Expert Opinion

How reliable is it?

People often cite experts to add credibility to an idea they support. A bonafide expert is someone who knows a lot about one or more specific topics. When bonafide experts are asked for an opinion about something related to their fields of study, they will analyze the facts and most likely offer accurate information. But experts do sometimes make mistakes, especially when they offer opinions about topics outside their fields of study. How can we decide if someone is an expert in a field and if that person is making a statement based on an analysis of facts or personal opinion?

In this activity, students work in pairs or trios to determine if the expert opinions shared in various scenarios are, in fact offered by experts in the related field and reliable.

The Assessing Words Instructional Activities are continually under review. If you use this activity, please complete a Feedback Form afterward.


Objective: Given three scenarios, students will identify an individual’s area of expertise and decide if an opinion expressed by that person was correct.

Teacher Resources

Activity materials may be accessed in any order by clicking on the appropriate link. You may find it useful to start with the Activities Directions link to get a sense of the activity itself before looking at other sections.

  1. Preparation
  2. Activity Directions
  3. Assessment
  4. Extensions

Full Activity Plan pdf

Student Resources

This site is meant to be used by teachers. Student Resources are provided, but please do not direct students here. Copy and paste the link to the handout and whichever of the Online Resources you want students to use on your classroom webpage, in your classroom area of the school’s Learning Management System, or wherever you distribute digital materials to students.

  1. Expert Opinion Handout
  2. Online Resources

Susan Brooks-Young: