Distinguishing fact and opinion - Facts are scientifically proven pieces of information that can be verified with a reliable source such as a dictionary or encyclopedia. Opinions are an individual's personal ideas or beliefs, and can vary among people. Becoming proficient in this skill is particularly important for students today, as they are presented with more information from a vareity of sources. Students need to be able to determine whether they are reading something factual or fictional. One important strategy for identifying opinions is looking for adjectives - best, worst, nicest, terrible. These words indicate that an author is stating an opinion. Recognizing opinions is an important first step in noticing obvious or hidden propaganda or bias.