One crucial aspect of professional editing is the process of fact-checking. Merriam-Webster.com defines fact-checking as “to verify the factual accuracy of.” (Something more people should be doing…)
Fact-checking is not exciting stuff. In fact, fact-checking is probably the most tedious and mundane aspect of a professional editor’s job. However, although this particular aspect of editing may appear to be quite dull, its importance is unparalleled. Often, there is nothing worse than misspelling a company’s name, misusing a particular reference, or even misrepresenting a product’s intended use. Professional editors must ensure that writers get their facts straight!
Fact-checking is a natural process conducted by using the Internet. For example, if an editor was reading a text in which the writer made reference to the company “Walmart,” a quick visit to the company’s website would reveal that the correct spelling of the company’s name is, in fact, “Wal-Mart.” Not a big deal, right? Possibly not to the average reader. However, should a Wal-Mart representative ever come across this twist, the source of the original content could be in for a battle.
What should you do? Hire a professional editor! Now, this is not some clever tactic to generate more business for FirstEditing.com, but rather, it is simply a reality check.
Professional editors know that fact-checking is a part of their day-to-day editing routine. Thus, in the hands of professionals, your work will be less likely to be subjected to embarrassing errors.
Mostly what fact-checking and professional editors do is ensure that all material used is correct, and should not result in a potential lawsuit by decreasing your chances of misrepresentation. Although we are not attorneys, it’s our job to help you. Ultimately, it is your writing, and you are held accountable for the information contained within.
Originally posted 1/30/2017 and happily updated 11/16/2017. Thanks for reading!