Forming an Opinion

How does one form opinions? Because apparently it is something I need to get better at. Recently I had to write some essays for my history classes, and some of the feedback I received was that, while my essay was good, I needed to have more of an opinion. The information should only be a certain amount of the essay, with my own take on the matters being the rest.

Okay, I understand why this is important for papers, and he even brought it around to my wanting to be a journalist and needing opinions for that. I’m just not good at it. When it comes to information, I am a sponge, to the point of risky impressionability and naivety. It’s not that I’m incapable of thinking critically, I just take in what you give me without question because, well, that’s how I am. I’m a learner. I want to know as much as I can, and I assume you have new information to give me with no reason to lie.

I realize this is highly unrealistic, trust me. I do know how to take the time to analyze author’s perspectives and read between the lines, and I know I need to get better at it if I want to be successful, but I guess the point of this is: why? Why do I need an opinion for history or journalism? Is it all purely so someone will read what I write and find something different in it?

The way I see it, reporting facts should be as honest and unbiased as possible, in order to give the readers the highest quality of information for them to assess with their own opinions. Unless it’s to tear down prejudices that still inhabit closed minds, I don’t want to impress people that I am right, that my opinion is right, because we all come from different backgrounds and are entitled to form our own opinions.

I’m going to leave you with this question: Is it the responsibility of the educated to the most honest truth they can? Or does it have to be their truths for people to care?

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