Writing Better Articles, Tip #1: Cite Your Sources

I don’t normally write about writing on my blog, so I suppose I could use this forum as a way to help fellow bloggers. No, no one asked for help, and I’m no expert when it comes to prose and research, but there are a few important points that I’d like to share.

The first tip is, as the title of this post says, cite your sources.

If you’re writing to tell me that 50 million Americans are in debt, how do I know this is true? Most likely, you did not do the primary research yourself. Where did the numbers in your blog post come from? How do I know if the numbers come from an independent or biased source? The only way for readers to begin to know these answers is to be able to go directly to the source of the information.

As educated readers, always look for references for data. If references aren’t provided, there is no way to know if the number aren’t simply fabricated. You could argue that even with references, you still won’t know if the author performed adequate research, but at least you can begin to have a clue.

By the way, I completely made up that “50 million Americans” statistic.

Flexo has been blogging at Consumerism Commentary since 2003 and on other blogs for many years prior. He recently completed his Master’s degree in Business Administration.

About Flexo

Flexo is the founder of Consumerism Commentary and the Carnival of Personal Finance.