What is the Difference Between Fact and Opinion?
Fact or Opinion
Readers must always be conscious of the difference between a fact and an opinion. First, we need to define what a fact and what an opinion is. A fact can be proved or disproved. In other words, a fact can be subjected to analysis. However, an opinion cannot be subjected to an analysis.
An opinion may not be alterable by research, because an opinion is just the author’s personal feelings. This sentence right here says, “The distance from New York to Boston is about 200 miles.” This right here is a fact, because this can be proven or disproven. Although this isn’t very specific, because it used the word “about”, it still is a fact.
You could look at a map and see that the distance from New York to Boston is about 200 miles. The sentence “New York is too crowded” is it stated almost like a fact, but it is still an opinion, because there is no objective way to measure overcrowding. Many times, an opinion will be indicated by words like “believe”, “think”, or “feel”. In this case, “New York is too crowded,” we don’t see any of those words, so it stated like a fact.
You have as a reader have to evaluate this sentence and realize that this cannot be proved or disproved. You have to realize that this just the author’s personal feelings. Many times, an opinion will be supported by facts. An example would be if the author gives the population density of New York as a reason for why it is overcrowded. An opinion supported by facts tends to be more convincing. However, this doesn’t make it a fact.
Even though the writer might back it up with a fact, it’s still an opinion. It’s still the author’s personal feelings. Like I said, an opinion supported by a fact tends to be more convincing. When authors support their opinions with other opinions, the reader is unlikely to be moved.