Critical Reading. Making Judgments while reading. Fact. A statement that can be proven true or false by objective means. Test Observation A statement about the future is never a fact. Opinion. A statement that cannot be proven true or false. Personal attitudes and evaluations
Critical Reading Making Judgments while reading
Fact • A statement that can be proven true or false by objective means. • Test • Observation • A statement about the future is never a fact.
Opinion • A statement that cannot be proven true or false. • Personal attitudes and evaluations • Valid Opinion—an opinion given by an expert in the field. • Chemist: Much of our drinking water is polluted with bacteria. • Starting a sentence with, “It’s a fact that… doesn’t make it a fact.
Fact or Opinion? • Manny’s Restaurant serves the best Mexican food in Waterford. • Next week, Mr. Janz will speak to the students who are planning to go to the university. • In the U.S., 112 million people visit zoos every year.
Find Two Facts • I am a deaf newscaster for KRON-TV, channel 4, San Francisco. Last night my deaf husband and I enjoyed watching the children’s show with captions on KQED. We are very much impressed by the effective way the captions were inserted in the right places. We can see that it requires a lot of work and patience.
Continued… • We do not hear what the actors say, but we do lip-read. It is too bad that the captions do not tell exactly what the actors said, but we can understand the reason for this situation. Most speech is spoken too fast to have every word captioned.
Find Facts and Opinions • The United States first landed men on the moon in July, 1969, but it was a terrible waste of $14 billion of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. In fact, the whole space program has been a waste.” • I don’t agree. The space program has produced specific benefits, especially in the area of computer technology. It has increased our knowledge of the moon, and it will have as yet unforeseen benefits in the future.
Slanted Language • Indirect Language—choice of words calms the reader and makes the situation less emotional. • Loaded Words—choice of words makes the reader more emotional about a situation. Will produce strong positive or negative feelings.
Examples • Indirect Language • Our new vitamin contains many important ingredients. Loaded words Our miraculous new vitamin will change your life forever.
Indirect and Loaded • Tribuno Wins by One Stroke • Tribuno Steals Tournament with One Lucky Stroke • Federal Budget Up for Next Year • Washington Off on a Spending Spree
Indirect/Loaded • Mayor Selects New Agency Head • Mayor Picks Buddy for Big Job • Teenage Driver Mangles Baby • Driver Hits Five-Year Old
Example of Loaded Words • The fiercest competition among students is often not over academic achievements, but over who dresses most expensively. Many students now measure parental love by how willing their mothers and fathers are to pamper them with money for the latest fads in clothes, sneakers, and jewelry.
Spot the Loaded Words • Those parents without money to waste on such extravagances are considered uncaring and cruel. They often watch in dismay and helplessness as their children become involved with gangs and peddle drugs to raise the money.
Loaded Words • When students are asked why they place so much importance to clothing, they frequently reply that it’s the cool thing to do, that it gives them status and earns them respect. Girls think that the only things that make them attractive to boys are skimpy dresses and gaudy looks rather than intelligence and academic excellence.
Jumping To Conclusions • Def: Ignore evidence in arriving at a conclusion. • Ex: Most people agree that prices are going up, but who knows, maybe car prices will come down, so I think I’ll wait to buy. • Ex: Ghosts are everywhere; they surround us as we go about our everyday affairs and influence our choices.
Begging the Question • Definition: Talking in circles, not really answering the question or answering a different question. • Example: Why is exercise good for you? Because you should use your body.
Which one begs? • Why does she want to be mayor? • She’d love to run the city. • She has a program for dealing with big city problems. • Why don’t you want health care reform? • Because individual freedom is under attack. • Because it will mean higher taxes.
Irrelevant Evidence • Def: Evidence that has nothing to do with the subject under discussion. • Example: Paris Hilton’s favorite soda is diet pepsi. • Mr. Wockal will make a great ambassador to Sweden because he loves sailing. • Eggs are among the most healthful foods because they are laid by hens.
Find Irrelevant Evidence • Flying saucers are often landing and making contact with human beings. These visitors are from other worlds, and they have been watching our planet for years. • Every culture describes mysterious visitors who appeared to earthlings with strange and secret messages. All these stories contain reports of contacts with strangers.
Stereotypes • Treating everyone in a group the same way. Often includes “all” or “every” in the statement. They oversimplify and are not reliable when judging a particular individual. • Example: All blondes are dumb. • All people from Waterford are hicks.
Example of Stereotypes • The average hunter is a nuisance. Each one seems to believe that because he is trying to shoot an animal, he is a tough, crafty, courageous woodsman whose chest is covered with hair. But physically, hunters tend to have a big stomach and red faces. They can’t run fast, and they wear expensive clothes. They want to kill an animal so they can tie it to a car bumper or mount it on the wall of their family room. Hunters are noisy, obnoxious, and the dirtiest of all outdoor users.
Weasel Words • Definition: Words that keep ads honest. • Words that allow “wiggle room” for claims. • Common weasels: • Up to.. May might • More than ever twice as much could • As long as light starting at • Example: Using a dictionary could improve your spelling.
Identify Weasels • There’s a new and better breakfast cereal at your store today. • Nature Bars have twice as much go power. • The vitamins could keep that bad cold away. • You may never want to try another granola bar again. • You will get up to 50 servings in our box. • Savings of up to $500 are possible. • These bulbs might last as long as three years.