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Library - Information Literacy Module: Tutorial 6: Facts versus opinions

Information literacy for UJ students. Start with "1 Why Information Literacy" and end with "9 Writing & Referencing"

STEP 1: Facts versus opinions

Facts can be checked and backed up with evidence. For example in 2010 Lionel Messi was named FIFA's footballer of the year. These facts can be verified by looking into FIFA's records.

  • Facts are often used in conjunction with research studies. For example, the census is a survey of the population conducted by the government where facts are used. These facts can be used for information collected in the census. For example according to the South African Government national statistics, in 2010 approximately one in five South African citizens owned a motor vehicle. 

An opinion is based on personal beliefs or views and is not based on evidence that can be verified.

  • For example. Although Lionel Messi was named FIFA's footballer of the year, Wayne Rooney should have been named the best footballer as he is a better player than Lionel Messi.  

STEP 2: Difference between facts and opinions