Distinguishing Between Fact And Opinion Practice Exercises

Updated on Aug 25, 2011

Read the following study guide for a concept review:

Distinguishing Between Fact and Opinion Study Guide

Exercise 1


Determine whether the following sentences express a fact or an opinion. Write F for fact or O for opinion before each sentence.

  1. People should spend less time on the Internet and more time with one another.
  2. The Internet allows people to communicate with friends and strangers all around the world.
  3. There ought to be better rules for protecting children on the Internet.
  4. The Internet is an amazing research tool.
  5. Angelina Jolie is a good role model.
  6. Many children look up to top entertainers and athletes as role models.
  7. Only a handful of entertainers and athletes are good role models.
  8. Many professional athletes earn millions of dollars each year.
  9. Many professional athletes are grossly overpaid.

Exercise 2

This exercise, which features a longer passage, will give you a chance to practice all the skills you learned in this lesson. Read the passage carefully (don't forget your active reading strategies) and then answer the questions that follow.

The Gateway Arch

The skyline of St. Louis, Missouri, is fairly unremarkable, with one huge exception—the Gateway Arch, which stands on the bank of the Mississippi. Part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the Arch is an amazing structure built to honor St. Louis's role as the gateway to the West.

In 1947 a group of interested citizens known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association held a nationwide competition to select a design for a new monument that would celebrate the growth of the United States. Other U.S. monuments are spires, statues, or imposing buildings, but the winner of this contest was a plan for a completely different type of structure. The man who submitted the winning design, Eero Saarinen, later became a famous architect. In designing the Arch, Saarinen wanted to leave a monument that would have enduring impact.

The Gateway Arch is a masterpiece of engineering, a monument even taller than the Great Pyramid in Egypt. In its own way, the Arch is at least as majestic as the Great Pyramid. The Gateway is shaped as an inverted catenary curve, the same shape that a heavy chain will form if suspended between two points. Covered with a sleek skin of stainless steel, the Arch often reflects dazzling bursts of sunlight. In a beautiful display of symmetry, the height of the arch is the same as the distance between the legs at ground level.


Read the following questions. Circle the letter of the answer you think is correct.

  1. "The skyline of St. Louis, Missouri, is fairly unremarkable" is
    1. a fact.
    2. an opinion.
  2. Saarinen's winning design was
    1. modeled after other U.S. monuments.
    2. unlike any other monument.
    3. part of a series of monuments.
    4. less expensive to construct than other monuments.
  3. The sentence "The Gateway Arch is a masterpiece of engineering, a monument even taller than the Great Pyramid in Egypt" follows which pattern?
    1. fact/fact
    2. fact/opinion
    3. opinion/fact
    4. opinion/opinion
  4. The Gateway Arch is shaped like
    1. a rainbow.
    2. a rectangle.
    3. a pyramid.
    4. a square.


Exercise 1

  1. opinion
  2. opinion
  3. fact
  4. opinion
  5. opinion
  6. opinion
  7. fact
  8. opinion
  9. fact
  10. opinion

Exercise 2

  1. b. Whether the skyline is "unremarkable" is debatable. It is a matter of opinion.
  2. b. The second paragraph states that "the winner of this contest was a plan for a completely different type of structure."
  3. c. The first part of the sentence, "The Gateway Arch is a masterpiece of engineering," is an opinion; it makes a judgment about the Arch and is debatable. The second part of the sentence, "a monument even taller than the Great Pyramid in Egypt," is not debatable; it is a matter of fact.
  4. a. The exact shape of the Arch is described in the third paragraph. It is an inverted curve and has no angles, so it cannot be a rectangle or a pyramid.
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