Take a Little More Time: Fact-check Everything Again
We are going to fact check. We originally did it, in the first draft we made sure the details were spot on. We're gonna do it again and we're gonna do it for everything. I love this quote. They have value in and of themselves and they deserve respect. So, this is always important, but we are in a climate where fake news is a phrase and things have different weight when they're called a fact. We need to make sure we've dotted our I's and crossed our T's and anyone we're quoting or talking about or pulling as a source have dotted their I's and crossed their T's. So look at your facts. It's not only that you've sourced them correctly. Is there another point-of-view you could be finding? What else haven't I looked at? Who else can I talk to? Can I find an expert with a different opinion? This is a big one. It's probably easy to find a number of sources supporting what you want, but you need to spend the time looking for sources that don't support what you want. What other angle should I be...
considering? What other facts could influence what I put on the page and could it change anything I've written? Is everything cited correctly? As an editor, I work with a number of references and it's really easy to just not get the page numbers right, to misquote one of the authors, to leave an author off in attribution, so check the source, check all the authors are listed, that the dates are correct. Dates are a very important one, often something will be published online and in print, well where did you find it? Did you find it online? Then you need that publication date. Did you find it in print? You need that publication date. Content can be updated, so make sure you note when you accessed something. If you've accessed something a year ago and you're talking about it now, go back and check it again because content might have changed. If you're referencing anything, make sure you visited it again. Is the source content correctly understood? Make sure the source you're pulling from, you understand everything that you're using and you're using it in the way the source meant. Search and search and search again. It's so very easy to find things that seem correct and with a little bit of deeper digging, you'll find there's actually another source that could possibly argue against it. Verify the original source and verify the author. We wanna make sure if we're quoting someone for a piece as an expert that they are an expert. Check their training, check their resources, check their background. If you wanna quote someone as being an authoritative figure, make sure you know that they are an authoritative figure. Verify against fact-checking sites. I actually have listed in the bonus material a number of these that you can use. You can check people, you can check who owns the domain of a website, which is a big deal. In addition to the regular standard ones, I'm sure most people check like Snopes and Politifact.
Before you share your writing with anyone, whether it be an editor, a business associate, a client or a reader, you need to make sure it’s tight, clean and error-free. That’s why it’s critical for all writers to learn how to proofread their own work.
Detecting the flaws and mistakes in your writing is difficult because you’ve grown so familiar with it. This class will teach you the tips and tricks you need to come at it with fresh eyes. Heather Saunders, an experienced writer, editor and proofreader, will provide hands-on advice on how to go about the proofing process as well as the common errors to look out for.
In this class, you’ll learn how to:
- Approach the text in new ways by removing distractions, reading it aloud, changing the appearance of the document, and taking a break when needed.
- Read your work from the perspective of your intended audience.
- Fact-check your writing.
- Figure out if the piece accomplishes its purpose.
- Identify habitual errors, such as weak words, excessive use of adjectives and adverbs, and punctuation issues.