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How to be a critical reader
How to be a critical reader

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1.4 Facts and opinions

1.4.1 Fact or opinion? (1)

Fact or opinion? (a) ‘Water boils at 100 degrees centigrade’; (b) ‘Overweight people are lazy’.

Some of the texts you read at university will be factual, others will be more opinion-based and some will be a mixture of facts and opinions. An important aspect of critical reading is to be able to distinguish between facts and opinions because opinions are not reliable unless supported by references to other writers, research or evidence.

A fact is something that everyone knows is true – there is no argument. On the other hand, an opinion is a viewpoint that other people might not share; they might argue about it.

The next activity helps you to discriminate between facts and opinions in Text 3.

Activity 4 Part 1

Task 1

Read the following statements. Which are facts and which are opinions? Choose Fact or Opinion for each statement.

1. Water boils at 100 °C.

a. 

Fact


b. 

Opinion


The correct answer is a.

2. Overweight people are lazy.

a. 

Fact


b. 

Opinion


The correct answer is b.

3. The Earth is a sphere.

a. 

Fact


b. 

Opinion


The correct answer is a.

4. It snows a lot in Canada in the winter.

a. 

Fact


b. 

Opinion


The correct answer is a.

5. A vegan diet will damage your health.

a. 

Fact


b. 

Opinion


The correct answer is b.