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Citing sources when writing blog posts?

cbonsra
Active Member
Christine B Member Since: Sep 22, 2019
1 of 8
I'm new to the blog writing thing and I have a question.

I was hired to do a job and if it goes well there could be more work in the future. The job is writing blog posts on any given topic. The client has said that sources should be linked to if you use a direct quote or if it is unique information (such as the website you got the content from was written by the actual researcher who discovered the info), but a list of sources isn't needed. So I'm confused. I thought every fact that you got elsewhere had to be acknowledged with some kind of citation. The topic I'm writing about is one I know nothing about prior to research, so anything I write will have come from a source.

Is this standard blog writing practice? Definitely don't want to get into any legal trouble.
pudingstudio
Community Guru
Antun M Member Since: Jan 27, 2018
2 of 8

Christine B wrote:
I'm new to the blog writing thing and I have a question.

I was hired to do a job and if it goes well there could be more work in the future. The job is writing blog posts on any given topic. The client has said that sources should be linked to if you use a direct quote or if it is unique information (such as the website you got the content from was written by the actual researcher who discovered the info), but a list of sources isn't needed. So I'm confused. I thought every fact that you got elsewhere had to be acknowledged with some kind of citation. The topic I'm writing about is one I know nothing about prior to research, so anything I write will have come from a source.

Is this standard blog writing practice? Definitely don't want to get into any legal trouble.

Can't you do both?

Link your direct quotes. AND include a list of sources at the end of your article/blog?

It's how you would do any writing, right? You are giving your representation of the existing material.

Unless you're writing fiction, I guess.

(question marks are there on purpose; I am NOT a writer.)

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
3 of 8

Antun M wrote:
Can't you do both?

Link your direct quotes. AND include a list of sources at the end of your article/blog?

It's how you would do any writing, right?


Um..no? I've written thousands of blog posts and hundreds of articles, and maybe a couple of dozen of them involved "a list of sources at the end."

kfarnell
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
4 of 8

Citations aren't simply about adhering to law. They enable people who want to read further to do so or verify that you've interpreted your source correctly.  They also make it clear when you are expressing your view or stating generally accepted information. While this is essential to academic style writing, it isn't such a deal with less formal writing or for news. To some extent it's a style thing - a blog that's written more formally will err on the side of caution when it comes to offering references.

 

I thought every fact that you got elsewhere had to be acknowledged with some kind of citation. The topic I'm writing about is one I know nothing about prior to research, so anything I write will have come from a source.

Even with academic style writing, you wouldn't normally cite anything that could be interpreted as common knowledge for those who know the field.  Just because the info is new to you, that doesn't mean it can't be regarded as 'common knowledge'.

 

You do need to cite sources for direct quotes and information such as data, and you might want to point to a source for anything wildly controversial or unusual, but it isn't necessary to list every single source you've used. 

 

However, it's a sensible move to keep a note of all sources even if you don't put them in the piece itself. Then if you do slip up, it's easy to make a correction.

 

And the very fact you're asking such a question suggests you should be charging more than you are.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
5 of 8

oh dear that client is bad news

schardo
Ace Contributor
Sarah C Member Since: May 12, 2019
6 of 8

My current client prefers a link to the cited work at the end of the passage. She's running a blog, not a scholarly journal. She doesn't want people clicking away from her blog and give their advertising eyeballs to someone else. I think it really depends on what you're writing about, and who your audience is. 

 

I do a ton of fact-based articles. I cite the most important things (such as scientific research, news articles, direct quotes, stuff that isn't "common knowledge"), but I don't list a source for things that are common knowledge *in that niche*. 

 

When in doubt, cite your source. But honestly, it's like the wild west out in the cheap blogging world. It's irritating. 

 

 

atlinguist
Community Guru
Alexandra H Member Since: Jul 30, 2015
7 of 8

It could be that the client is worried not just about attribution and copyright but also about observing the media and e-commerce laws of his or her country and wants to insure that no 'opinions' or propaganda enter the equation (because they fall under a different category of weblog). 

luigic2020
Active Member
Luigi C Member Since: Dec 10, 2019
8 of 8

To me it depends on the purpose of the writing. I will cite or link if:

  • I am curating an article and I think people would like to know the source
  • Where I have found useful information that tells more about the story or qualifies it
  • Where I think it is interesting

Unless an assignment asks for sources, I wouldn't add them. You could ask your client if they want them. In many cases the client wants to be recognised, rather than drawing attention elsewhere.

 

Just my opinions of course