If you're a blogger, author, freelance writer, editor or online publisher looking for a competitive edge, consider reliability and accuracy.
It takes just a bit of consistent effort to achieve writing that readers can enjoy and fans recommend without hesitation, because you've cleared it of careless bloopers and mortifying blunders. With a simple fact checking routine, you're elevated to a higher echelon of writers.
Instructor Marcia Yudkin has been a published author for 40 years. She has written for national magazines like the New York Times Magazine, Ladies Home Journal and TWA Ambassador, for big-name publishers like HarperCollins and Penguin and for NPR, National Public Radio.
She created the course because she witnessed how humiliating it can be when readers and important industry contacts catch a writer making dumb mistakes, such as putting Sydney in Austria rather than Australia, getting statistics wrong by a factor of 10 or mixing up sudoku (the number game) and seppuku (ritual suicide).
“Fact Checking Made Easy" consists of 13 practical lessons totaling more than an hour and a half of video instruction. At its heart are three complete now-you-try-it exercises (and another partial one) where you give fact checking a go and then compare your findings with Marcia's answers and analysis. It's hands-on learning at its best.
Besides the video lessons and exercises, you receive several handouts that make the learning process more convenient.
Among the points you learn in this course:
* How to create a fact-checking routine that catches errors and inconsistencies
* Where and how to check various kinds of facts - including an amazingly helpful, taxpayer-funded free research resource
* The difference between opinions that don't warrant a fact check and statements that do
* Pitfalls in getting names and numbers correct
* The importance of recognizing and discounting biased or outdated sources of information
* How not to fall for and pass along hoaxes, baseless rumors and myths that have already gone around the Internet thirty thousand times
* The kinds of mistakes that run the greatest risk of landing you in legal trouble, and how to avoid those
* The best way to handle it if an error does nevertheless slip by you
Whether you write, edit or publish a blog, a newsletter, a book (or ebook), websites or simply private emails to potential joint-venture partners, avoid loss of face, build credibility and be a content source that people praise, instead of pointing out your should-have-known-that errors.
It's fun, it's practical and it's important.