Distinguishing facts from opinions
Opinions can be influenced by the stories that you hear, the ethics that you hold or the perceptions that you have. When you feel strongly about an issue you form an opinion about it. You can identify an opinion when you see words such as presumably, maybe, could have been, believe and feel.
Facts, however, are true, proven and can be verified by authoritative sources or statistics.
Below are some of the ways we can express opinions or facts.
1. I feel that…………….
2. I think that…………….
3. It could be true that……………
4. You may argue that……………….
5. In my opinion………..
6. From your point of view………..
1. According to a study………..
2. In 2010, it was discovered that……
3. It was stated that…….
4. It was reported that ………..
5. It is an established fact that……….
Example of a fact sheet
The London Underground (often shortened to the Underground) is a rapid transit system in the United Kingdom, serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex. It incorporates the oldest section of underground railway in the world, which opened in 1863 and now forms part of the Circle, Hammersmith and City, and Metropolitan lines; and the first line to operate electric trains, in 1890, now part of the Northern line.
The Underground system is also colloquially called the Tube. As commonly used today both by Londoners and in most official publicity, this term embraces the entire system. Originally, though, it applied only to the deep-level lines with trains of a smaller and more circular cross-section, and served to distinguish them from the sub-surface "cut-and-cover" lines that were built first and originally used steam locomotives.
Example of people's opinions of the London Underground
• London Underground is far too expensive for the service you get.
• I take the tube daily and I find it very convenient.
• The service is poor and there are too many disruptions.
• The trains are faulty and there is constant signal failure.
• By far, I think it is the fastest means of land transport.
Below are some statements about the Light Rail Transit in Kuala Lumpur. Identify which are facts (F) and which are opinions. (O).
1. Light railway systems now criss-cross some of Asia's megacities -- including bustling Kuala Lumpur -- allowing you to keep your trip on track.
2. The only train station that I found very busy is the KL Sentral.
3. The Light Rail Transit (LRT) in Kuala Lumpur connects some key districts where banks, offices, hotels and shopping malls are concentrated.
4. The LRT has new routes and stations in order to meet the needs of its customers.
5. The best way to get around Kuala Lumpur is by LRT.
NEXT WEEK: Deriving meanings of words from contextual clues