Are You Fact-Checking Before Publishing?

📝 This Week’s Goal: Fact-check your content and don’t forget to cite your sources.

Are You Fact-Checking Before Publishing?
Photo by The Climate Reality Project / Unsplash

A few weeks ago, I sent a newsletter with what I thought was a common issue we could all rally behind: plagiarism. I made the simple request that all writers are responsible for, you know, not stealing other people’s words. I also announced an update to our submission rules requiring citations for quotes, ideas, and images that don’t belong to you.

It turns out some of our readers thought this was an appalling request. I received multiple emails claiming that citing other people’s work is an overreach. One email said it was “impossible” to link to “everything.” Is it really that difficult to take 30-seconds to copy links and add acknowledgments?

In my freelance life, I write strategic plans for nonprofit organizations. Each project requires a ton of research on the issue the nonprofit solves. I spend a lot of my time finding primary sources of data, quotes, and information. Does it take time? Yes. Does it make the overall plan that much better? Of course!

Whether you write strategic plans or articles on Medium, fact-checking and citing sources must be part of your writing and editing process. Otherwise, you might run into a miss-quote or a plagiarism take-down notice.

Take the time and check your articles. If you still want to disagree with me about the benefits of citing sources, that’s fine. Hit reply and let me know why it’s not worth your time.

Take the time to fact-check and cite your sources before hitting publish.

Justin Cox Justin Cox

Justin Cox is a donut-loving, word-writing, nonprofit consultant based in Orlando. He also runs The Writing Cooperative on Medium. Come say hello!