Definitions Frequently Used about Evidence—or Problems with Evidence

All definitions are from Merriam- Webster Online ( .

Facts and Evidence  1

Assume, Assumption, and Opinion  1

Cherry-Picking  1

Embellishing  1


Facts and Evidence

Look at the definitions for fact and evidence. Compare them with the definitions for Assume, Assumption, and Opinion. What you ought to notice is that there are not a lot of facts and evidence in assumptions or opinions.

Fact: something that truly exists or happens : something that has actual existence
: a true piece of information


evidence: something which shows that something else exists or is true
: a visible sign of something
: material that is presented to a court of law to help find the truth about something


Assume, Assumption, and Opinion

Assume: to think that something is true or probably true without knowing that it is true


Assumption: something that is believed to be true or probably true but that is not known to be true : something that is assumed


Opinion: a belief, judgment, or way of thinking about something : what someone thinks about a particular thing




Your credibility will frequently be tied to your examples.  If you select examples that are atypical or that ignore the contradictions covered in the section you are using, you will lose that precious credibility.


 to select as being the best or most desirable; also :  to select the best or most desirable from



It is easier to see its meaning with facts by looking at its related words.



cherry-pick, cull, … handpick, … pick, prefer, select, single (out)




You can make-up “fanciful details” about your “account of a trip” but not about history. If the author of the required source (the textbook) does not give details, then you can’t—and you don’t need to. Verify what you say by checking the source, or don’t say it.

to make beautiful with ornamentation :  decorate <a book embellished with illustrations>


to heighten the attractiveness of by adding decorative or fanciful details :  enhance <embellished our account of the trip>


Among the synonyms for embellish are some ugly words if you are striving to figure things out honorably;

embroider, exaggerate, hyperbolize, magnify, pad, stretch




Copyright C. J. Bibus, Ed.D. 2003-2013



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