Opinion vs. Bias – Navigating Subjectivity in Written Text

In the world of written communication, opinions and biases are two elements that often intersect, sometimes making it challenging for readers to discern objective information. In this post, we’ll compare “Opinion” and “Bias” and explore techniques for identifying them in written text.

Opinion vs. Bias: Understanding the Differences

  1. Opinion:
  • Subjectivity: Opinions are inherently subjective, representing the author’s personal viewpoint.
  • Expressive Language: Authors use descriptive words, analogies, and emotional tones to convey their opinions.
  • Intent: Opinions are typically expressed to share personal beliefs or perspectives.
  • Example: “I believe that renewable energy sources are the future of sustainable energy.”
  1. Bias:
  • Prejudice: Bias involves partiality or unfairness in favour or against a particular subject, group, or idea.
  • Selective Presentation: Authors may omit information or manipulate facts to support a biased perspective.
  • Intent: Bias can be intentional or unintentional but often serves to advance a specific agenda.
  • Example: “The study conveniently left out negative findings to portray the new drug in a better light.”

How to Spot Opinion and Bias in Written Text

  1. Analyze Language: Look for descriptive words, adjectives, or emotional language that may indicate an opinion. A biased text might use strong language to favour one side.
  2. Check for Stereotyping: Watch out for sweeping generalizations or stereotypes that could reveal bias against certain groups or individuals.
  3. Consider the Source: Assess the credibility and potential motives of the author. Biased content may come from sources with vested interests.
  4. Compare Multiple Sources: Cross-reference information from multiple sources to identify discrepancies or inconsistencies that might signal bias.
  5. Question Absences: If crucial information is missing or deliberately left out, it might indicate bias.

Test Yourself: Opinion vs. Bias

Read the following passages and determine whether they primarily represent “Opinion,” “Bias,” or a combination of both. Check your answers at the end.

Passage 1: “The movie was absolutely fantastic, with brilliant performances by the actors. It’s a must-see for anyone who appreciates quality cinema.”

Passage 2: “The research study concludes that the new drug is effective in treating the condition. However, some critics argue that the study design was flawed and may not provide a complete picture of the drug’s safety.”

Passage 3: “Politician A is the most honest and trustworthy leader we’ve ever had. Politician B, on the other hand, can’t be trusted; their track record is full of deceit and corruption.”

Passage 4: “Climate change is a pressing global issue that requires immediate action. Deniers of climate change, however, continue to spread misinformation and ignore the overwhelming scientific consensus.”

short coated tan dog

Look at this pup before you check your answers! 🙂


Passage 1:

  • Primarily an Opinion. The passage expresses a personal view of the movie’s quality.

Passage 2:

  • Primarily a Combination of Opinion and Bias. It states the research study’s conclusion (fact) but also includes criticism from the critics, which introduces bias.

Passage 3:

  • Primarily Bias. The passage heavily favours Politician A while showing bias against Politician B.

Passage 4:

  • Primarily Bias. The passage portrays climate change deniers negatively, displaying bias in favour of action on climate change.

Understanding the distinction between opinion and bias empowers readers to critically evaluate written content. It allows for a more informed and objective interpretation of information.

Remember that it’s normal for text to contain opinions, but the presence of bias can distort the truth and impact the way we perceive the world. As readers, our responsibility is to be discerning and critical, ensuring that we approach written text with an open mind and a keen eye.

I hope this post helps you distinguish between opinion and bias in written content. If you have any further questions or need more information, feel free to ask.