Even after completing fourteen years of quality education, the majority of students fail to identify facts or opinions- concepts vital to research. As a consequence, when they sit to write a master-level dissertations they lag in providing quality information. Both facts and opinions have their own place for developing good arguments. Facts are indisputable observations related to natural or social phenomena, and they are used in a research papers to increase their quality and worth for society.
Rather, opinion is a judgment, statement, and review of authors about a phenomenon in the light of personal experiences and preferences. Knowing both concepts by definition is a piece of cake, but identifying whether a piece of information from a research paper is an opinion or facts more understanding about the basics of both. Thereby, this article by Help With Assignment UK will discuss ways to identify facts or opinions in a research paper so students can judge the exact sense of the original author.
What Are Facts?
The Oxford dictionary defines the term fact a thing that is known or proved to be true, ‘information used as evidence or as part of a newspaper and reports‘, or a truth about events as opposed to interpretation’. Stated in another way, facts are statements that are real and true or points that can be considered to be real or true. Often, facts are crossed checked with the standard reference and the method to crosscheck the scientific facts includes observations, measurements, and experiments. They can be in the form of scientific theories or statements. Facts are essential to inform readers about a certain happening or to make an argument. Example of facts in the form of statements includes:
- The optimum pH of salivary amylase is 6.4 and 7.0.
- Colombo discovered America.
- All healthy photosynthetic leaves of plants are green.
- More than 70 % of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans.
- Women have been enjoying the right to vote since 1920.
- The heart is vital for living as it pumps blood throughout the body.
Examples of facts as scientific theories:
Scientific theories are formed when a fact is proved after a series of experiments. It is a structured explanation to elaborate on a group of facts and phenomena related to the natural world. Thus, scientific theories are considered the form of facts and can be easily used as evidence to support a scientific claim or argument. Its examples include:
- Big bag theories.
- Law of thermodynamics.
- Archimedes Buoyancy Principle.
- Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection.
- Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion and many more.
What Are Opinions In Research?
Merriam- Webster defines opinion as a view, judgment, and appraisal formed in a particular matter or a formal expression of judgment or piece of advice given by a field expert. In research, opinions are the expert’s or an author’s advice related to a happening or an event. Mostly to make an opinion strong, it needs to be backed up by evidence or facts. The opinion is a less formal statement that is formed based on the feelings, attitudes, and beliefs of the author. Some examples that may help you to understand opinions are as follows:
- My bank is taking more interest from me than others.
- Wearing black on a hot summer day is my mistake.
- The golden version of my new iPhone looks less attractive than my sister’s black phone.
- To ensure safety in our town we can install cameras.
- Eating a packet full of chips while watching a movie is more entertaining than eating a bucket full of pock pons.
Methods To Identify The Fact Or Opinion In A Piece Of Literature:
Identifying whether you have to add a fact or opinion within your written and verbal conservation is easy, but research with the goal of proving a scientific claim to judge whether the original author’s statement is a fact or opinion is a bit tricky. To identify fact or opinion in a long passage and a scholarly piece of writing, you must answer the following questions:
- Can a statement be proven and declared true using any additional information?
- Does the speaker have a current historical relativeness with the topic under discussion?
- Can a statement be observed through experiments, measurements, and observations?
- Is a speaker saying something in light of his/her own personal experiences?
- Is an author provided with a reference from someone else’s work with a statement?
- Does a statement is verified in the light of an authentic document and manuscript?
- Does the author signify facts by giving references, signaling words, and witnesses?
- Does the author signify opinions via judgment words such as all, always, never, probably, and should for opinions?
The positive notation in answers to questions 1, 3, 5, and 7 will show that the given statement is a fact or ‘yes’ in answers to questions 2, 4, 6, and 8 hints it is an opinion. In short, if a statement includes biased words such as worst, better, worthwhile, and many more or quantifiers such as all, always, likely, possibly, and probably then the statement will be an author’s own opinion. In contrast, to confirm whether a statement is a fact, supporting information such as proof, references, and other visual aids will be more useful. You can also get help for assignments online for this purpose.
Basically, it is important to identify facts or opinions as it allows us to know how different types of sentences create different senses in content. In research, only superficial information regarding a text is not sufficient to consider the application of the given piece of information in your context. Rather it demands us to identify fact or opinion statements to reduce the chances of data fabrication and falsification. The best approach to do so is by asking a few questions regarding the distinguishing features of both terms. If, after consideration, a statement is found to contain quantifiers and biased words, then it will be an opinion. In contrast, the presence of references, legal documents, and logical reasoning indicates the factual nature of a statement.