Student assignments I’ve read this year seem to describe the conclusions of scholars as their “beliefs” about a subject much more frequently than I’ve noticed in the past.
I wonder whether other professors have noticed something similar, and if so, how you respond to the use of such language.
Personally, I think the appropriate language to use for what scholars offer is to speak of their conclusions. In some instances, of course, it may be that what we are presented even in a scholarly work are beliefs that were either predetermined before the investigation began or based on insufficient evidence. But the ideal in scholarly writing, as it is also in student assignments (at least in my classes), is to not merely offer “opinions” but to draw conclusions which, if not always the only possible conclusion given the available evidence, are at least compatible with the available evidence.
What do others think?