By: Marilyn L. Davis
“I’m no longer a child, and I still want to be, to live with the pirates. Because I want to live forever in wonder. The difference between me as a child and me as an adult is this and only this: when I was a child, I longed to travel into, to live in wonder. Now, I know, as much as I can know anything, that to travel into wonder is to be a wonder. So it matters little whether I travel by plane, by rowboat, or by book…. ― Kathy Acker
The Uncommon Treasure Troves
Writers today have both a responsibility and an opportunity to be accurate and truthful in their information. The wealth of verifiable knowledge available is there at our fingertips, starting with Google. Unfortunately, many writers stop there, with the most viewed becoming the most quoted and linked.
Several other general search engine sites might give you additional material for your article that is not so commonplace.
Hidden Nuggets of Information
Wikipedia is another go-to site for information to either support or enhances an article. However, if you take the time and research the primary source for any offering in Wikipedia, the additional facts might prove more helpful or interesting to your readers.
For more facts to help improve your article, review the References and Further Reading, or External Links features on Wikipedia. Set yourself apart, and find the main source.
Take the time to find these hidden nuggets of information to make your articles more creative.
Letting your readers know that you have researched your topic or subject from multiple perspectives further substantiates your reliability and integrity as a writer. As with all “found gems” that help improve your article, cite your source, give acknowledgment, credit, or link back to the original page. Just as you want people to mention you, or recognize you, showing the same respect is the correct thing to do.
Go Where No Man Has Gone – Or At Least Not Lately
There are additional sites that I frequent to find tidbits that enhance my articles. I know that they are reader friendly based on comments. I try not to bog my readers down with obscure minutiae or merely trivial things to add words. However, adding little-known facts, writing about the subject from a different perspective, or not the usual information presented in similar posts means that my readers get a unique experience.
The Open Directory Project offers a directory of topics. Although it is closing as of March 17, 2017, there are archived posts that might stimulate or prompt a piece from you. Or I can link to a particular article if I think my readers would be interested in additional information on a sub-topic from my article.
Quotes, Quotes, and Well, One More Quote
Sometimes I feel conflicted about quotes. Although I think they can reinforce the general position of an article, if inserted merely to emphasize a point, they can disrupt the flow of original content.
I like using a quote in my summary; I can then write my original thoughts about the topic. Other times, I will use a quote in the conclusion to wrap up the piece. Three excellent sites for quotes are:
Marooned on an Island, Give me a Book
While I am a staunch believer in the public library system and know that information is available online, there are times that I do buy books and Thriftbooks is my online source for professional and personal writing.
Many books are ones that you will not find elsewhere, and they let you create a wishlist. The books are reasonably priced, offer free shipping, and about three days turnaround.
Aargh, I’m out of space, and I haven’t even told you that this article was inspired by the Let’s Talk Like A Pirate Day.
See what you can write about when you let your imagination run wild?