Essay Help: Confusing Evidence, Assumption And Opinion

Essays are works of writing that are used to assess a student's understanding and knowledge of academic material. Due to this, they are used as various types of assignments at educational institutions around the world.

One of the best known traits of an essay is analysis. In fact, essays are generally used for analysis in various academic settings.

To properly analyze within an essay, a student needs to provide an ample amount of evidence, their interpretations about that evidence (assumptions) and their own opinions about that evidence within the body of the work. In most cases, that process makes up the entire argument of the essay itself.

Essay help ~ confusing evidence, assumption and opinion

Evidence, assumption and opinion are terms that describe stages of analysis within an essay. On an interesting note, they all have the same purpose (analysis), though are used in different ways.


Evidence, according to dictionary definitions, is 'the available facts or information that indicates where a proposition or belief is valid.' When used in an essay, evidence generally refers to the referenced information or data (typically cited) within the body of the work.

Evidence is different from assumption and opinion, since it's generally the actual information or data that proves the point of the essay. Many student writers use evidence to explain examples or provide information to reference their topic.


An assumption, according to dictionary definitions, is 'something that's accepted as true or that's certain to happen, though without proof.' When used in an essay, an assumption can reference the writer's own knowledge of their topic, though without any referential information provide its validity.

Assumption is different from opinion and evidence, since it vaguely references the writer's knowledge without having a valid source to support it. Student writers use assumptions to flesh out sections of their essay that may already have supplemented evidence.


An opinion, according to dictionary definitions, is 'a view or judgment about something, though isn't entirely based in knowledge or fact.' When used in an essay, an opinion is usually the writer's own thoughts about their topic, supplemented without any evidence to support it.

Opinion is different from assumption and evidence, since it typically has no supporting references to prove its validity. It mainly references what the writer believes about a specific topic; students use their own opinions, much like assumptions, within the essay to flesh out the body of their essay.