TIP: Self-editing checklists

Of all the things I never learned in journalism school, my biggest regret is not learning about checklists and easy simple tools to stay on track.

Fact checking in particular; I do not recall one single class in which anyone went into depth about how to actually fact check something. The over all message was, just do it. It wasn't until many years later that is great feature writing teacher rocked my world with a series of checklist–style writing aids in a variety of areas.

Fact checking is worth talking about at length. It is not just getting basic information right, from phone numbers to political analysis. It is also gaining trust. By getting basic things right, such as locations, names or quotes, you are gaining the trust of the people you are writing about as well as the people reading your writing.

Whether you're just starting out, or like me hadn't gotten the memo yet, take a look at these self editing checklists and make get your habit to run through them with your blog posts, even your Facebook rants or what have you. You won't be sorry.