There’s a difference between writing fact and writing fiction. And while fiction can be entertaining, nothing says “reliable” than cold, hard, facts. Good writers and editors know how to keep it real by fact-checking their articles, making sure they have credible sources, as well as proper citation. Checking sources of your information can be tedious, but with this guide, keeping your work off the “fantasy” shelves will be doable.
Make a list; Check It Twice
Double-checking your facts is easy when you have a list of them, all nice and tidy. After writing your article, jot down all the facts/news you’ve included that need checking. Mr. Neil Patel of Quick Sprout has suggested to make three columns. The first one has all your facts listed. The second column has the sources of those facts. The final column is a checklist of whether or not you’ll keep using those facts in your article or to remove them.
Who, What, Where and When
Now that you have your list, the next step to fact-checking your work is checking sources and whether or not they’re reliable. Before we continue, we have to establish what are considered “reliable” sources. There is a difference between authoritative and credible sources. An example of an authoritative site is Wikipedia because it’s used by many people. However, it’s not credible as it can be edited by anyone.
Who is the source of your information? The New York Times, TIME, National Geographic are examples of “who.”
What is your source? Bear in mind that books, newspapers, magazines and scientific journals are among the most credible sources. Government sites, company sites follow. Personal websites with citations may also be credible sources. This is a fact-checking hierarchy, as the top-most examples have already undergone an in-depth fact-check themselves before being published. Social media posts and articles are less likely to be credible.
Where and when is your source from? Remember that Pluto was the ninth planet 1930. But then the International Astronomical Union (IAU) defined the term “planet” formally in 2006 and Pluto didn’t fit the definition. When fact-checking your work, it’s important to have sources that are current and relevant. You need the “here and now,” not the “there and then.”
With resources being updated repeatedly, data are corrected, redefined and to stay valid, your sources must be up to the latest news and developments. Thankfully, a lot of established credible sources update their material as needed.
Fortunately, we don’t have to guard our articles from fake information on our own. Here are some helpful sites when fact-checking your article: Snopes.com, Reported.ly, Politifact.com, and FactCheck.Org.
Fact-checking takes time and effort and writing articles might already consume your much-needed hours for growing your business, or spending time with family. Why not hire a reliable company who can do the writing and fact-checking for you? Here at iPresence Business Solutions, we make sure to keep our articles real, current, and credible so you will have more time to do the things that you need the most.