04. What do you check?

  • Check all names, companies, titles, place names. Ask people to spell their name, write it out yourself in block letters, then show it to them to confirm.
  • Check all statistics. Be careful of “millions” and “billions.” When someone cites numbers, ask for (and check) the original source.
  • Check references to time, distance, date, season, location.
  • Check physical descriptions.
  • Double check quotations with your own notes. Check facts within quotes.
  • Check any argument or narrative that depends on fact.
  • Check historical facts.
  • Avoid superlatives like: “only,” “first” and “most.”

(Source: The Fact Checker’s Bible: A Guide to Getting it Right by Sarah Harrison Smith)

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