Fact-Checking 101

Quote-by-Abraham-Lincoln-the-problem-with-quotes-found-on-the-internet-is-that-they-are-often-not-true

We don’t do a lot of fact-checking per se here at Dragonfly. Only one of our clients asks for it by name.

But in a sense, good copy editors are always fact-checking, whether they call it that or not. That’s because we take a highly skeptical approach to the material we review.

Factual inconsistencies make us flinch — until we query them. Proper names make us suspicious — until we confirm their treatment and spelling. Top 10 lists make us twitch — until we count a full 10 items.

If you’d like to expand your understanding of fact-checking, check out Gerri Berendzen’s presentation from ACES2017. Gerri is a member of the ACES board and a passionate believer in the difference editors can make in the quality — and veracity — of the text they review.

If you want to dive even deeper, another great resource is The Chicago Guide to Fact-checking. Brooke Borel, who also presented at ACES2017, gives practical advice for fact-checking and the delicate relationship between writers, editors, and sources.

Enjoy these resources. And keep it real — in life, and in the material you copyedit.

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