In-class activity for distinguishing facts and opinions

It can be a challenge for college students to distinguish facts and opinions in writing and speaking, but it is so important for public speakers to be able to do this with their own information so that they know where they will need to provide more support.

I used a sample story for students followed by a series of questions to illustrate that the lines between fact, opinions and inferences are not always clear-cut. I can’t find that exact story online and do not know if I am allowed to type it in since I got it from an educational publication, but I found a similar example online at http://www.education.com/study-help/article/difference-fact-opinon-practice-exercise/ problem 2. It has an answer key as well.

There are also several examples online of brief statements that ask students to identify facts and opinions, much like problem 1 on the above link. These could be done as a group discussion (this is how I did it) or as a small group activity with groups also discussing how they could support the opinions or inferences in a speech.

If you have found any other paragraph examples online, please let us know in a comment.

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About teachingpublicspeaking

I believe public speaking can go from most dreaded class to favorite class. I'm a former public speaking college instructor who spent years seeking out activities, assignments and examples to make the class interactive as well as educational -- they are collected here. I welcome suggestions for additions.

2 responses to “In-class activity for distinguishing facts and opinions”

  1. Ney says :

    Unfortunately, this link isn’t working anymore. Do you know the updated one?
    Thanks!

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