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Page 13


Fact, Opinion, or Propaganda?

Things to Consider:

bar graph of wage statistics

Some sources present factual material.

Example: An almanac or reference book such as theStatistical Abstract of the United States presents factual material.


Some sources may present a theory.¹

Example: Darwin's Theory of Evolution or Eistein's Theory of Relativity.

And others only give the author's opinion.

Example: A newspaper editorial or a columnist in a magazine, newspaper, or blog.

Editorial commentary
advertising poster from WWII era Still other information sources represent blatant propaganda (Merriam-Websterdefines this as "ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause.")


Example: A speechmaker calls someone a communist or a fascist (without proof) to discredit the person. This type of name calling is called propaganda.


¹ The scientific definition of theory in Encarta World English Dictionary is "a scientific principle to explain phenomena, a set of facts, propositions, or principles analyzed in their relation to one another and used . . . to explain phenomena."

Chapter 7 — Page 13