This page updated: 02/18/2020
Introduction to Fact & Opinion
Fact & Opinion: What is a Claim?
Imagine this scene: You are sitting with your Mom in the Department of Motor Vehicles, waiting to get your driver's permit. It must be "Get Your Driver's Permit" day, because the waiting area is full of kids your age. You notice something that sends your heart fluttering - you've been waiting for proof - you even count to make sure you are accurate - and now you have it. You turn to your Mom and state boldly,
As you can see, every teen in this room has a cell phone, therefore I need a cell phone.
You've done it.
You've stated your opinion as strongly as you could, but THIS TIME, you have solid proof - maybe the strongest fact you've ever had! IN past, you've tried the old stand-bys , "But Mom, all my friends have cell phones..." and "What if you need to get ahold of me in a hurry?" Or, the more emotional, "But I really WANT a cell phone." These have not worked so well - no proof.
Fact, Opinions, and Claims
So let's break this down - does the statement fit the requirements of a strong opinion? Could it possibly be a fact? Just what kind of statement IS THIS anyway?
Is it an opinion? The word "need" is in the statement, and you are saying it. So it is an opinion.
Is it a strong opinion? Well, you've used the word "need" which is less emotional the "want", and you haven't whined, so yes, this could be considered a strong opinion.
Is it a fact? You've used observation, and the room hasn't changed in population of teens OR phones, and you've counted and see that, in fact, every teen in the waiting area is using a cell phone. So, you are accurate. Yes, the statement (or part of it) is a fact.
So what kind of statement is this? It is a claim/counterclaim. The simple definition of a claim is an opinion stated based on a fact. However, unlike a fact, a claim has yet to be proven "valid" (or accepted by the listener) until a few elements are addressed.
Watch the videos below to see what I mean.
Make a copy of the printable document above. This contains a summary of what you just watched.
Use the printable to help you complete the next assignment called Practice: What is a Claim/Counterclaim?
Be sure you review the the defitions of each term in red on the printable. Make sure the definition makes sense to you.
Don't worry if you are a little "fuzzy" on the terms. We will practice these terms quite a bit in this unit and the next.