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Determining Fact, Opinion, and Bias

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Amanda Capossela

on 5 January 2015

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Transcript of Determining Fact, Opinion, and Bias


Looking for Fact, Opinion, and Bias
Reading for pleasure is a waste of time. People who spend hour upon hour reading don't get to live in the real world. They don't really learn anything that is useful about how to deal with everyday people and problems. Plus, teachers always make us read things that are boring.
Questions to Consider
1. Underline the facts

2. Circle the opinions

3. Looking at the opinions, what is the tone? Is it positive or negative?

4. What do you know about the writer?

5. How might the writer's experiences influence his writing?

6. Do you think the writer uses bias to persuade?

7. How biased is the writer? Can the writer be trusted? Or is the bias too strong for the reader to have a clear understanding of the topic?
Opinions included in the first paragraph
Reading for pleasure is a waste of time
.... don't get to live in the real worlds
.... don't learn anything that is useful
.... boring
There are no facts in this paragraph
The writer is highly biased because the whole paragraph is opinion with no factual support. The opinions appear to be based on the writer's personal experience.
Looking for Fact, Opinion, and Bias in the News
"Scientists build robot that runs, call it 'cheetah'" by Rodrique Ngowi

Looking for Bias
Directions: Read the following letter to a local newspaper in which the writer
argues that Fairlawn Park should not be turned into a baseball
Determining Fact, Opinion, and Bias
Fact: knowledge or information based on real occurrences

Opinion: belief or judgement that a person holds about a particular subject

Bias: to feel or show prejudice for or against something or someone
Citizens of the Fairlawn Park area look with alarm at the diabolical plot to change a beautiful spot into a baseball park. If this malicious plan is carried out, the lovely trees in the park will be chopped down. Values of the property within the area will drop sharply as the park fills with the filth and debris of the bulldozers and other equipment. Later the shrieks of the young ruffians who take over the park will destroy the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. Obviously no one cares about the poor citizen who has slaved to pay for his home and to keep up with his taxes.
Looking for Bias
New cars are not built as well as they used to be. Owners of new cars in 2002 have more complaints about their automobiles than in past years. In fact, the recalling of new cars by their makers is becoming a routine practice in America. Instead of insisting upon safe, well-designed products, carmakers seem more concerned with throwing together shoddy automobiles and making a profit. Invariably, new cars need parts replaced almost as soon as the warranty expires. Unfortunately, people need transportation, so they continue to buy new automobiles.
Bias included in the first passage
The author uses negative terms to influence the reader
References the plan to turn the park into a baseball field as...
"diabolical plot"
"malicious plan"
Characterizes children playing in the park as "shrieks of young ruffians who take over the park and destroy the peace and quite of the neighborhood"
Bias is Everywhere
Bias is a subjective way of telling one side of the story, sometimes leading to inaccurate information of a false impression
Possible Sources of Bias
The writer is relying on incomplete information
The writer is trying to deceive the reader
The writer's past experience is influencing his or her thinking
The writer is trying to persuade the reader
If you think the author may be biased...
Ask yourself:
"Will the writer benefit if I believe what is being told to me?"
If the answer if yes, then the passage is likely to be biased
Directions: Read the following passage written by a student. Determine if the passage is mainly fact or opinion based.
Types of Media Bias
Bias by omission
Leaving one side out
Bias by selection of sources
Including more sources that support one view over another
Bias by story selection
A pattern of highlighting news stories that align with one point of view
Bias by labeling
Describing a group with either positive or negative nouns
Ex. "Expert" vs. "Discredited"
Bias by spin
When a story has only one interpretation of an event or policy
Writing Assignment
Part One:
Writing a paragraph about something you are passionate about. Persuade your reader to take the same opinion by using language that is biased.

Part Two:
Circle any facts
Underline your opinion
Star words that contribute to your bias
What facts are presented about the robot?
Does the author present his opinion about the robot?
Can you detect any bias?
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