Phase One

Blog 2

What is opinion? What is fact? How can you tell the difference between the two? 


An opinion is a view or judgement of something, not necessarily based on fact. Fact on the other hand is something that has been proven, and is widely accepted. A matter of opinion can not be proven, it is simply just ones idea. For something to be fact it needs to be justified and proven. An example of an opinion its that Starbucks has the best coffee. This is an opinion as it can not be proven (because everyone knows second cup has the best coffee…) which is also an opinion that keeps the coffee wars going forever. 


A fact becomes a fact through evidence. The more evidence and proof that can back up a statement the more it will be accepted. You need to justify true belief. A belief is accepting something to be true, usually with little to no evidence. To make something accepted as fact by a wide range of people you must justify the belief. 

For example some people believe the word is flat while others believe the world is round. You can justify that the world is round through the science and satellite photos, while the earth being flat can not be justified, except for people making up conspiracies, so do not be fooled by people posting conspiracy threads on twitter y’all. If you can provide evidence, and prove that evidence is based in reality, then an opinion becomes a fact, often there must be science to backup a statement. 


While researching to tell the difference between a fact and opinion look for the use of “I” as that will indicate someones opinion. Also look for evidence and sources to back it up. Be careful and do your research! 


Until next Friday! 

With love, Kate

Xoxo<3 




Hello everyone!

I am Kate Lawrence; an 18 year old from Winnipeg, Manitoba! My interests include dance, modelling, and pageantry. I am the current Miss Teenage Canada, and Miss Teen Supermodel.

Another interest I have is travel. I had the opportunity to travel to Curacao as Miss Teenage Canada this past November, to learn more about water and conservation. I have had the privilege to travel all across Canada (even up North to Nunavut.) I enjoy travel because I always learn new things about different cultures, as well as history.

I also love poetry. My favourite poet is Rupi Kaur, famous for her collections called “Milk and Honey” and “The Sun and her Flowers.” I love poetry because in a short phrase it can make you feel something, and you can always leave it and come back to it.

I am feeling super excited yet nervous for this course as I am still very new to university, and on the younger side of the age average of students enrolled. That being said I am ready to work hard and learn lots. I believe all students should be learning different research techniques and challenging themselves to put that edge on their work.

A shortcut research tactic would simply be searching up something on google. It is most often the first place people go, just by picking up the cellphone your there. To follow this people will look at the first site that comes up in the search results. Of course google is helpful and a great shortcut to rummaging through shelves of books, but this is often where people stop when gathering information. Googling something is easy, and it is always right at your fingertips, but the research shouldn’t stop here. There is a whole other world of information out there beyond google, in forms such as print and books.

In conclusion, I am eager to learn more and continue to develop my research skills! Bye for now!

xox Kate

What is opinion? What is fact? How can you tell the difference between the two? 


An opinion is a view or judgement of something, not necessarily based on fact. Fact on the other hand is something that has been proven, and is widely accepted. A matter of opinion can not be proven, it is simply just ones idea. For something to be fact it needs to be justified and proven. An example of an opinion its that Starbucks has the best coffee. This is an opinion as it can not be proven (because everyone knows second cup has the best coffee…) which is also an opinion that keeps the coffee wars going forever. 


Phase One: Matter of Opinion

On the subject of whether “ is all knowledge a matter of opinion”, I would say that it is quite incorrect for someone to make that claim. Our knowledge can be comprised of opinions, in fact it probably is largely comprised of opinions as they are formed In our day to day lives. It is not necessarily a bad thing to rely on opinions as general knowledge as well founded opinions can quite grounded in reality and be quite insightful, however, on the other end of that spectrum are pieces of knowledge that can be classified as “ a matter of opinion”. This form of knowledge is problematic  because it is basically implausible to prove and is quite relative to the observer. The example given in the lecture “ Starbucks coffee is the best tasting coffee” is a good example of this because the taste of the coffee is totally relative to the observer. It is important to note that while a well founded opinion can be pretty grounded, it is after all an opinion. In nature it is biased due to it being subjective and being based on the observer’s emotions.

 The central reason why opinions  do not make up all knowledge is due to the very existence of facts. Facts are pieces of verified and proven information. This is first and foremost information that the average person can trust. Another reason why all knowledge is made up in part by fact and not solely opinion is because they can be absorbed the same way as opinions are, though day to day life. Although it is worth mentioning that people with opinions may be resistant to the change that facts may represent because they are so set in their ways formed by their opinion. This is mostly why opinions do make up a sizable portion of all knowledge because the people who carry them and continue their existence are resistant to changing them in light of facts.

PHASE ONE

Week 2: Being Critical

This weeks lecture taught us the importance of being critical of the "knowledge" that we are exposed to. It is often the case that as we as individuals perceive the information that surrounds us or that is told to us to be true. Now, although there may be many reasons as to why humans tend to do this like, for example, the legitimacy of the source of the information or our biological sense to conform, however, it may be the primary issue with this is that it prevents us from critically questioning the validity of the knowledge. As professor alluded to in class, knowledge isn't always factual, in fact, it may be simply a matter of some one's opinions. What's concerning than is that the "knowledge" being produced is cultivated from a subjective truth rather than objective truth. It is in these instances than that lead to incorrect or biased information becoming proliferated into society simply due to a lack of critical critique. Therefore, it is as students our job and our goal to learn and to become more aware of the different types of information and knowledge that are out there and be more critical of them.

Week 1: Introductions

Hello everyone,

So, a quick introduction, my name is Juan Sarmiento and I am a fourth year Law and Society student here at York University. I'm 23 years old, and I am proudly a Colombian Canadian. With all that cliche introductory stuff now out of the way I can now delve into what I would say best describes who I am. Without a doubt the first thing that comes to my mind is sports, I LOVE sports. I've played most types of sports and I'd say that I'm half decent enough player in most of them, but certainly not great. However, what I really wanted to tell you is how my love of sports came to be. It all began when I first saw the Toronto Maple Leafs play. I remember being fascinated by the way the players moved on the ice, the massive hits that were being thrown around, the way the goalies played despite wearing all that gear, all that coupled with the fact that the Leafs jerseys are blue, which happens to be my favourite colour, instantly got me hooked on the sport. I remember after watching that first game I began to really follow hockey more diligently, unfortunately for me as a Leafs fan, up until recently it was more painful than fun to watch our team play. Looking back at it now though maybe it was a blessing that I had to suffer all those years of futility because if it wasn't for that maybe I wouldn't have begun watching and following all the other sports teams and leagues that I do now. Anyways, from all that I'd also add that it is a dream of mine to possibly in the future use my knowledge and passion for sports and make a career out of it. I don't exactly know how or in what field per se but all I know is that who wouldn't want to work doing something that they love am I right?

Moving on, in regards to this course and my thoughts on it. After leaving the first lectures and subsequent tutorial, my first impressions were that of intrigue and excitement. I think that it will be very entertaining to learn a new and different way of expressing our dialogue through the creation and design of our own podcasts. Personally, I've never attempted to create my own podcast, however, I do listen to many different genres of podcasts on Spotify, so I am a little familiar with the basics of them. I am specifically intrigued to learn the editing process of the podcasts, especially because I believe that learning how to edit digital content is an important tool to have in our current technological age. Also, the Professor, the students and the TA's all seem to be very enthusiastic and excited to be part of this course, which is a very pleasing sight to see. trust me when I say that it's a lot easier to get excited and motivated for class when you see that the professor is excited to be teaching their content.

Lastly, when it comes to research tactics I honestly think that every student has their own way of going about researching that best suits them. In my four years here I've been taught, read and heard of many different ways of researchign that all offered great insight into different methods and approaches into how to properly research. The problem that I see is that students often either stick to one method or try to apply too many methods, either way, more often than not the student gets frustrated if it doesn't pan out. For me, my advice to the first and second years students would be to find what's best for you. Seriously I know its cliche but its true, if you try to too hard to emulate the methods of someone else and you consistently find that you aren't getting the results you want then you need to try something different. Quite oppositely, if try to use too many than you'll work might become dysfunctional. Either way, you as a student have to learn what is best for you, for me it was taking little bits from each of the concepts that I learned and added them to my repertoire, which I like to call "research attack". Oh, and don't think that simply searching on Google or Wikipedia is a bad habit, trust me every student young or old does the same thing, the point is to not stop there rather progress from that information and find more and more.

Phase One

Week Two: On Opinions

After reflecting on what we learned about opinions in class, it seems that the major difference between different qualities of opinions are the evidence behind them. The better the evidence, and the more evidence there is, the more rooted in reality an opinion is. If I believed that the moon was made of cheese, then I cannot say that there is any evidence to support this opinion beyond perhaps my belief that the moon looks like cheese. If I instead believed that the moon’s phases affected the Earth's tides, then I can say there is a lot of scientific evidence measuring the moon's gravity and its effect on the tides. One opinion would be considered accurate, and the other pure fantasy, based on the evidence that reality presents to us.

Knowledge is defined as “justified true belief”, which I almost feel is another way of saying “an opinion with evidence rooted in reality”. If you can provide evidence, and prove that evidence is based in reality, then an opinion becomes knowledge. It's not a bad thing, I actually think it's a solid method. It allows lived experiences to become useful evidence, so science and physical reality are not the only hallmark of good evidence. For example, proving the existence of systems of oppression like racism is best done by anecdotal evidence. For these reasons, we can say that there is more to knowledge than just a matter of opinions.

Week One: Introductions

Hello! I'm Samantha Thornberry, a big storytelling enthusiast and long time university student. I have loved books since I was a little girl, and I still make time to read every day. I have also been interested in writing my own stories for a long time. I am inspired by what other people have written in books, but also for video games, movies and TV shows. I would love to have my writing published someday in the future.

Honestly, I feel some trepidation about this podcast project. I am not familiar with podcasts or with making them, so I have a lot to learn before the deadline. Learning to write a script and especially learning to use an audio editing program seems like a daunting task. However, I will do my best to take it one step at a time, and work towards a finished podcast gradually, to overcome feeling overwhelmed.

Since most writing in university is academic, most undergraduate students would prioritize finding scholarly resources for their papers. A common research tactic would be to use the search function in online databases such as JSTOR. There are a lot of academic papers and books in them, so they are a great place to look for academic research. However, it does also limit students in what they find. Certain subjects might benefit from looking at mainstream opinions or writing, for at least a variety in opinions. However, many undergraduate students will not find them in these databases, or even look for them.

Samantha Thornberry

Phase One

Week 1: Introduction

Hello to whoever is reading this,

My name is Joud Senjab, and I am a second year student in Health Studies, looking forward to going into medical school in Canada. I am 19 years young that grew up in Dubai and came here about 8 years ago. I live in Mississauga with my family and actually commute. I have a sister who’s 12 years old, and apparently, we look very much alike (I don’t see the resemblance at all). My horoscope is a Cancer.

My hobbies include swimming and working-out, it is what keeps me going when I feel like I am down. I work part-time at a car dealership doing car detailing. It is a fairly good paying job for a student and since I have a passion for cars, I love my job. I really enjoy going on road trips and travelling with my friends. I really value friendships and family and find it to be an important aspect in my life.

Enough with talking about my life, I also wanna share with you why this course is important to me. In my field, I have a lot of courses that require the use of research, as well as labs that need prior researching and such. I am also not the best at writing, so I think this course would be a good start to help me progress with my writings. Having a podcast and blogs that long motivates me to read more and improve my grammar and vocabulary to prepare me for my upcoming years. I am also starting to develop more interest in readings books and information and scholarly studies are the most accurate and credible sources to learn from. We all got used to using google and thinking that those forums that show up are sufficient to answer our questions when they’re just based on opinions, and not facts.

This course is looking great so far, and I am glad that I am in Team 1 as I have seen wonderful personalities so far in this class, including Professor Stephanie. With this semester being a little short, I really look forward to getting to know everyone in my class, I can offer a lot of help to you first years wether it comes to forming your next year schedule, finding resources, help offices, getting involved in clubs, etc.

If you have made this far, awesome! Looking forward to see y’all in class.

Week 2: Is it possible to assert that all knowledge is simply a matter of opinion?

In order to do a good research, it is important to distinguish between an opinion and a fact. An opinion is a belief/view/judgement that is unsupported, without facts or evidence. A fact (knowledge) is proven information that is verified by experts and is proven by the majority of us . A good research is one that does NOT use words like “I believe”, “In my opinion,…”, and “I think that”, because such phrases emphasize that the research can be based on emotions, subjective and biased.

A misconception that goes in in the world of philosophy is that these philosophers are simply talking about their opinions. The reality is that as long as they are supported by arguments and reasonings, they cannot be dismissed as just opinions. So basically, an opinion can be a fact if it is elaborated on and given strong reasoning. There are two different views to things that one of the readings mention, Relativism and Subjectivism. Relativism is the view that truth is relative typically to a particular culture. Subjectivism is the view that truth is completely subjective to each individual.

Going back to our question to is it possible to consider all knowledge as a simply a matter of opinion. Not all knowledge is opinion and not all knowledge is a fact. It all depends on how strong the evidence is used and how convincing the reasoning is to the reader.

Week 3: Summary of Opinion Piece

“Nobody is exempt from the impact of today’s “spy-in-your-pocket” is the topic that I chose to make my podcast about. The article is by Carl Rorigues, a president and CEO of SOTI. SOTI is a provider of mobile and Internet of Things(IoT) management solutions. He emphasizes how data is power by saying that smartphones, tablets and wearables are collecting a lot  of information about our personal lives. Our data is being taken from our social medias and search-engines that we use to build a profile about every single person in this planet, as well as selling them. In addition, there is little to no governance over these issues. He mainly uses Facebook’s as an example of the companies that thrive to sell user data. He mentions cases and reviews about this topic, making his article seem somewhat credible. It definitely needs more research tho with more credible sources. He questions where all this data is going, who will own it and where it will be used. This is why this topic interested me, because I want to find the answers to his questions. I find it to be very relevant in our generation, as well as older and younger generations, since most of us have no filter with what we share on in the internet. At home, I also have a google talk, which I feel records everything you talk about at home. I want to see if that is actually the case and google also works on selling information to buyers, wether its for marketing reasons or other ones.


Phase One

Week One: Introduction

Hello everyone,

My name is Nataly Roushdy. I am 18 years old currently residing in Mississauga. I have one older brother who is 20 years old and I am Egyptian. I was born in Egypt. My family and I moved to Canada in 2004 when I was 4 years old. We stayed here in Canada ever since. I am in first year here at York University in Schulich School of Business studying to have a Bachelor in Business Administration. I still don’t know what I want to specialize in, all I know is I love business so much and here is why. Business is so important in my opinion because, it is everywhere, all around us. Business touches on pretty much every aspect of modern human society, careers with a business degree are diverse and often highly paid. I love the ethics behind business and being able to think on your feet. I also love the idea behind managing and running your own business.

During my free time, I love hanging out and spending quality time with my friends, eating, laughing, sharing stories, ranting about our first year struggles in university and laughing about them, etc. I love spending time with my family as well, family is everything and it is important to spend time with family whenever you get the chance. This one is really odd but, I love going to airport road with my family and standing in front of the runway watching planes land and takeoff. My family and I love planes so much, especially me. I love the atmosphere of the airport as well and just watching planes and riding them. I also love travelling. My biggest dream is getting to travel the whole world someday and getting to see how other countries look and seeing their cultures. Another thing I love to do on my free time is watch YouTube, I love watching YouTube, I have many favourite you-tubers, it is something I definitely love doing all day. YouTube is like my Netflix if I am being completely honest. Lastly, I love going on adventures with my brother and cousins or even with my friends with no adults. I love exploring and just getting away going to a far place for fun and for no reason.

The reason I choose to take this class is because, I enjoy writing and expressing myself. I also really enjoy doing research about anything that interests me. I am constantly doing research on my free time. I could write forever if I get the chance. Writing is a way where one can just express themselves and let out their emotions in my opinion. I may not be the greatest when it comes to grammar, but I know that I am getting there. I can’t wait to see what this course has in store for us.

Thank you for reading

-Nataly Roushdy

Week Two: Opinion

After reflecting on what we spoke about in class. I realized how much I enjoyed this topic where we spoke about the difference between “opinion and “matter of opinion”. The difference between the two is that, “Opinion,” is a view or judgment formed about something that is not necessarily based on a fact. It is a belief or judgement that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty. “A matter of opinion,” is something not capable of being proven either way. It is subjective. It is said to show that you do not agree with something that has just been said. After really understanding the difference between the two, I am able to see that in today’s society people tend to believe whatever they hear without actually looking for the facts, and really trying to find the sources to what they hear’d to truly understand if it is right or not.

An example of “opinion,” is; “Ann can have the opinion that Italian food tastes best, while Joe has the opinion that French food is ideal.” An example of “matter of opinion,” is; “we’re not that contrived, we’re not that theatrical.” As we can see, in the opinion example. We have two people that are sharing their opinions on their favourite foods. One thinks one food tastes best, while the other thinks another tastes the best. This opinion is based off of, each persons different taste buds and what each finds most enjoyable. It is a clear view or judgement formed about something that is not based on a fact necessarily. Now for the matter of opinion example. We see that someone is saying how they are not contrived or theatrical, that is a matter of opinion because, we clearly see how this situation is not capable of being proven either way, and it is subjective, meaning, it is influenced or based on personal beliefs or feelings, rather than based on facts.

The two tend to be very confusing when it comes to comparing them. However, when you really dissect what “opinion” and “matter of opinion” mean, we find that the meaning and examples that come with them are really interesting. It really expands our knowledge and makes us want to question every scenario we come across, and really dissect the scenario to see if it is an opinion based situation or matter of opinion.

Now when it comes to reading and even writing, we might come across facts as we are reading, or as we are doing research for something that we are writing. It is important to be able to distinguish the two because sometimes the author could write his/her matter of opinion in an article/novel/book/video etc., and after understanding the two, we must know which we are dealing with. Especially when we know that at the end, we must site our sources.

Phase Two

As someone how is a self proclaimed “opinionated” person, this weeks lecture was especially enlightening. It made me realize that anyone can curate an opinion, but this does not mean it is relevant or significant. Everyone makes unsubstantiated opinions all the time. It usually stems from some sort of person bias. For everyday conversation and such, that is fine. When it comes to academics, these opinions are not credible.

Relating back to this blog post question, I think it is not possible to assert that all knowledge is simply a matter of opinion. Opinions do not need factual evidence to support it. There are certain things one cannot argue. Facts are facts. A lot of this concrete knowledge exists in science and is widely known to man. For example, it is common knowledge that the sun is hot. It is extremely simple, yet indisputable. It would be quite silly to make a counter opinion. I  understand not all knowledge is this obvious, but it is still relevant to this conversation. A matter of opinion cannot be proven either way, it is relative. Knowledge on the other hand is justified true belief. I view knowledge to be much more solid than a matter of opinion. There is much more thought and evidence that has to go into a fact for it to be considered knowledge. Evidence to prove knowledge comes in many different forms, usually related to science and all that good stuff. One of the main criteria for something to be considered knowledge is that it must be believed to be true. To me, this means that the majority of opinions on a given topic must be united in order for it to be considered knowledge.

Due to all these technicalities related to knowledge, I do not think it is fair to assert all of it as simply a matter of opinion.


Hello everyone!


My name is Lenna Kapetaneas, I am in my first year here at York taking English and Professional Writing. I live in Toronto. I am extremely interested in all things writing- anything from blogging, to poetry, to analytical essays. It has always been a compulsion of mine, and in the future I would love to get into journalism. The English and Professional Writing program suits me well due to these interests! I am also a major movie connoisseur of movies and watch them constantly.  The English major in me really comes out, as I love to analyze and decompose films.


Throughout the entire duration of my life I have never shied away from conversation and questions. I love to talk about things I am passionate about and for these reasons, I am ready and excited for our podcast assignment. I am looking forward to utilizing my chatty nature and putting it into a meaningful podcast. I have never ventured into the world of podcasts, but I am looking forward to producing good quality content.


In regards to my commonly used research tactics or shortcuts, I tend to use google scholar or JSTOR. It is easier to find peer reviewed and credible sources on those search engines. Additionally, I find it helpful to use the advanced search and keywords to narrow down the results and find a more precise text.  It can be overwhelming and tedious to read through every search result, but by narrowing it down it helps me get information I am looking for faster.

As for how it may be limiting, I think my lack of research experience is limiting in general. This is a technique I begun using this year, but I feel that there are many more tactics I should try. I hope to discover more efficient research shortcuts throughout this coarse.

Lenna Kapetaneas

Phase One

Week one: introduction

My name is Perry Tam. I turned 18 in July this year and I am currently a first year student at York University and my major is criminology. I study criminology mainly because I want to become a police officer. Although a lot of people tell me that being a police officer does not require a university degree, but i’m somehow also interested in criminology and I think studying criminology would help with my future career. I have 4 siblings, people usually be surprised when they hear this and they would say I have a big family which I don’t disagree. I live in Markham with my mum and 3 other siblings so I would usually commute to York which takes around an hour. In my free time, I usually go to the gym, and play piano sometimes and I also do triathlon, however I’ve never won any races yet.

One thing that interests be about taking this course is because of my poor writing skills. Since high school, I always get bad gradings for my essays because of my writings so I would really like to improve my writing. When I first looked at the course outline, I feel a little surprised because I didn’t expect I will need to do a podcast in this course and I completely have no experience on podcasting. So this might be a good chance for me to learn new things. In this course, I look forward to learn how to write professionally in a more creative way that could catch audience’s interest, also, to get better grades for my papers as my program requires quite a lot of writings.

I think a common way for most undergraduate students including me to use for researching is using google. Then we will use whatever results pop up that seems like match what we are searching. This way of researching is really convenient as it takes less than one second to come up with the results after we have clicked the search button. It also shows a variety of results, you will often see more than one million results about the keywords that you search. However, there are a lot of non-academic sources online and sources that you don’t know where they come from. Some of them may even contain false information.

Again, I really look forward to learn more and improve my writing skills in the course.

Week two: reflection on the nature of opinion

This week’s lecture talked about the opinion and the matter of opinion. For what I’ve learnt, an opinion is a view formed about something that could be proven wrong, and matter of opinion is something that’s based on people’s senses which can’t be proven either way. After learning about the difference between opinion and the matter of opinion, I realized we tend to believe in whatever pops up on the search engine, without proving if it is right or wrong. Even if there’s evidence provided with the claims, evidence could come from the writer’s opinion or actual fact.


   I disagree that all knowledge is just simply a matter of opinion. In definition, knowledge is facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. However, opinions are usually based on a person’s feelings and emotions, which could be biased, when knowledge or facts could be verified and proven by experts. For example, science knowledge like how our bodies work is not just an opinion that we believe in, but was verified and studied by biologists. As well as other scientific knowledge, which was testified and investigated by scientist throughout years. Therefore, we need to be careful when we are learning, identify whether it is just an “opinion” or “knowledge”.

Phase One: Blog Posts Assemble

Blog Summary

In the article “Fanfiction and Alternative Worlds” by Kay Riviera, she talks about how several creators of celebrated forms of media as well as several respected actors and directors such as Johnny Depp or Woody Allen are being shown as committing problematic acts of either sexual misconduct or abuse, yet their forms of media and content are still being celebrated. This creates a sort of double standard in Hollywood that is still being used today. However, Riviera talks about how fanfiction can be used as a way of changing the way things are represented in your favourite works of fiction, and made into the the way they’re “supposed” to be. With the use of fanfiction, people can be more of a participating audience and offer constructive criticism rather than being a passive audience who simply sees the media, comments on it, then leaves.

Week Two

When it comes to writing and reading articles, as well as doing research for work, it can be difficult to differentiate between opinion and fact. In today’s society, the line is so very blurred between the two things thanks to things such as “fake news” or opinionated pieces and viewpoints coming from people high in power, such as the world’s resident orange dictator. But even saying something like that is immediately seen as not as credible as a sourced piece due to the fact that it’s seen more as an opinion. Opinions are like mouths. Everyone has one, and everyone isn’t afraid to use them. But what exactly is opinion, and when does it become a force for good and a force for evil?

Opinions are often seen as a way of people forcing their perspectives into a conversation, showing them off and letting people know where they lie in terms of an argument. However, this negative connotation isn’t always true. Opinion pieces can often be seen as essential pieces of evidence, as well as being the basis for many different educational and political discussions and debates. Without opinions, we wouldn’t even have debates themselves, and many basic human rights would be considered forfeit without these. So, opinions have both pros and cons. Things that would describe them as good or bad. But this still doesn’t answer the question: why do opinions need to exist?

The answer is simple: opinions form the building blocks of most of the world’s way of thinking. Think about how many different viewpoints or perspectives would be ignored in today’s society without opinions. Half of every protest or social rights movement wouldn’t exist, and freedom of speech would be seen as a liability. So in that sense, opinions are good things to have. However, when used incorrectly, such as fear mongering or giving away a message of hate, opinions can be dangerous tools that can bring society crashing down around them. The nature of opinion is that of a double-edged sword, where it can be used for both good and evil.

Week One

For those of you just reading this, I am Mason Choffe, I am 20 years old, I live in Aurora, Ontario, and am currently attending my second year of university. I’m a fan of reading books like Stephen King and classics like 1984 and Lord of the Flies, as well as writing some short digital novels online. When I’m not looking for jobs or working on school stuff, I usually sit at home and play video games, listen to music, or watch movies, which I have an extreme knowledge of.

I know a bit about the course project already since I have entered this course before, and I must admit that I am a bit daunted by it’s scope. The several blog posts such as this one and the fact that I’ve never really made a podcast before. However, I’ve chosen a topic that I’m very interested in, namely fanfiction, which is relevant seeing as how I am a bit of a digital writer myself. Because of this, I am confident that I will be able to do my best and come at it in a new direction from last time.

Many students, including myself, would use shortcuts like Wikipedia sources to gather research from several different sites in order to help with their projects. But, rather than using the actual Wikipedia articles themselves, it would be better if we used the links at the bottom of the page that lead to other websites where the actual article they sourced the information from is located. I think that this can help out students who need it because it can send them to other helpful sites that they can go back to in order to look for more research again, as well as being able to see that Wikipedia doesn’t always have to be used as a primary form of research.

I hope to keep you updated with new developments on my journey through this course once again.

Mason

Phase 1: Introduction

Hi there! 

My name is Sephra Perruzza. I’m 18 and in my first year at York in Professional Writing, but thinking about switching to Social Work.

In my free time I’m usually on Spotify looking for new music, or playing guitar and writing my own music. I’ve been naturally creative, right brained, my whole life, so I write a lot of music, read a lot of poetry, and occasionally try to sketch (I lack talent in that area though). 

I have a huge Italian family, along with the more recent addition of my one year old cockapoo puppy named Cooper. My family is incredibly important to me, and have supported me throughout my entire life, especially when it comes to my passion for writing and music. 

This course interests me because I have always been drawn to more creative writing, such as poetry or short stories, but I like to broaden my horizons and learn more about other ways to write as well. In this course I like the idea of building research skills for the professional writer. I think in today’s society there is so much writing that is essentially just opinion, or isn’t properly researched, and if information is being spread to the impressionable masses, it should at least be accurate. Although I am a bit nervous about the entire course being dependent on one assignment, I’m confident that the phases are designed to keep everyone on the right track and be provided with feedback as we go along to prepare us to produce an exceptional final product that we can be proud of. 

As for my research strategies/skills coming into this course, they could use some work. The one thing that has generally worked for me is the emphasis on finding sources that are peer reviewed, for obvious reasons regarding credibility, but I also really like leaving behind electronic sources and using physical materials. Checking out a book from the library and flipping through pages is a strategy that I definitely believe in, and for me it is less overwhelming than pouring through countless sources online all saying the same thing or a variation of it. 

 I am quite excited for this course, because I think that I will be learning a lot of new skills and as far as I can tell there are a lot of great, motivated people also in the course and together we will all keep each other on track until the final submission and the end of the course. 

 

Thanks for reading :))

PHASE 1: Just the Beginning

Hey everyone!

My name is Alexandra Szczurowski but I prefer to just be called Alx. I am a 19 year old second-year student here at York University majoring in English and Professional Writing. I was born and raised in Toronto and live in the city of Etobicoke a quick 25-minute drive from the heart of Toronto’s downtown area. I absolutely love taking trips to downtown listening to street performances, browsing the thousands of unique boutiques, and commonly just watching the hustle of others through the busy downtown streets. Some of my current interests include cooking and wellness. I find great joy in cooking and baking, making everything for scratch and putting my own little twists and tricks on delicious recipes I find. Wellness has also been a great part of my life, anything consisting of eating healthy, meditation, fitness, and self-care. I love partaking in any sports my favourite having to be swimming as I was a competitive swimmer for 7 years, it taught me dedication, perseverance, and teamwork. I may not swim competitively any more but the qualities I learned from it will stick with me forever, applying them to any work I do today. Lastly one of my most beloved passions has to be fashion. I love keeping up with the latest trends and simply having fun expressing myself through attire.

So far, I am feeling great about our course project! I was extremely taken back when hearing we will be making our own podcast, something I have never done before. When entering this mandatory course, I assumed it was going be a difficult, heavily informed class in which I would not enjoy going too however, I was pleasantly surprised. A podcast sounds like a refreshingly new concept to learn and take on leaving me excited to unfold such new territory.

A research tactic and or shortcut that I believe is commonly used by undergraduate students is using quick and easily accessible search engines such as google. Google is definitely the, ‘go too’ for students as it is easy to use and by far the simplest. Branching out and challenging others as well as myself to use a multitude of sources will not only strengthen our research skills but ultimately result in improved work. Utilizing websites such as google scholar, books from the library, and search engines through York’s library will make us successful students.

 I hope you learned a little about me and I cannot wait to learn a little about you and what more this course has in store for us all!

 

Phase 1 - Introduction

Week 2 - On the Matter of Opinions…

In Week 2, we discussed the differences between Opinion and A Matter of Opinion. Opinion was described in the Week 2 lecture as “A view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.” A Matter of Opinion was described in the Week 2 lecture as “Something not capable of being proven either way (relative).” But what does it mean for something to be relative?  

As demonstrated in Lecture 2, when something is relative, it is based off the subjectivity of a specific person. For example, when we were shown the TED talk video of the presenter and his coloured circles, our thoughts on what circles were similar were relative. Some people thought the orange circles were the same orange, others thought the green were the same, and the rest thought the grey. However, our opinions were based off the relative view we each had. However, if everyone has their own views, what keeps opinions from also being relative?  

From what I understand, while opinions aren’t necessarily based in fact or knowledge, they can be backed up through tangible evidence. As stated in lecture, to say that Starbucks Coffee produces its coffee ethically is opinion, as what is ethical is based off your own subjective views. However, there is still a tangible basis to the opinion, being a person’s ethics, which can be defined and measured. 

To say that Starbucks Coffee is the snootiest coffee is relative as it is based on what that person considers snooty, which can be a broad definition. One person might think Starbucks is snooty and think that Second Cup isn’t, while another person might think the opposite. Though personally, I think Timothy's World Coffee is the snootiest. But nonetheless, whatever coffee shop you prefer is relative because taste in Coffee and branding is difficult to define and sometimes abstract. A person’s ethics, on the other hand, can be thoroughly defined and reasoned. 

This is what I think is what prevents all views from being reduced to simply being A Matter of Opinion, as you can at least attempt to define and seriously back up an opinion, while A Matter of Opinion remains abstract and based off each individual experience. This is not to say that the evidence backing up an Opinion must necessarily be correct, but that’s what makes it an Opinion and not FactOpinion is simply a view that someone has based off of what information they have access to, whether or not it is true or even properly justified. It’s just an Opinion

Week 1 - So, let’s start at the beginning

Hello everyone,

My name is Jonell Ebreo. I’m 18 years old and a first-year Professional Writing student here at York University. So, let’s start at the beginning, on why I wanted to take Professional Writing. Ever since the beginning of my early high school years, I knew I wanted to pursue writing as a career. I know some people may say that I was lucky to be able to figure out what I wanted to do so early, but I have always felt that it put more pressure on me to succeed in that specific choice of career and study. I mean, its not like university already costs tens of thousands of dollars to attend and graduate with about 4 years of rigorous study involving hardship, sweat, and lots of tears, right? But nonetheless, I still love to write and create new concepts and worlds for my stories. Even the technical aspects of writing interest me, which is one of the main reasons for taking Professional Writing over other English courses.

As for my other interests, I used to play an excessive amount of video games. The numbers of hours I put into video games has been significantly reduced due to university assignments, but its probably for the best. On one of my games I’ve accumulated about 731 hours of game time. That’s a whole month of my life, down the drain. Though I still enjoy playing video games when I can, university has thankfully kept me too busy from doing any more stunts like that, lest I want to experience what would basically be scholastic suicide.

Like most Professional Writing students, I’m taking this course because I have to as a part of my course curriculum. However, I’m actually really excited to work on the course project. I have listened to podcasts before and although none of them were as formal as the one we are to prepare for this project, I’m still excited work on this assignment. Moreover, I have also listened to video essays before, which seem more aligned to the formal style of presentation the podcast is meant to be, just without the actual video component. My one worry is that I might get sick of studying a single opinion for 3 months, but I think I can handle that if I get to at least present my thoughts and research through a medium I already enjoy consuming.

In regards to tactics commonly used by undergraduate students trying to look for shortcuts, one that I know of is when students look to their peers for citations. This has happened to me a few times when some of my classmates ask for sources useful to specific assignments. There are a few problems with this. First off, it disincentives research because of how easy it can seem to simply go to a classmate for some spare sources. Second, the person getting the sources might not be able to understand the topic in their own way if they only get sources that have already been funneled through another peer. Third, the person getting the sources might just be getting the spare sources of their classmate, and there is a chance that they might not be very reliable. However, that doesn’t mean that this tactic is unfounded, as studying and researching with peers is still quite useful. But you would still need put a good amount of effort into doing your own research to set yourself apart from your peers and their research.

PHASE 1: INTROSUCTION

Hi everyone!

WEEK 1. INTRO
My name is Victoria Arakelyan, I am 23 and I am from Moscow, Russia. It’s my second year at York, though my last year of studies. I’ve transferred to York Professional Writing program after three years at Humber College Journalism program. By the way, Humber was not my first school either – I got there after two years at a university in Moscow, where I’ve been studying English teaching. So, at York I’ve finally found what I’ve been looking for, and I’m incredibly happy with what I am doing today.Apart from studies, I’m working as a freelance journalist and a PR-manager at one of the niche beauty boutiques and Moscow.

As for my interests – I love art in the multitude of its forms. I love films (mostly arthouse), music (from proto-punk and surf-rock to dark ambient and baelaric beat), and good literature (my current favourite book – Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee). I am not very much into sports and, to be perfectly honest, the time that I spend on my couch is beyond justifiable. However, my husband is into all kinds of board sports, so I do occasionally ride my longboard or attempt surfing.

When I enrolled in that course, I was honestly not very excited – I’ve had a research course before, so I though that this is just going to be a lot of stuff that I already know. However, I was very surprised when I checked the syllabus and saw the word “podcast“. It was at the same time excitingly refreshing and way beyond by comfort zone. I’ve had radio course at my Journalism program and truly hated it, so I was not sure how to feel about this course. After the lecture, where I learned that we will be able to chose the topic and we don’t have to conduct interviews, I was really relieved. Actually, I became very enthusiastic about the class, and I am really looking forward to seeing what I will be able to create.

Talking about common research tactics, I believe that many students (and not only students) tend to only look for information that they agree with; information that confirms what they’ve already been thinking. I personally also often fall into that trap, as it seems the most natural thing to do – find sources that resonate with you, and omit those that challenge your point of view. That tactic is extremely limiting, as the truth can be found only in dialogue, in the exchange of views that are not necessarily opposing, but at least different; coming from different perspectives. For this project, my aim is to look into the variety of sources so that my final work will end up being multi-dimensional and solid.

WEEK 2. OPINION

Today, when we face the issue of informational oversaturation, the ability to effectively differentiate between facts and opinions is becoming increasingly important. While sometimes it is just the matter of being well or ill-informed on certain issues, other times it might be a matter of life and death.
People often think that virtually all statements are just opinions – some are better supported with evidence, some worse, but all of them are somewhat equal in their essence. I personally believe that such cognitive bias might be dangerous, because it provides a certain level of credibility even to the statements that are utterly wrong.
For an instance, there are established medical facts about cancer. Cancer exists. Cancer can be treated (depending on the type) with chemo/radio/immuno-therapy. There are certain lifestyle choices that can minimize the risk of cancer, but there are no lifestyle choices that we know of that can cure the existing cancer. All of these are facts have solid evidence supporting them; a massive body of research, clinical cases etc. One can find plenty of randomized double blind placebo-controlled studies that confirm the effects of treatment. There will also be multitude of supplemental research articles supporting these results, coming from different people whose credibility can be checked.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are people who claim that cancer can be cured by means of spinach smoothie consumption. There are even whole books written on that matter, and many people believe that if an opinion is presented in a form of an actual printed book, that ultimately makes this opinion a fact. For people who are not very concerned about evaluating the quality of information, the form in which information is presented is often the sole basis for considering information as “serious“ and credible. If there is a BOOK about it, of course it must be a well-researched fact, and if somebody says that this is not true – well, that’s just their opinion.

But in reality, what sounds like an opinion – “this book is wrong“, in that particular situation would be an established and well-supported fact, versus the 250+ pages of “sciency” book consisting exclusively of manipulation, false interpretation and wishful thinking.

PHASE ONE - JUST THE BEGINNING

Hello everybody,

My name is Sherieka Thomas. I am an 18 year old, currently residing in Toronto, Ontario. I am in my First year of university, studying to become an elementary school teacher. Many people would never imagine working with children because they are seen as a “handful,” However, I always loved being around children because they lift my spirit and keep me busy. From when I was a little girl until now, I have always known that teaching was my passion. I would always use my white board to teach my stuffed animals the material I had learned in class that day.

My favorite things to do outside of school are go to the movies, go out to eat, hang out with friends and watch YouTube videos. In my opinion, hanging out with friends is something you should do frequently especially when you are stressed out about school, work, or whatever else is going on in your life. Majority of the times just being around the people you love can often help take your mind off of the things that are bothering you. It has helped me a lot and I am positive it will help you too.  

I have chosen to taken this course because I believe this course will help me improve my writing skills. Writing has always been something I struggled with all my life. I have always had difficulties with finding valid information and doing proper research. My goals for this class are to not only get good grades, but also be able to learn something new.

In regards to the course project, I am excited, yet nervous. I am excited because in all my years of living I had only listened to a podcast once, and that was in grade 12. It will be a fun experience to get to make a podcast of my own. I love trying new things and i am excited to show everyone I know what I have created. I am nervous because I do not like the idea of recording my voice and listening to it, and I do not know how people will feel about my podcast.

One research tactic I believe is commonly used by undergraduate students is google. Google is the most convenient source for conducting research because it contains all types of information. For example if you were to type in “How to get rid of a pimple” on google, you would get about 20 different websites giving you hundreds of ways you can remove a pimple. Although google has all the information you need to conduct proper research, and may be seen as helpful, this tactic can also be limiting. It is limited because some of the information provided on google is not always accurate. Majority of the time people will look at websites and not really look to see if the information that is being given is accurate and updated. They usually would just see information relating to the topic they searched, and assume it is good information being given. This becomes a problem because it is likely that you are writing down false information.

Overall, I do not know what is in store for this course, however, I am ready to do my best.


Phase One: To Give You An Introduction....

Hello Everyone,

My name is Walter Pelaez, I am 18, and am a first year student at the university and I major in history. What brought me into history in the first place comes from my childhood passion in that field of study. Studying the way past events unfolded and the people that were a part of them, in a way, brings the past alive for me. I can learn so much from the past mistakes and successes that the world endured in the centuries and even millennia before my birth, the lessons I learned from studying history has really shaped a part of my character. Besides history, I am huge on video games . I have owned all of the playstation consoles and I am a little proud about it, I even wanted to start my own YouTube channel at one point but that idea died because I got busy with other matters.

Now on the topic of this course, this course was not an easy decision for me back when I was setting up my course timetable. I was skeptical because I didn’t really know what I could get out of a “research” course, however, I soon changed my mind because I realized that this course could prove beneficial to improving my academic skills. The first day in lecture almost sold me completely on the course but, I was still feeling uneasy because this is my first and only half year course and I had already befriended others in my full-year courses. so I felt like a complete stranger. Fortunatley, the tutorial completely soothed my concerns as it was a pretty fun environment . Looking forward, I am definitely excited for the podcast component of this course because it sounds like an absolute great time to put together, these blogs also are pretty interesting to create so that’s another benefit in this course.

Lastly, there is the subject of research tactics. One common thing I saw in high school surprisingly is that people repeatedly fell on to Wikipedia for research purposes. Don’t get me wrong, I love the website as it is full of information and I scroll through it sometimes to read about history, and their historical content is astronomical. The ultimate folly of the website in the end is that there is no credible author on these posts for the most part, some people could just be going off of information they got from non-credible sources. With this is mind, many of my teachers in Secondary school rejected many papers that listed Wikipedia as a source repeatedly as it is simply unreliable. I will say though that the website is not all bad, on each Wikipedia post it should let you know where their sources are coming from so you can go directly to those sources and use them if they are credible . If the sources are not valid than that is unfortunate, but if they are valid than take research from that specific source and use it on whatever project that you may be working on. I have done the before myself and it worked out pretty well for me , all I had to do was go the extra mile to retrieve those sources.

Overall, I am definitely intrigued in this course and am hopeful to get to know the rest of you.

From Walter Pelaez

PHASE ONE: Beginning

20180828_174124.jpg

Gus on his first birthday (I had to include a visual, too cute not to post)

Blog Post 1

Hi all, my name is Natalia, I am an English and Professional Writing major. I switched my major from Visual Arts and Art History, as I prefer to keep art as a hobby rather than a full-time career. I was a dancer for 10 years studying both ballet and contemporary dance forms. I have now moved on to horseback riding which I greatly enjoy (even though it’s draining my wallet). I pride myself in being extremely self-sufficient and am stubborn at times to accept help when needed. I have the most adorable dachshund named Gus who has still retained his puppy face at 1.5 years old.

I am intrigued by the structure of the course and I am interested in seeing how everything will unfold. This course is definitely an anomaly, however, the new experience of creating/writing/editing podcasts and blog posts will be a fun new challenge. I am somewhat nervous to begin work on an assignment I have never done before -podcasts-, but I am confident that Stephanie will be prepared to lead us through this new territory.

Thus far, I have used the strategies of using multiple scholarly search engines rather than just one; broadening my search terms in order to have many more entries; narrowing searches so as to have one single entry; going to the York University library; and using the bibliography from other works in order to find new works that focus on the same arguments. In future, I need to create a hypothesis for myself, as well as ask specific questions before my searches, in order to find texts that match or oppose my argument. A good place to start for future searches would be to use various search engines, as well as search engines that are available through the York library website. To help further my research I can also use the OED to understand any written works.

Overall, I am hopeful and ready to begin this new and exciting course.

-Natalia

Blog Post 2: A Matter of Opinion

The “opinion” appears to have a more complicated definition than I initially thought. I was always told that an opinion is not fact. However, after Wednesday’s lecture, that no longer appears to be absolutely true. An opinion can be based on fact or knowledge, but a matter of opinion is not a fact -it cannot be proven to be right or wrong.

Is it possible to state that all knowledge is just a matter of opinion? The answer is “perhaps” or “it depends.” This is because all knowledge is discovered by humans one way or another. In that case, as per the examples, one person might describe ice as extremely cold, while another person might describe ice to be burning. As such, all knowledge can be criticized in this way. Even an article in a newspaper of real-life events or historical events described by someone’s journals from the 1800s are from that one person’s perspective. Therefore, all knowledge can be considered a matter of opinion.

On the other hand, concrete facts such as sun producing heat or light are absolute facts. How much heat or light the sun produces are a matter of opinion. Even a thermometer is based on how one or a group of people decided to measure heat. Consequently, knowledge can be considered a matter of opinion. It all depends on what is being said and how it is being said. In turn, this relates to how I will go about my research. All articles and journals are written by someone with a bias. What I need to do is analyze my research critically to separate the matter of opinion from the facts.

-Natalia


Phase One

Hello everyone!

I am Kate Lawrence; an 18 year old from Winnipeg, Manitoba! My interests include dance, modelling, and pageantry. I am the current Miss Teenage Canada, and Miss Teen Supermodel.

Another interest I have is travel. I had the opportunity to travel to Curacao as Miss Teenage Canada this past November, to learn more about water and conservation. I have had the privilege to travel all across Canada (even up North to Nunavut.) I enjoy travel because I always learn new things about different cultures, as well as history.

I also love poetry. My favourite poet is Rupi Kaur, famous for her collections called “Milk and Honey” and “The Sun and her Flowers.” I love poetry because in a short phrase it can make you feel something, and you can always leave it and come back to it.

I am feeling super excited yet nervous for this course as I am still very new to university, and on the younger side of the age average of students enrolled. That being said I am ready to work hard and learn lots. I believe all students should be learning different research techniques and challenging themselves to put that edge on their work.

A shortcut research tactic would simply be searching up something on google. It is most often the first place people go, just by picking up the cellphone your there. To follow this people will look at the first site that comes up in the search results. Of course google is helpful and a great shortcut to rummaging through shelves of books, but this is often where people stop when gathering information. Googling something is easy, and it is always right at your fingertips, but the research shouldn’t stop here. There is a whole other world of information out there beyond google, in forms such as print and books.

In conclusion, I am eager to learn more and continue to develop my research skills! Bye for now!

xox Kate

What is opinion? What is fact? How can you tell the difference between the two? 


An opinion is a view or judgement of something, not necessarily based on fact. Fact on the other hand is something that has been proven, and is widely accepted. A matter of opinion can not be proven, it is simply just ones idea. For something to be fact it needs to be justified and proven. An example of an opinion its that Starbucks has the best coffee. This is an opinion as it can not be proven (because everyone knows second cup has the best coffee…) which is also an opinion that keeps the coffee wars going forever. 


BLOG 2

A fact becomes a fact through evidence. The more evidence and proof that can back up a statement the more it will be accepted. You need to justify true belief. A belief is accepting something to be true, usually with little to no evidence. To make something accepted as fact by a wide range of people you must justify the belief. 

For example some people believe the word is flat while others believe the world is round. You can justify that the world is round through the science and satellite photos, while the earth being flat can not be justified, except for people making up conspiracies, so do not be fooled by people posting conspiracy threads on twitter y’all. If you can provide evidence, and prove that evidence is based in reality, then an opinion becomes a fact, often there must be science to backup a statement. 


While researching to tell the difference between a fact and opinion look for the use of “I” as that will indicate someones opinion. Also look for evidence and sources to back it up. Be careful and do your research! 


Until next Friday! 

With love, Kate

Xoxo<3 




PHASE 1- Just the Beginning...

The Huffington Post’s article on the film Black Panther sheds light onto the amounts of social and cultural impact it brought to many people around the world. Shanita Hubbard, the Guest writer of the article, speaks on the global movement of the single word ‘Wakanda’ and how just that word alone, holds so much power for the black community. She discusses how being a black woman, in a way made her feel voiceless. This film changed that. She says, “Coogler brilliantly helped convey the powerful message that we didn’t need any more stories about  “white saviors.” Both native Africans and Black Americans are, in fact, our own saviors. We are our own superheroes.” Black Panther was a conversation starter and is still do this day. The article praises the film for breaking out of the traditional Hollywood standards for filmmaking and taking a risk in the midst of the TimesUp and HeforShe periods.

The article is clearly an opinion piece, as the writer makes personal connections to how she feels the film has liberated her people and made them feel strong. Her main argument in this piece is centered when she concludes with, “Wakanda may not be real, but this year, it became a place to have some very real conversations about the wounds still felt by the impact of the slavery in our past and racism of our present day.” The article does not simply celebrate the film’s success, it delves deeper into the roots of the native African culture and how groundbreaking it is to show diversity in a big budget film such as this.

The article has the potential to entertain nerds such as I on the film itself, and how that film has transcended into a global movement. It also has to makings of another discussion on how Hollywood is slowly moving out of its exclusive box and into an inclusive one filled with different people of different cultures. It is in this podcast that I will discuss Hollywood and Black Panther’s movement using other articles such as Variety’s Despite Dollars in Diversity, Hollywood Still Averse to Making Inclusive Films, which talks about the shift after Oprah’s speech on female empowerment and diversity in moviemaking. I will also use Forbes Box Office: 'Black Panther' Should Terrify Every Hollywood Studio, which expresses how other traditional “whitewashing” films are of low interest after the release of Marvel’s mightiest project. Lastly, I will also look at Time’s The Revolutionary Power Of Black Panther, which discusses the film as a revolution and a stand up against prejudice and discrimination. All these concerns and topics will be more than enough to grab my listeners and embark them on a journey that will leave them feeling liberated and ready for change.


References

http://time.com/black-panther/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-black-panther-most-important-2018_us_5c1c0812e4b0407e9078c5e1

https://www.eonline.com/ca/news/997810/forever-21-apologizes-for-dressing-a-white-model-in-a-black-panther-sweater

https://variety.com/2017/film/news/diversity-box-office-winners-hollywood-1202603438/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2018/03/20/box-office-black-panther-has-become-hollywoods-worst-nightmare/


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An “opinion,” in my opinion, is when someone states an idea based off of their own experiences and education without knowing confidently whether or not their statement is accurate. The nature of opinion stems from multiple theories/concepts coming from people that lead to a person’s own development of such an idea. However, opinions can lead away from just hypothesis and thesis found in schools, it can be dangerous when discussing serious matters such as politics, real-world issues (ex: #TimesUp movement), and criminal laws. Opinions are mostly based on emotions, and when emotions begin to control our words, people can say either the most influential or stupidest things. For instance, Trump claiming that he has never said that if he wasn’t his daughter's father, he would want to date/marry her- even though fact checkers proved that he, in fact, said it.

Matter of opinions is not the same as being knowledgeable or having knowledge. Rather, I believe that matter of opinions involve the person’s own experiences, feelings, and life lessons. Yet, this does not mean that their opinions should not be credible, this simply means that there is a difference between what a person knows to be in fact true, and what that person believes to be the truth. Therefore, I believe that it is simply impossible that all knowledge is a matter of opinion when opinions are not the real truth to someone’s accusation/declaration.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hello! My name is Jessica, and one thing you should know about me is that I am a huge movie lover. Ever since I could remember, my mom would have me watch black and white films like Casablanca, Jane Eyre, Rebecca, Psycho, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, A Shop Around the Corner, and so on. I grew up believing I lived in a colorless world because of these films! I loved them, and as I grew older, I became to appreciate them more for their style, meaning, characters, and script.  This was the beginning of my lifelong passion to become a professional actress and screenwriter.

I feel intrigued by the course demands, as well as excited yet nervous to learn how to produce and publish a podcast. Through my theatre background/education, I was taught to edit and create short films and put together my own score (background music) using sound apps. Now that this course asks us to use our own voices to give an opinion on a topic, I am interested to see how my previous knowledge can benefit me, including on what new tools I can take through each new lecture/ lesson. I believe I will find myself nervous during this assignment because of the fact that I am a perfectionist and want my podcast to be the best it can be. Likewise, I don’t like the sound of my own voice, which will make me even more nervous.

As a student, I use JSTOR to properly do research on my chosen topics, whatever they may be. I first started using JSTOR due to the fact that my professor at the time, didn't want us to use anything else but that. So, after that course concluded, I just began using JSTOR as my premium outlet to locate, and find research. This is helpful to me because I already know that all of my sources are valid, and are not questionable unless they do not relate to my given argument. It makes my time to do research not as long as one would think since I use one outlet (JSTOR) to discover thousands of articles, books, newspaper clippings, statements, etc.

Instructions

Hi all!

To keep things simple, we are creating and updating THREE blog posts each.

  1. The first blog post, titled PHASE ONE, will contain entries from weeks 1 through 4.

  2. The second blog post, titled PHASE TWO, will contain entries from weeks 5 through 8.

  3. The third blog post, titled PHASE THREE, will contain entries from weeks 9 through 12.

You’ll use headers to separate weekly entries as you edit & update the blog posts you’re working on.

Note that this assignment is worth a hefty amount of your course grade. Treat each blog post seriously. While your tone can stray from formal here and there, your posts should be thoughtful, well researched, and carefully considered.

While your TA will be checking for weekly blog post completion, they will be grading for substance after each blog is complete (week 4, week 8, week 12).

Formatting instructions, the schedule of prompts, and assessment information is available here.

Dr Bell

Dr. Bell is the Director of York University's Writing Centre and a professor in the Writing Department's Professional Writing degree program. She spends her time devising ways of using critical pedagogy to support students' understanding of and commitment to academic and professional integrity. The podcast course is a result (and continuation) of one such experiment.