It is important to think critically as you read. Part of thinking critically is distinguishing among facts, reasoned judgments, and speculations.
Facts are statements that can be proven true. In science texts, facts are usually based on information found in research.
Reasoned judgments are statements of the author’s point of view that are supported by reasons and evidence.
Speculations are claims that are made with less certainty than reasoned judgments. They are more like guesses based on some information. Facts and reasoned judgments could lead an author to a speculation, but the speculation is not completely supported by hard evidence. Speculations can sometimes be identified by words such as maybe, perhaps, suggest, and might.
Click the Model button to see an example of how to distinguish among fact, reasoned judgment, and speculation.