My middle school students are good at telling the difference between facts and opinions.
Facts, they’ll tell you, are things that can be proven.
They don’t even have to be true. They just have to be provable – one way or the other.
For instance: “I’m six feet tall.” It’s not true, but you could conceivably measure me and determine my height.
Opinions, on the other hand, are statements that have no way of being proven. They are value judgements: That is good. This is bad. Mr. Singer is short. Mr. Singer is tall.
It doesn’t make them less important – in fact, their relative importance to facts is, itself, an opinion.
Our government has put forward statements that are demonstrably false: The Bowling Green Massacre. Undocumented immigrants commit massive amounts of…
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