Why Accurate Fact Checking Is So Critically Important to Your Writing
It’s easy to think of “fact checking” as an activity reserved for term papers, essays and other writing that require historical accuracy. However, the need for correct factual information in writing extends far beyond the classroom.
No matter what type of writing you do, if you make claims, include statistics or relay stories, it is imperative that your facts are correct. And not the “your life may be in danger” kind of imperative, but imperative to your reputation as a writer.
This Day and Age
Today, we have the Internet and an awful lot of writing is done online. Unlike writing on a piece of paper or in a notebook, the Internet can’t be buried or thrown away and forgotten. If you create a piece of writing and your fact checking was weak, it can linger for all to see for years and years.
And what if your name or company logo is attached to this factually incorrect piece of writing? You want to be considered an expert in your field, but if you produce information that isn’t correct, an expert is the last thing people will call you. You will develop a reputation as someone who shouldn’t be trusted, and that perception could follow you around.
Checking the Facts
That is the main reason that accurate fact checking is so important. And why you should take the time to check, double-check and verify facts with credible sources before you send your writing out into the world.
Do your research ahead of time, then read through your piece of writing thoroughly. Pause for a few moments, then read through it all a second time. During this second read-through, mark the sentences and paragraphs that will require verification. As mentioned above, claims, stats, stories and similar facts that actually have a right or wrong answer should be fact-checked for accuracy.
Then, it’s time to double-check the research. Where did it come from? Is it verified by at least two reputable sources? Are those sources experts on the subject matter? Will you feel comfortable referring to them if anyone questions your facts? This process can be confusing and nerve-wracking if you don’t have all the steps under control.
Leave it to Us
That’s why so many writers use professional editors to proofread their work and check all the facts for them. It’s also why we include fact checking among the many services we provide. Without it, you may end up with a letter, blog post, paper or report that has lovely grammar and punctuation but is full of factual mistakes. And that isn’t good enough for anyone!