PHASE ONE - week two

When giving an opinion towards something, it is ultimately personal. It has bias, and as much as you would like to make it factual, it is not. When going through things in life, viewing situations and living through them, it is hard to develop an unbiased opinion on a particular circumstance.

While watching the YouTube videos, I gathered that an opinion can never be proven to be true but a fact can be. That is what makes opinions, well, opinions, and facts, facts. An opinion may have supporting evidence because of the experience, but without solid proof there is no fact in opinion because it is a belief.

In terms of writing a thesis statement, to use an opinion would indefinitely weaken an argument because it is subjective and involves emotions and personal bias. Whereas using facts strengthens an argument because it is already proven true.

-Marie-France Leger

Phase One

Entry Two:

This weeks lecture on “facts” sparked my interest greatly. I have always been wary of the information I see on all media outlets including social media and television. I know that a lot of the information goes through a specific bias of our society and almost always are half truths- showing only what they want us to see. As we discussed in lecture, facts are seen as educated opinions. The more research and supporting arguments one has for their opinion on something, the better versed they are to defend their opinion against others who have a different view on the matter. Nothing can be said for certain, but opinions backed by relevant research are going to be taken more seriously.

Reading the philosophical article linked in the slides, I do not believe there is certainty in this world because anyone can argue against anything with the right evidence. We may believe that an apple is in fact an apple however, someone can come along with lots of evidence against an apple being an apple and could possibly sway some individuals their way. People choose to believe what they want, regardless of specific details against their belief.

It is all a matter of opinion.

Entry One:

Hello my name is Braden Townend and I am a Professional Writing student at York. I have always loved writing, specifically more on the creative writing side such as poetry and I have even written my own book which is set to be published late April this year.

This class gives me a completely new look on how I view research and different pieces of writing that I have never done before. The way the class is set up (Podcast/blog style) also intrigues me as it is a unique way to learn and allows you to step out of your comfort zone and expand your technological knowledge and ability.

When I research, regardless if the piece is seen as scholarly or reliable, I always double check the information they have given with other sources. This helps me be sure about what I am researching as well as hearing another voice on the topic. It also serves well if you want to use the other source as a counter argument if it turns out the information provided is different.

Phase One

Entry Two:

While watching the two youtube videos, I kept thinking that opinions were getting a lot of hate for no good reason. Yes, they can be used to alter news appearances and spread falsities, but opinions aren’t inherently bad. Specifically when it was said that an opinion will weaken your thesis statement. That seems a little rudimentary to me, as a complex paper would be able to back a thesis up with facts as well as strengthening the message through opinion. Above all I was thinking that opinions can be strong, backed up with personal experience, and relevant to a topic. They can also be misinformed and dangerous. In short, there are a lot of different levels as far as the liability behind an opinion goes.

The blog post on philosophy more or less hit the nail on the head for me. There are some opinions worth talking about. It got me thinking - how much of our “knowledge” wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for opinion over hard fact? Philosophy is a good example, and would essentially be non-existant. But beyond that? Politics, art, literature, debate, and more would all be meaningless. Even scientific progress would halt in it’s tracks, because we need outlandish opinions to keep us looking for new facts to back them up, or to prove them wrong. Facts wouldn’t be known without opinions in the first place.

I just found it really interesting to think about the relationship between the two. In reality, opinion and fact are hopelessly intertwined, which is why it’s so difficult for researchers to weed out the hard truth. Everything passes through filters before being said, and an opinion is inserted into a fact’s delivery more often than it isn’t.

Entry One:

Hi, my name is Meagan Loose and I’m a professional writing student. I transferred from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, so technically I’m a third year student. I started at York last September.

I had to switch most of my classes after the first week of classes, so I’m new to the course and missed the first day. But from what I’ve gathered it looks like it’s going to be an interesting and helpful class. I’ve never made a podcast before, or really anything digital at all. So it’ll be a learning experience for sure, but I’m looking forward to it.

A research tip I usually use is fairly basic. When researching key terms to find good secondary sources, I know some people try to use Google, which is crazy. I just search specifically on the school library website, with the filter set to analyzing essays or academic papers. You can also add a maximum length, which is good for avoiding thesis papers of 100 pages. Although this shortens the search, it isn’t flawless as I still have to weed through a lot of papers to find one that works. I’m hoping this class allows me to be a more efficient researcher in the future.

Phase One

Week 1

Hello, my name is Syed Abidi I am a second year Sociology student. I enjoy reading news articles and opinion pieces about different issues that are relevant social issues in today’s day. I appreciate those who speak up and write up issues that are not discussed in mainstream media, such as social injustice against certain minorities, racial immigration injustices, and the overall political scene in countries going through turmoil. Also, I enjoy articles about sports and in-depth analyses about various sport topics. I am very excited about the course project, as I enjoy listening to many different podcasts such as Deconstructed on the Intercept, Pardon My Take, Ear Biscuits, and the Joe Rogan Experience. The project for the course thus gives me an opportunity to dive into the podcast experience to share my voice and opinion to share my thoughts on a specific topic. 

One research tactic that I believe undergraduate students use is various online search engines such as Google Scholar, Google. These search engines are easy to access and convenient to use. I believe the Google Scholar tactic for example is helpful because it provides articles that are from credible and trust able sources, there are various journal articles and scholarly articles that can be used for the individual tasks. One hindrance that I believe that would arise is that when using Google as a search tactic there is many articles that cannot be verified for authenticity and credibility, one cannot truly tell if certain information they find on a specific topic can aid them in their research. Compared to platforms that original articles and information that you are looking for.

Phase One

Week One

Hi all! My name is Brianna, but I prefer to go by Bri. I'm a 20 year old Sagittarius, I was born and raised in BC, and I've been living in Ontario for almost 3 years now.

A few of my favourite things are: cooking and baking, gardening, drawing and painting, most movies, reading, and writing horror and poetry.

Panic! At the Disco could honestly be the soundtrack of my life with how much I listen to them.

I'm excited for this project. I love to explore new creative outlets and try new things.

I think one major shortcut that a lot of undergrads use would be only using one site, especially when looking for scholarly studies. While using a single site may be more convenient, it also may not give the breadth that it is possible to found by using two or three different research locations.

Week Two

Our question this week is whether everything can simply be called a matter of opinion. Personally, I have heard a lot of ridiculous opinions in my life, and as such, I have realized that there is a precise difference between opinions and facts. Due to this, I do not believe that everything is simply a matter of opinion.

While everyone has opinions on everything, facts still exist, even though the perceptions of said facts may be relative.

Brianna Thomson

Phase One

WEEK 2 - Opinion-Based Facts

There is no opinion without fact. There is no opinion without logic (or lack thereof). The idea of all knowledge being a matter of opinion becomes null when you consider something like math, for example. There is no opinion when it comes to basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. One could argue that numbers are imaginary, created by humans to help describe fundamental aspects of life, but that argument falls short by understanding that, although we have created numbers, they have become fact in our lives, and we cannot throw away this knowledge on the basis of false creation. Opinion is not involved in the knowledge of addition, subtraction, etc. It is not involved when calculating the speed of light, or the force of a car crash.

If fact is not present, knowledge is often based in logic. Understanding the way the world works creates facts. It is not an opinion the geese fly south for the winter, merely a logical fact based off observations of their flight patterns and behavior. Knowledge based on basic knowledge, or fact is not an opinion. But when knowledge goes against conventional logic or common fact, it can be opinion.

Many philosophical ideas, for example, generate their own ideas about the world, and have no basis in accepted knowledge. This could be considered knowledge, but only to those who choose to believe this unconventional idea. In this case, knowledge is based on opinion, because there is no fact or logic to provide evidence for these obscure theories. Some knowledge is based on opinion, but only knowledge that is purely unconventional, without evidence from logic, or fact.

WEEK 1 - Introduction

Hi, I’m Ethan. Nice smile. Really nice smile… I’m also excited for the project, and want to create a podcast that people will want to listen to. I hope Dr. Bell’s friends enjoy hearing me talk as much as I do. I hope to find a new revelation while pursuing a meaningful discussion of one of the opinion pieces, and cannot wait to begin production

A research tactic that I’ve found particularly helpful has been to utilize the library’s research guides. Select your topic, and find a drop down menu filled with targeted scholarly research portals, specifically made to contain papers and research for the topic you are looking for. The research guides are especially helpful when you are searching for research regarding topics that are specific rather than general - it is possible to target your research down to a particular niche easily.

PHASE ONE

Week One

Hi! My name is Amanda Naoum and I’m a first year in Professional Writing. During my free time on a typical day—or, let’s be real… when I’m trying to avoid doing my school work—you can find me playing guitar, listening to music (usually anything by Taylor Swift) or watching Netflix. I also enjoy going to the movies so much that I call it my second home. I’ll try not to sound so vain, but you should know I’m also a really great artist and I love showing off my work. Honestly, I’m not too crazy about the project because I don’t really listen to podcasts, nor do I like the sound of my recorded voice, but I’m hoping I’ll open up to it more once I start working on it.

I think Google is heavily used by so many students because it’s so efficient and easy. With a dash of your fingers across the keyboard and a tap of the enter button, you can generate thousands of results in a fraction of a second. Probably even faster than it took you to read that last sentence. However, Google might not always be the best strategy because it can be very difficult to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources. It is also difficult to find proper academic and professional sources.

Week Two

Distinguishing between fact and opinion can make a significant difference when trying to find reputable sources. After attending the lecture and later analyzing the three resources provided to us, I learned that opinions are subjective, can differ from person to person, and are not supported with evidence. They may also stem from strong emotions which means they are biased and cannot be verified. Contrarily, facts are pieces of information that are proven by experts, supported by proper evidence, and can be verified.

In one of the videos, it is mentioned that some people get tricked into believing that opinions are facts because of how they are presented. Although it is a good strategy, it is important to note that it is not very reliable. Persuasive opinions can be misleading and difficult to separate from actual facts, making it challenging to find credible sources. Opinions can be harmless in regular conversation, but when it comes to more serious, professional topics, mere uneducated opinions do not do much justice in proving something.

I do not think it is possible to assert that all knowledge is simply a matter of opinion because some things are studied by experts and proven with collected data; these things are facts because they can be verified. They may be a form of opinion--expert opinions--though they are much more reliable than the opinion of a random, uninformed or ignorant person.

Phase one

Week two: Crunch time, lets go!

Opinions, in my opinion, is something that is a part of our daily lives, but something that has become somewhat of a controversy nowadays. For example, if you believe children should be vaccinated, there is a group of people out there who will move mountains to try to prove you wrong, even when it's not a right or wrong thing, it's just an opinion. I believe however this is the difference between fact an opinion. I believe facts have to be a statement that has scientific merit and proof backing it up, such as the fact that the earth is round. Opinions such as I think children should be vaccinated are an opinion. Although vaccines have been proven to have more benefits than drawbacks, it is your opinion to decide whether to vaccinate you or your child, while facts have to be grounded in reality and have the support of a certain science or evidence.

Lindsay

Phase One

Week One

Hi, I’m Krystal Abrigo, and welcome to my crib. I’m a first year in the ENPR program. My music taste is quite diverse, and can range from musical theatre, to Tchaikovsky, to Childish Gambino, to Fall Out Boy, to just about any other kind of music out there (even country, thanks to drag queens). I also love cooking, admiring dogs, and travelling. I feel excited about the course project, since I do listen to a fair share of comedy podcasts. My favourites include My Brother My Brother and Me, and Tiny Meat Gang. I also have a lot of opinions, so podcasting will serve as a great outlet for that.

As an undergraduate student, I can confirm that at times we can become lazy imbeciles when it comes to research; thus, we revert to Google! The Internet is extremely accessible, and we can find information faster than ever before from the tips of our fingertips. Despite this, we must stay cautious and learn to differentiate between fact and fiction when surfing online - not everything is to be believed on the Internet. Check your sources, make sure they are reputable, and properly inform yourself on whatever subject it is you are researching.

Week Two

The professor says that knowledge is an informed, evidence-based opinion; in other words, justified true belief. To answer if knowledge is simply a matter of opinion, one would need to consider the nature of opinion itself.

Regardless of how one looks at it, opinions are ultimately personal and hold bias - even with an attempt to stay neutral about a subject, any single individual will always have multitudes of confirmation biases, whether one wants to admit it or not. In spite of this, watching the two YouTube videos angered me to an extent (perhaps because they were oversimplifying a subject that is ultimately subjective and hard to confine). In a sense, they were invalidating the necessity for opinions. While they can be used to spread falsities, they are not inherently bad; relevant opinions can be used to support arguments and strengthen a message. There are many things to consider when discussing this topic.

The philosophical article intrigued me, as it was able to accurately summarize the nature of opinion from several different angles. Some opinions are total garbage (cough, Donald Trump), but others are worth talking about. Opinions hold power and play a large role with the influence of people and their beliefs. Moreover, without opinions, ideas would not be born. Knowledge could potentially cease to exist without a matter of opinion. The difference between opinion and knowledge is that one can be uttered with no meaning while the other holds more substance. In other words, knowledge can be “proven” while varying opinions can hold levels of significance.

Since everything is practically relative, then nothing holds true meaning. I know this is a pessimistic and potentially nihilistic approach to this debate, but it’s a viewpoint that one needs to consider. I’m getting off-track. This is complicated and overwhelming.

In short; some opinions suck, but we shouldn’t completely disregard them.

Phase One

Hi everyone!

My name is Srdjan Soso. I’m a first year student in the Professional Writing program. My interests outside of school consist of sports, video games, and krav maga. The podcasting aspect of the course is new to me but I am a regular listener of podcasts, and I’ve wanted to start my own for some time now. Some of my favourite podcasts are ‘Crimetown’, ‘Heist Club’, ‘Gone’, ‘Caliphate’, and ‘Serial Killers’.

While the internet is a good place to find information, and is easily accessible, you need to find information from various sources to distinguish facts from  misinformation. When researching a new topic, it’s important to exercise due diligence by fact-checking and collaborating the information with other sources. A common and concerning trend I see with social media is people only read the title or just skim through the article without further investigating. This results in people being misinformed.

Week 2

After reviewing the resources provided through the Moodle site as well as reflecting on my lecture notes, I do not believe that all knowledge is simply a matter of opinion. From what I gather, opinions, which are usually related to one’s emotions, feelings, or beliefs, cannot be proven and are inherently biased. This can cause readers to be misinformed based on the authors personal reflections in any given article.

A fact on the other hand can be verified through multiple sources and is accepted by majority of people. Factual information is usually written without using personal pronouns, but even this is not a universal law. A fact based article should examine both arguments for and against the subject at hand. Counter arguments can help provide validity because it engages the reader to consider both aspects to the information provided.

I would also like to emphasize from the YouTube video provided, ‘How to Identify Fact vs. Opinion in Writing & Research’, that every tidbit of information provided by an author should be closely examined, fact checked and questioned. Along with that, the author themselves should also be closely examined by the reader so that a better understanding can be achieved as to what their goals or intentions are in writing the article.

Phase One

Hi everyone,

My name is Shukri Hussein, I am doing a major in English and Professional Writing. I am transfer student from George Brown College so technically I am in my second year. In my free time I enjoy to read and watch tv shows. What I feel about this course is nervousness, I have never had to make a podcast before. I’m nervous about hitting the twenty-minute mark especially since its on my own and editing might be an issue.

A good research tactic is checking out libraries, the internet, talking to friends and Google scholar. Using a reliable source like Google scholar can be helpful because it takes out all the cluttered and non-peer reviewed opinions out. A shortcut could be somebody just choosing Wikipedia or whatever is the first link on Google, this shortcut is limiting because it hasn’t been peer reviewed so anyone could have wrote it and it not be reliable or accurate.

 

After watching both of the Youtube videos and reading the article, it broke down the definition of an opinion. Opinions are a judgement formed about something (OED) and are subjective but with facts are verified by experts by now understanding both of these words it is easier to identify when an article or a piece of writing is opinion based or knowledge with actual facts that could be backed up. In the Youtube video How to identify fact vs opinion it really breaks it down. Even though someone can make it sound knowledgeable and persuasive it can still be subjective because they might be biased and feel strongly about that piece to do so.  

Phase 1

WEEK 1

Hello, my name is Kevin Silva and i’m a first year in English and professional writing. My interest outside of school are manly playing soccer with friends and watching my favorite team arsenal, even if it requires me to wake up early AF. The whole podcast thing is new to me but i’m looking forward to learning the ins and outs of producing one. When it comes to research i find that YouTube is helpful because it will provide you with the pov of different people which can lead to you getting more ideas on the subject you are doing research on.

PHASE ONE

Hello, everyone! My name is Lotanna Ifeobu. I am 18 and a first year student at York University, Toronto. I am in the Professional Writing program and hope to become a renowned journalist someday. I would describe myself as introverted and reclusive, so I tend to spend most of my time overthinking, creating art and organizing my space. I sing, play instruments, paint, write poetry and clean a lot. I am also a fitness enthusiast. 

As I mentioned earlier, I am introverted and awkward so I am a bit anxious about this podcast project. I am also excited but mostly nervous because this is really outside my comfort zone. On a more positive note, I am glad I get to learn how to conduct in-depth research and go through a creative process. 

I usually do research by entering keywords into the Google search engine and looking through the results. This is convenient for me because the internet is accessible, easy to navigate and has lots of information. However, it requires thorough vetting because a lot of random people put out their ignorant opinions on a given subject and manage to present them as informed opinions. So it is pretty easy to accept a false belief as an accurate one.

At the same time, there are very good and reliable sources of information on the internet, such as academic articles, which are peer-reviewed. So, going through available sources diligently and questioning their authenticity is very important for good research.

An opinion is a view formed about something not necessarily based on facts or knowledge. A lot of opinions are usually formed through social influence. As previously mentioned, opinions are not always factual and could actually be wrong.

Some may argue that all knowledge is simply a matter of opinion and not objectively right or wrong. This is a problematic take because it implies that any and everybody’s opinion on any and everything in the universe is correct, which is simply not true. One of the articles recommended in the Course Syllabus shows how ridiculous this perspective is by comparing the opinion of a doctor for a cancer treatment to that of a five year old. Who is more likely to know what they are talking about?

We need to use facts whenever we can to determine how true or false some beliefs are. For example, a person’s opinion could be that Nigeria is poor. This is not a matter of relativism because from looking at the statistics and comparing with other countries, we can tell that Nigeria is indeed a poor country. The average GDP per capita of the world is US$17,000, while that of Nigeria is US$5400.

There are various methods to confirm if knowledge is true or false, and simply saying that everything is relative is lazy. Our duty is to thoroughly educate ourselves on the topics we want to speak about, to make sure our opinions are as accurate as possible, because wrong opinions definitely exist.

PHASE ONE

Week Two

I do not believe that it is possible to assert that all knowledge is simply a matter of opinion. Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion, and there are many cases where people might have different perspectives regarding various topics. The complication is that not all these opinions and perspectives hold equal value when determining what is true. We define knowledge as “justified true belief” meaning that what we believe must be supported by evidence and grounded in reality. These constraints allow us to narrow down the plethora of varied opinions and bring us closer to what can be considered “objective truth”.

An interesting point against the idea that all knowledge is subjective is brought up in the philosophy article. The argument against relativism and subjectivism in philosophy is that subscribing to the belief that all opinions hold equal weight means that one can believe that relativism and subjectivism are false. This creates somewhat of a paradox due to these two schools of thought invalidating themselves.

Week One

Hello, my name is Jonathan Mesina and I am a second year student in the Professional Writing program. Outside of my obvious interest in writing, I enjoy reading horror as well as graphic novels and manga. I’ve also recently gotten into composing chiptunes over the recent holiday break and that has been a very fun hobby so far.

The course project has me excited at the prospect of creating a podcast, and curious about how the format works. Will it be just as simple as reading an essay out loud in front of a microphone? I doubt it, but we will see as the final project due date comes.

As for research tools, undergraduates may use Wikipedia as a way to find sources from the reference section of every article. While this may be convenient for finding articles on whichever topic you are researching, the sources that users cite on these articles may be hardly appropriate for use in an academic setting.

Phase One

WEEK 1:

Hi my name is David Rodriguez and this is my first year at York, however i’ve transferred over some credits over this year so I am considered a second year. Some of my interest include spending time with family and friends (whenever I’m not working on assignments). I’m very excited about the course because I love new experiences and challenging my self to the best of my abilities. After attending the first lecture I am under the impression that this course is different than the others and teaches in a different manner, which is good because personally I need a break from the ordinary classes we are forced to take.

A research shortcut that I use is a website that helps generate citations for my papers. This shortcut is sometimes not accurate however, eight out of ten times it works perfectly, therefore saving me time and I usually do not lose marks for citations because when I double check to see if it is correct or not I simply edit the generated citation.

WEEK 2:

After our lecture and carefully analyzing the three sources provided to reflect upon for this weeks blog post, I agree with the view as to how we rely on opinions as a source of knowledge. Although, someone’s opinion about said topic may sound intelligent, it may not always be true due to the fact that it was not backed up with information. However, opinion may be backed up with information with ones personal experience but does that validate the statement being said? For example, in the article Is philosophy just a matter of opinion, it mentions the infamous saying “everyone is entitled to their own opinion”. This statement rebuttal’s everyone’s beliefs, because it backs it up by asking the reader if you were in a position for medical treatment you would want a medical doctors opinion on the matter instead of “everyone”. Going back to my question if personal experience is enough to validate an opinion. My answer is no, although you’ve experienced these events, your credentials say other wise. The example of medical treatment required breaks it down to the person that has been through the procedure does not give him/her “entitlement” to give medical diagnostics, not every case is the same. 

David Rodriguez

PHASE ONE

Week One Entry

My name is Annie Park, and I’m a student enrolled in Professional Writing. Though I do enjoy writing, both for academic and creative purposes, I spend most of my free time drawing or watching cheesy horror movies.

In all honesty, I’m extremely worried about the final project. I’ve never recorded a podcast before and am largely unfamiliar with technology in general. Along with this worry, however, is a sense of excitement and a drive to do well. I view this project as a difficult obstacle to, hopefully, overcome.

Undergraduate students often google research topics before turning to more professional sites. Google provides students with a basic understanding of their chosen topic and key terms that can be used for more reputable sites (like the York library catalogue). This tactic can be limiting, however, as some students will rely solely on Google for their research. Google, despite its accessibility, often contains inaccurate sources and should not be wholly trusted.


Week Two Entry

I believe that opinions are largely subjective. As discussed in lecture, opinions are views or judgements that are lacking in facts and/or knowledge. The linked videos and article take the definition even further. They claim that opinions are inherently biased since they are open to interpretation. In this way, opinions are subjective: they may be true to whoever proposes them, and to those who agree with the opinions, but they are not true for every person. While matters of opinion are incapable of being proven true or false, they are still subjective in their inability to be proven true for every person.

Knowledge, on the other hand, is more objective, and it is this objectivity that makes knowledge more than just a matter of opinion. Knowledge is based on facts. According to the linked videos and this week’s lecture, facts can be proven true and confirmed with other sources. Knowledge cannot be suspended from subjectivity, as most knowledge starts from an individual’s belief, but these beliefs differ from opinions, or matters of opinion, because they can be justified to several different people.

Phase One

Week Two: My opinion of whether knowledge is simply a matter of opinion.

Having reflected on the matter of opinion, I conclude that not all knowledge is a matter of opinion. While I believe that it is a fair human right that we are all entitled to an opinion, the determining factor of one person’s opinion being “good” or “bad” is relative. As such, I will divide opinion into two categories: lived experience opinion, and expert opinion. It should, therefore, go without saying that a person’s opinion based solely on his/her lived experience doesn’t always (if at all) require the need for fact-checking. Such an opinion is relative only to the person the opinion is shared with and the person sharing their opinion.

In contrast, however, an expert opinion is one which is more closely linked with theoretical and practical “knowledge.” An expert opinion is often the type of opinion in which a fee is charged for the exchange thereof. Expert opinions have a little (or perhaps a lot) more credence since such opinions come from persons learned in a particular area of study, so much so that the opinions they share have more substance. Consider, for example, the opinion you might take from a lawyer regarding a legal matter – because we value the lawyer’s opinion on the handling of a legal matter, I will assert that his/her “opinion” comes from tried, tested and proven “knowledge.” Thus, not all knowledge can be said to be only a matter of opinion.

—Darren A. Mc Almont

Hello All,

My name is Darren, and I am a transfer student to the English and Professional Writing programme, here at York. I am currently taking courses in years 1 -3 and have focused my impending degree on writing for the corporate world. My interests include: theatre, playwriting, traveling to and experiencing new places and watching classic movies.

I am truly excited about the course project because it is a deviation from the usual academic and essay writing. Although my experiencing with podcasting is as good as a pig that flies, I welcome the challenge!

Wikipedia has been and still is the first go-to for most undergraduate students. While I would consider this research tactic good for its efficiency in providing a quick answer, it is completely unacceptable for academia. The limit to such a research tactic is that the information consumed via this medium is not always the most credible - and for academic writing, the credibility of your sources is essential.

Phase One

Week 2:    

After watching the two YouTube videos and considering the lecture notes, I found myself guilty of sometimes incorporating/mixing opinions with facts in previous work. I understand using my opinion in research is problematic because it is my own “lived truth”.  Therefore, I cannot expect every reader of my work to have engaged in the same experiences I have lived, in order to agree with my personal opinion driven in emotion. I think opinion has the potential to weaken an argument or research due to bias. Since an opinion is subjective and cannot be confirmed, it makes it harder for an individual interpreting your work to come to a conclusion due to the many possible doors that are now open when entertaining the posed opinion rather than a fact.

 A fact being proven and verified by experts, allows your work to be supported instead of having yourself fall within the gaps formed by an opinion that can only be lifted alone. In my head, I imagine an opinion being a house made from straw. Easy to break, supported by little to nothing. A fact can be viewed as a brick house. Strong, glued, and supported.

Week 1: Introduction

Hi! My name is Anjalee and I’m a second year Concurrent Education in Theatre student. My interests include baking, volunteer work, and working towards racial diversity in the arts. I am excited about the course project because I am open to learning new things. Personally, I haven’t seen many university courses offer students space and time to generate a truly thoughtful opinion through a scaffolding technique. From the way the course project is set up, I really believe that there is an opportunity to grow with strength.  


A research shortcut/ tactic I think might be commonly used by undergraduate students is the reputation heuristic I learned in my Computer Information and society class (NATS 1700).  This commonly occurs when students take the information found on the website of a well known organization with a profound reputation to determine the credibility of the information being presented. The problem of this tactic can be limiting because sometimes it may not be in  the best interest or benefit of a student. Just because the reputation of a site is intact, this does not have to do with our ability to know if the information is true or false, we end up not analyzing the information critically due to the reputation overshadowing our lens.


Phase One

Week 2: A Matter of Opinion

I don’t think knowledge is simply a matter of opinion. However, I do think there is a subjectivity to everyone’s perception of knowledge. Knowledge is based on justifiable facts, but the way we understand these facts can be influenced by our personal beliefs, experiences, and biases.

In “Philosophy is Just a Matter of Opinion?” we read about opinions becoming facts (or knowledge). Michael LaBossiere writes: “ an opinion is also typically taken as an unsupported opinion. That is, a belief that is not backed up with reasons or evidence. An opinion can become a fact-a belief that is adequately backed up by evidence or reasons.” Clearly, evidence is an important part of turning anything into knowledge that is justifiable in reality, despite differing realities of individuals.

Overall, I do not believer that knowledge is simply a matter of opinion, but I can understand how opinions clouds our knowledge and lead us to misunderstanding or misinterpreting facts to the point that they are no longer justified.

Week 1: Introduction

Hello! My name’s Emily and I am a third year Professional Writing student. I love writing poetry and creative non-fiction, and recently have come to enjoy editing as well. I am feeling both excited and skeptical about the course project. I am excited to discuss an opinion piece and voice my own opinion, but skeptical because of the podcast style. I am not used to writing for this medium, nor have I ever listened to a podcast. However, I do think that it’s important to write in ways you’re not necessarily passionate about to expand your limits.

I think a research shortcut may be to look through Wikipedia or very “surface level” websites and making inferences from that, rather than doing in depth research. This tactic is only helpful in regard to the speed of the research, but it is ultimately limiting because the necessary and intriguing information is bound to be left out.

Emily Norton

PHASE ONE

WEEK TWO:

In this week’s entry, I’m going to be talking about the nature of an opinion. What makes an opinion right? Who decides whose opinions are the most valuable? How do some opinions become facts? All these questions can be posed upon any opinion and can change the validity of using an opinion as proper evidence towards certain topics.

Opinions are an extremely slippery slope to base any evidence on. Opinions usually come from personal experiences, which can vary from person to person. So now the ultimate question is, whose personal experiences are the “right” ones. Usually, the more “credible” opinions are those of professors, critics and some sort of scientists however, they are only human too. Humans are able to make mistakes therefore, I believe that taking one persons opinion based on experience MUST have plausible evidence behind it in order to consider it credible and the “right” opinion.

Opinions can only become facts with research backing them up. A person cannot just experience something and then believe that it is the truth of the matter. There are multiple sides to one experience or story, a minimum of two, so an opinion of an experience alone cannot be a “right” opinion. Some people or celebrities may be more well known throughout the globe, however that alone does make them more credible. Popularity does not make one person’s opinion any more valuable than someone of the middle or lower class.

WEEK ONE:

My name is Nicole Bednarski and I’m a first year at York University. Some of my interests include: singing, writing, playing piano and spending time with friends and family. I have been playing piano since the age of five and started singing the following year. I feel pretty confident going into this course as I enjoy using and am familiar with recording softwares and recording different types of scripts. I am a little uneasy about the actual research and the fact that we will not be able to change our minds after we choose a topic; however I am sure the final end result will prove worth all the steps we need to complete.

A research tactic that I find helpful that university students use is the York U online database. There are many scholarly sources that are academic pieces of writing and vital information to use. These are approved essays and hold viable information for student use. This database is helpful for students because it is paid information by the university, therefore not costing us a dime like most scholarly websites are.

I believe a research tactic that university students use that may be limiting is only using online sources. There is an entire library with scholarly sources that students are able to use for their research however, as students do not know how to utilize this resource, they are limited to only using google or other search engines. These do not always provide scholarly sources and may hinder the assignment’s validity.