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Identify each sentence with an f (for fact), an o (for opinion), or f +o (for a combination of fact and opinion).

by | Nov 7, 2022 | English

 

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AFactis information that can be proven true through objective evidence. Example: Tarantulas are hairy spiders capable of inflicting on humans a painful but not deadly bite.
An Opinionis a belief, judgment, conclusion that cannot be objectively proved true. Example: Tarantulas are disgusting.
Facts that are taken from a reputable source or verified can be accepted and regarded as reliable information. Opinions, on the other hand, are not reliable sources of information and should be questioned and carefully evaluated. basis does the author have for making that statement?
Some authors are careful to signal the reader when they are presenting an opinion. Watch for words and phrases such as:
apparently
this suggests
in my view
one explanation is
presumably
possibly
it is likely that
according to
in my opinion
it is believed
seemingly
Other authors do just the opposite; they try to make opinions sound like facts.
In the following excerpt from a psychology textbook, notice how the author carefully distinguishes factual statements from opinion by using qualifying words and phrases (underlined).
Some research has suggested that day care can have problematic effects on children’s development. For example, studies indicate that children who begin day care as infants are more aggressive, more easily distracted, less considerate of their peers, less popular, and less obedient to adults than children who have never attended day care or haven’t attended for as long.
Other studies have found that day care is associated with adaptive behaviors. for example, researchers have reported that children who attend day care develop social and language skills more quickly than children who stay at home, although the children who don’t attend day care catch up in their social development in a few years. Poor children who go to day care are likely to develop better reading and math skills than poor children who stay at home.
Other authors, however, mix fact and opinion without making clear distinctions. This is particularly true in the case of informed opinion, which is opinion of an expert or authority. Thomas Friedman represents expert opinion globalization, for example. Textbook authors, too, often offer informed opinion as in the following statement from an American government text:
The United States is a place where the pursuit of private, particular, and narrow interests is honored. In our culture, following the teachings of Adam Smith, the pursuit of self-interest is not only permitted but actually celebrated as the basis of the good and prosperous society.
–Greenberg and Page, The Struggle (or American Democracy, p. 186
Decide which of the statements below are facts of opinions.
A. Five of the statements below are facts, and five are opinions. Identify statements of fact with an F and statements of opinion with an O.
….. 1. The book most frequently stolen from public libraries is the Guinness Book of WorldRecords.
…..2. One of the most fascinating books in the world to read is the Guinness Book of World Records.
…..3. Yellow is a color used for writing pencils, highway signs, and school buses.
…..4. Yellow is the most meaningful of all colors, making us all think of warmth and sunshine.
…..5. A golden retriever is the best pet for a young child.
…..6. Retrievers and other hunting dogs are bred to have mouths that won’t damage the game they bring back.
…..7. Vacant buildings ought to be turned into apartment buildings for the homeless.
…..8. Today there are more than half a million homeless people living in the United States; 15 percent of them are under the age of 50.
…..9. A university study found that heavy drug use seriously affects a teenager’s transition to adulthood.
…..10. The most appropriate sentence for convicted drug pushers is life imprisonment without any possibility of parole.
B. Here are five short book reviews. Identify a factual review with an F; identify a review that includes both facts about the book and the reviewer’s opinion with an F+O.
…..11. In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte has created one of the most memorable of all fictional couples. Jane, a spirited orphan, meets Rochester, the mysterious master of Thornfield Hall, when she becomes governess to his little ward Adele. Jane and Rochester fall deeply in love, but a terrible secret from Rochester’s past threatens their happiness. The struggles of these two fascinating characters so capture the reader’s imagination that the book has become one of the favorite novels of all time.
…..12. American Fried, by the journalist Calvin Trillin, is a collection of short pieces subtitled Adventures of a Happy Eater. Trillin investigates, among other things, spareribs in Kansas City, a crawfish festival in Louisiana, knishes in New York, and the search for the world’s greatest hamburger. This is the first of three books about eating, which the author calls his “tummy trilogy.”
…..13. In the mid-1960s, Jonathan Kozol went to teach in an inner-city public school in Boston. His compelling book, Death at an Early Age, is a vivid account of his experiences there. As his title suggests, Kozol argues that shabby, overcrowded, understaffed schools are destroying children, specifically African American children, by killing their minds and their spirits. Anyone who cares about America’s ailing public school system must read this book.
_….. 14.D-Day, June 6, 1944, was the day of the Allies’ successful invasion of France, considered by historians to be a decisive step in the defeat of Nazi Germany. Cornelius Ryan’s Tire “The Longest Day” is an hour-by-hour reconstruction of the battle that focuses not on military history but on the individuals involved. Ryan personally interviewed hundreds of people, from generals to ordinary soldiers, and wove their stories together to create this book.
…..15. One of the most memorable books of recent years is“All Over But the Shoutin’”a haunting memoir by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rick Bragg. Now a national correspondent for the New York Times, Bragg tells the story of himself, a child of poor white Southerners, and his family, an alcoholic, mostly absent father, and an extraordinary mother, quietly heroic in the face of devastating poverty. ‘Bragg celebrates not just his mother but also the importance of family, and chances are his story will touch you deeply.
C. The passage below contains five sentences. Identify each sentence with an F (for fact), an O (for opinion), or F +O (for a combination of fact and opinion). Note that one sentence combines fact and opinion.
More young adults of today’s generation choose to live together before marriage than in their grandparents’ generation, but they should take the time to find out the risks of cohabitation. “Research shows that the divorce rate for people who move in together before marriage is 46 percent higher than for married couples who don’t live together first.”This statistic clearly refutes the belief that living together is a good way to find out if two people are “marriage material.” “Research also shows that co-habitors experience more depression, physical violence and a lower standard of living than married couples. These facts alone should discourage young people from moving in together.

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