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Brief and timely explainer – How to do fact checking

Oxford University Press Blog: “The actor Cary Grant once said of acting that, “It takes 500 small details to add up to one favorable impression.” That’s true for writing as well—concrete details can paint a picture for a reader and establish credibility for a writer. Details can be tricky, however, and in the swirl of research and the dash of exposition, it is possible to get things wrong: dates, names, quotes, and facts. I’ve been doing some fact-checking of my own lately for a book project and have a few tips. {short except appears below]

  • If you don’t know, don’t assume.
  • Don’t be misled by terminology.
  • Beware of common knowledge.
  • Learn what needs checking.
  • Look for original sources.
  • Ask for help.
  • Be wary of quotes.
  • Admit defeat when necessary…”

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