes. This fact has undergone the rigors of repeated scientific research over time, it is objective, it is verifiable, and it has been proven to be true with research and empirical evidence and the use of empirical senses.
A bias, simply defined, is the tendency of a human being to have a positive tendency, inclination or proclivity for something or a negative tendency against something. Other words that describe a bias are a predilection, an inclination, a preference, and a prejudgment for or against something.
Bias can lead to prejudice and prejudice can lead to stereotyping.
Biases can be detrimental and not helpful to judgment and sound decision making; biases can lead to poor judgment, poor reasoning skills, and faulty decision making because they may close the person's mind off to alternative ideas, truths, and opinions.
Personal biases are subliminal and unconscious. For this reason, authors and critical readers must be aware of the fact that they are often not under the automatic conscious control of the person. In order to avoid the obstacles that result from bias and to restore objective, impartial and critical thinking skills, a person should self reflect and strive to identify any personal biases that they may have. Then, the person should consciously strive to eliminate, or at least decrease, any bias that is being injected into their writings, as an author, and that is being injected into one's reading and their interpretations of the material that is in the reading material.
Groupthink bias occurs when members of a group want high levels of cohesiveness, consecutiveness, agreement and harmony within the group and they do not want a lack of harmony and conflict.Depending on that purpose, the author may have chosen to include factual, analytical, and objective information.
Sometimes authors have a combination of purposes, as when a marketer decides he can sell more smart phones with an informative sales video that also entertains us. The same is true when a singer writes and performs a song that entertains us but that she intends to make available for sale. Other examples of authors having multiple purposes occur in most scholarly writing.
In those cases, authors certainly want to inform and educate their audiences. The reason you want that kind of resource when trying to answer your research question or explaining that answer is that all of those characteristics will lend credibility to the argument you are making with your project. Both you and your audience will simply find it easier to believe—will have more confidence in the argument being made—when you include those types of sources.
Instead, they tell us their opinions without backing them up with evidence. If you used those sources, your readers will notice and not believe your argument. Need to brush up on the differences between fact, objective information, subjective information, and opinion?
Opinion — Opinions are useful to persuade, but careful readers and listeners will notice and demand evidence to back them up. Objective — Objective information reflects a research finding or multiple perspectives that are not biased. Subjective information can be meant to distort, or it can reflect educated and informed thinking.
All opinions are subjective, but some are backed up with facts more than others. Open activity in a web browser. Skip to content 2-Types of Sources. Activity: Fact, Opinion, Objective, or Subjective? Previous: Quantitative or Qualitative.
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Entire library. Lesson plans. Third Grade. What's Your Opinion? Lesson plan. Share this lesson plan. Being able to express and support opinions is greatly beneficial for young learners. This lesson plan includes fun exercises to help students learn about opinions and write supporting statements for their own opinions. Contents Contents:. Grade Third Grade.
Thank you for your input. English Language Arts and Reading 2. English W. No standards associated with this content. Which set of standards are you looking for? Introduction 30 minutes. Write the words "fact" and "opinion" on the board.
Ask students to share what they think each of the words mean. Explain that a fact is a true statement, while an opinion is a personal belief. Facts can be proven, but opinions cannot. This is why most facts are supported by proof, whereas most opinions are supported by specific reasons. Write these notes underneath their respective terms. Begin an activity called "It's in the Bag" by putting the fact and opinion strips into the paper bag.
While doing so, go over the activity's instructions: Each student will come up to the front of the class, pull out a strip, and read it aloud. The student will then identify whether the strip is a fact or an opinion and provide a reason for his answer. Have students complete the activity one by one. If a student identifies his strip incorrectly, ask him to try again and give a reason for the opposite answer.
On the board, draw a large chart with four boxes labeled, from top to bottom, "Opinion," "Reason 1," "Reason 2," and "Reason 3.
Write an opinion in the "Opinion" box, e. Guided Practice 15 minutes.Comparing Numbers. Daily Math Review. Division Basic. Division Long Division. Hundreds Charts. Multiplication Basic. Multiplication Multi-Digit. Ordered Pairs. Place Value. Skip Counting. Telling Time.
Word Problems Daily. Word Problems Multi-Step. More Math Worksheets. Reading Comprehension Gr. Reading Comprehension. Reading Worksheets. Graphic Organizers. Writing Prompts. Writing Story Pictures. Writing Worksheets. More ELA Worksheets. Consonant Sounds.