Apr 5, 2012

Is There an Echo in Here?

As writers, you probably do your fair share of reading daily - from Google Trends, to online news sources - even favorite blogs. That reading undoubtedly triggers ideas to write about, but be careful that the basic idea is as far as it goes.

When outlining your article, refer to reputable sources with appropriate link-backs, but beyond direct quotes, make sure that the text of the piece reflects your own writing style and personality.  Echoing what you've read elsewhere gives your reader nothing of value and hurts your credibility. Why should your reader bother with your article when they can get identical info at the source?  

Put you into each sentence you throw out there.  Every writer, from the new blogger to the national news media, has their own way of saying things, and often you can pick out who wrote something based on the way it's written, without even seeing a byline.  Shoot for style-recognition if you want to make a name for yourself.

And always make sure you fact-check, no matter how reputable the source.  There is no truth to the folklore that a duck's quack does not echo.


  1. I have always wondered why someone would believe a duck's quack doesn't echo. I have heard the echo of quacks so many times, I find it downright hysterical! Great 'E' post!

  2. My biggest pet peeve is the use of Wikipedia as a "source." All Wikipedia does is "echo" other sources (IF the person adding the information even relays the information properly)!

  3. This is such an important post for writers to consider. Thank you for reiterating the need to be true to ourselves and reflect our personal uniqueness in our work, Marie Anne.

  4. An excellent way to avoid unintentional copyright infringement (retired lawyer just sayin'). BTW Marie Anne, the adorable duck was the first thing that I noticed in this great post.

    Quig Land
    A Pirate Looks Past Sixty
    Pirate Knitting

  5. Great piece. That's why I prefer to stick to topics I'm already knowledgeable about. I feel that when I try to write something like news, it comes off bland.

  6. Good advice.

    Droppig by via the A-Z blog