Citing credible sources can prove to be a powerful tool for your blog. Using statistics and quotes instantly positions your website as one readers can rely on. However, you need to know how and when to cite credible sources, otherwise it loses its authenticity, credibility and it may infringe upon copyright material as well. By using this easy to follow guide, you’ll have a better understanding of how and when to cite credible sources.
Identifying Credible Sources
First, you need to understand how to identify credible sources. Simply picking out material you’ve found online is not going to suffice. In fact, the vast majority of information you find online, posted on social media or cited is actually a faulty, inferior source.
First, think about whether or not the author of the content is an expert in the field such as someone with a higher-level degree like a P.H.D. Published, peer reviewed journals are an excellent source of credible information.
Beyond the bibliography of the author, consider the publication date. Ideally, the closer to date you write your content the better. This is true especially with statistical information.
When to Cite Sources
So when exactly do you need to consider citing credible sources? If you are writing information as fact and it is not a readily known fact, you need to cite the information. For example, you can say a marijuana plant is green. This is a well known fact. However, if you state the desirable temperature for growing a specific strain of cannabis, you need to cite the information.
Secondly, if you are using statistics and other facts from a publication or website, you should cite your source instead of passing the research off as your own.
Third, if you are directly using a quote or other written material from another author, you need to attribute the original author. Failure to attribute credit to the original source can result in anything from a request for the material to be removed (most likely) all the way to a lawsuit.
Citing Credible Sources
Citing sources on your blog is a bit different than how you might source an author in an educational paper. You don’t necessarily need to use APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard or any of those other formatting and sourcing styles. After all, this is a blog and you’re writing it to both have fun with it and to inform your readers. Plus, the magic of the Internet is you can instantly connect your blog to the source material. With that said, there are a few basics you need to follow when citing credible sources.
For starters, if you are using statistics, make sure to include the original author’s name and even the publication journal. For example, instead of saying “50% of marijuana users…” you want to say “according to John Smith of the New York Times, 50% of marijuana users…” This not only attributes the original author, but it instantly gives you blog more credibility.
Be sure to include a hyperlink to the original source material by highlighting pertenant anchor text (like “John Smith of the New York Times”) and inserting the source link into it using the hyperlink button in your text editor.
Using authentic, credible sources is an excellent way to educate your readers while showing clients how trustworthy your research has been. When you constantly produce quality content from credible sources, your clients — and everyone else on the internet reading your stuff — will thank you.