Beginnings, Middles and Ends
Research, research, research
Everything you write in the professional and academic [including high school] arena requires some sort of research. The level of research depends on what you're writing; non-fiction or fiction, article or book, a quick web piece [like this one] or in-depth fact-finding web page. It's the writer's job to gauge the amount of research needed, to source accurate information and keep a record of all sources used.
Sources are categorised into hearsay, secondary and primary. Hearsay is, as it states, what the writer or someone else has heard. It's the most open to differing opinion, controversy and complete fabrication.
A secondary source is an article, story or book that presents evidence which that writer has in turn researched and provided references and/or bibliography.
A primary source is "straight from the horses mouth". Information that comes directly from people at the scene or records kept at the time the information came into being.
Knowing the difference between these three categories can make a big difference in believability and credibility.
Readers are free to borrow this article for newsletters, etc, but please take the bio with you.
Trish Anderson is the creator of Beginnings, Middles and Ends, an e-write service currently at home at http://beginningsmiddlesends.blogspot.com Drop in for a quick visit and chat, to read articles and other posts or to avail yourself of her reasonably priced freelance writing services, research and tutoring. Trish also critiques and writes fiction and non-fiction, and specialises in location research; her contribution to travel writing. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org