That's a Fact, Jack! Or Is It?

Contributor: Beth Price. Lesson ID: 10036

Did you ever change your mind about a subject? Did the writer use facts to change your mind or opinions to change your feelings? With an online test and a good book, learn about facts and opinions!


Literary Studies

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

  • Have you noticed that authors will use descriptive and emotional language in a text to influence your thinking about a subject or situation?

You must know the difference between facts and opinions to better understand what you are reading and how you are being influenced.

Much of what you read is a mix of both factual information and opinions of the author.

Being able to distinguish between fact and opinions enables you to better understand what you read, because you will be able to determine what is real and truthful, and what is someone else's point of view or thought.

  • What is a fact?

A fact is based in truth. It can be proven, seen, or observed.

  • What is an opinion?

An opinion is a belief that is sometimes not based in truth. It can be based on someone's feelings about a subject or situation, and often contains a value judgment.

Read the following statements that are facts:

"In 1787, the British Government sent a fleet of convicts to colonize Australia."

This statement is a fact because you can easily verify it by looking it up in a history book or online.

"Between 1945 and 1960, the number of cars in the United States increased by 133 percent."

This statement is a fact. It can be looked up and verified, and there are no judgment statements.

Read the following statements that are opinions:

"America's treatment of the homeless is a disgrace."

This statement is an opinion. The word disgrace reveals a feeling or judgment of the author.

"Daffodils are the prettiest of all spring flowers."

This statement is an opinion. The author is expressing a belief about daffodils that not all people share.

The following statement has both fact and opinion:

"Because of a newly formed and largely incompetent national weather service, the city of Galveston, Texas, was practically destroyed in a horrifying hurricane that left thousands dead."

This statement is both fact and opinion. You can verify that Galveston, Texas, was devastated by a hurricane, but the author is expressing a belief or opinion about the weather service.

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