Fact Versus Opinion

Facts are objective statements whose truth can be verified. If a fact is true, then it is always true. For example, "Hawaii became a state in 1959." It is simple to do some research to verify that Hawaii did, indeed, join the United States in that year. Newspaper articles are another example of facts. They are intended to be objective reports of occurrences. The opinion of the reporter should not interfere with, or be a part of, the article.

An opinion is a subjective statement based on personal beliefs. Therefore, they are never true for everyone. For example, "Hawaii is the most beautiful state in the country." We know this is based on a personal belief because of the word "beautiful," which is subjective and therefore open to debate. There are many people who would disagree with the statement, choosing a different state as the most beautiful.

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