Emily Royalty, Author at Helium Network - Page 19 of 19

Importance of linking sources in articles by Leigh Goessl

Posted by | Blog Posts, Community, Guest Blog, How To Guides, Quick Tip | No Comments

Research is a key component of writing. In any good writing, it is of value to source where you found your information. Linking gives an article a higher degree of credibility and gives the original source proper attribution. It also aids the reader if he wants to look for additional information on the topic.

• Credibility

When you publish an article, you want your audience to take your writing seriously. By providing links to substantiate your piece, this adds more credibility.  For instance, if you are writing on a new scientific discovery, try to find the original press release from the university or other entity. If you cannot locate any press releases, see if a reliable news source has reported on the finding. If writing on a health topic, find an expert or official website to back up your data or statistics.

• Proper attribution

When sourcing information, it is essential to provide credit to the original reporting agency. A common way to do this is to hyperlink the URL to the publication’s name. As an example, you could write “According to The New York Times,” or “Reuters reported the data shows..” (embed the link to the New York Times or Reuters, respectively). This way, the source is given proper credit.

Additionally, remember to always source any text you use directly from another website, and use open and closed quotes to show which text you’ve copied. You don’t want someone else’s words to be mistaken for your own.

• Benefits to the reader

Including supporting links in your article is also helpful to your readers. If a reader is interested in additional information, or wants to check into details, he can easily do so.

When choosing your sources for a topic, it helps to consider the angle you want to cover. This way, when you  do your research, you can seek out supporting links. Remember, the more authoritative and credible your links are, the stronger and more in-depth your article will appear.

20 excuses writers make to not write

Posted by | Fun, Writing | No Comments

Even the best writers get a bit lackadaisical about their writing. Let’s face it: not everyone has the energy or motivation to write every time they’re supposed to. Here’s a list of 20 excuses writers make when they would rather do anything other than putting words to the page.

1. I’m too tired. - Not a horrible excuse, but an excuse nonetheless. Make a goal to write for 15 minutes. If you find you’re too tired after 15 minutes, call it a day, but you might experience that 15 minutes morphing into two hours without even realizing it.

2. My computer isn’t working well. – How about your notebook and pen?

3. I’m not feeling well. - Are you really not feeling well or do you just not want to write? Take some medicine and see how you feel then.

4. It’s boring. - And the same episodes of Golden Girls you’ve seen 400 times aren’t? You have to really question your motivation if this is your excuse.

5. My favorite movie/TV show is on. - Awesome. Fire up the DVR. Don’t have one? Well, order the DVDs and watch them later.

6. I wrote a lot yesterday, so I’m taking today off. - Inspiration waits for no one. Harness it while you have it. The fact that you wrote a lot means you have a lot to say. Don’t pump the brakes for no reason.

7. I have writer’s block. - This is almost legitimate, but not quite. Go for a walk, lift some weights, cook a meal, read a book. Do something to get your mind off your work and see if inspiration kicks in. If not, just write anything at all: Copy a paragraph from your favorite book, write what you did that day, make a shopping list. Any writing is better than none, and it might spur those creative juices into action.

8. I’m too hungry. - Fruit. Cereal. Oatmeal. Pretzels. Popcorn. Bagel. Sandwich. You don’t need a five course meal to satiate your hunger. Grab some finger food and head to the computer.

9. I have a lot of work to finish. - If this is a consistent excuse, you either aren’t managing your time well at your job or you have too much to do. Ask your boss for some relief. If you’re using this excuse often, take a conscientious look at your workload and see if it really needs to be done while at home or if you can finish it at the office the next day.

10. The piece I’m working on isn’t going the way I want it to go. - Easy solution: Work on something else. Getting your mind off of a piece that you are struggling with will take the pressure off. You might find what you were missing suddenly appears before you, and now you’ve got two solid pieces to work on.

11. I’m afraid of failure. - You only truly fail if you do nothing.

12. I’m afraid of success! - Good news! It isn’t successful yet!

13. I’m having people over. - Oh, you’re having people over for the entire 24 hours of the day? Write before they arrive or after they leave.

14. The last piece I wrote wasn’t well received. - Sorry to hear that, but that was the last piece you wrote. It’s in the past. The future is wide open. Who’s to say that the next piece won’t be beloved? If you don’t make the time, you’ll never know.

15. I’m on vacation. - You mean you’re in an extended period when you do not have work or school? Sounds like PRIMO time to write! You might not have this much free time for a long while. Make the most of it!

16. There’s no point in writing because nobody will read it. - The only person who controls that is YOU. If you don’t put your writing in front of other people, of course it won’t get read. The caveats are that you have to get it out there yourself and you have to actually have something written to show.

17. I’d rather be doing X. - I’d rather be skydiving with supermodels into the Mediterranean. Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Just start writing. Once you get into it, you’ll rediscover that enjoyment that seems so elusive before we put our fingers to the keys.

18. I don’t have the time. - Get up an hour earlier. Take your laptop with you and write on your lunch hour. Go to bed an hour later. Problem solved.

19. I’m just not feeling it. - A great way to get motivated is to read. Experience other people’s words and you’ll feel compelled to spread your own. This, like many other excuses, comes down to personal motivation. Do something that gets you excited and write!

20. I’m not a good writer. - False. Everyone is a good writer, but it takes practice, dedication and hard work to bring out that good writer. The good writers are the ones who stopped making excuses like this and actually sat down and worked. Keep at it. It’s a long, bleak road, but there’s a light at the end.

So there you have it. Break’s over. Now get back to work!

What makes a source reputable?

Posted by | Blog Posts, Improving your Helium Experience, Links in Articles, Writer Training | One Comment

In the writing industry, sourcing is critical. Improper sourcing of factual material, while not as bad as outright plagiarism, is still enough to send an otherwise strong article to the rejection list. The best way to avoid this is to cite from reputable sources. But what exactly is a reputable source?

These handy tips will help you determine what a reputable source is and prevent your articles from going into unnecessary editing.

A reputable source has academic clout

Reputable sources have strong backgrounds in the fields associated with the article topic. These include popular published magazines, books and websites in the mainstream. You will know these sources are reputable as they will cite other reputable sources, studies and materials as well.

A reputable source will not state opinions as fact

“I think Pluto should still be considered a planet” is an opinion. This source should not be used since it does not use factual evidence to back up the statement. However, opinions can be used as a reputable source if there is cited, fact-based evidence available to support the opinion. If there is no evidence, don’t use it.

A reputable source will not hide an author

Articles written by anonymous authors are not reputable. Reputable authors making statements as fact will always have their name and contact information present. If this cannot be found, do not cite this source.

A reputable source does not allow just anyone to write to it

There is great debate on whether content sites like Wikipedia are reputable or not. While most articles you find will have strong factual information, since the potential for manipulated and incorrect information exists, these sites cannot be considered reputable. However, many of the links that the sites quote from are reputable. Scroll to the bottom of articles and look through their sources. Click those links, see if those are reputable and source those instead.

Do you have anything to add? What else makes a source reputable? Leave us your comments!