Fact and Opinion

It's not always easy to pick out facts from opinions. Often people say that they are stating facts when they have not checked to see if what they are saying is actually true.

· A fact is something that can be proved true.
e.g. The local newsagent shuts at 8 p.m.
· An opinion is what one, or more than one, person thinks about something.
e.g. The manager of the newsagent is always grumpy.

1. Separate the facts from the opinions below.
· Everybody likes chocolate.
· Gemma is the best singer in the school.
· Christmas Day was on a Sunday in 1994.
· Nobody likes to eat eels.
· The Queen owns several dogs.

2. Read the description below, which has been designed to tempt holiday makers to a particular resort.

The Holiday Resort of your Dreams
The jewel of the south, this holiday resort will meet all your dreams: a rugged, tumbling rocky coast, sheltering golden, sandy beaches, lapped by shimmering blue bays, set against a background of whispering pine trees. Who could want for more? While the rocky inlets provide secluded, sheltered sunbathing under clear blue skies where the sun always shines, the shimmering, sapphire bays will tempt you to swim in the world's warmest, bluest waters.

Common sense should tell us that all of the details in this piece cannot possibly be always true. The drawbacks have been left out, and facts have been mixed up with opinions. It is your task to try and separate them again. Draw up your own chart. First list all the facts - the things that can be proved true - then list all the opinions.

3. Choose a place that you feel you could write about - it might be a favourite holiday spot, or perhaps a special place that you used to visit when you were younger. Write your own description of the place to try to tempt people to visit. Start by making a list of all the facts about the place. Once you have all your information, write a description of your place, and try to weave in your own feelings and opinions about it.