As a copywriter, you know how important it is to back up your ideas with credible sources.
But where do you find reliable information?
To help you, I’ve put together this list of trustworthy internet sources that offer accurate statistics, quotes, and facts to support your writing projects.
Read on to discover the best places to find reliable information.
You Need Stats and Quotes in Your Writing
When you present ideas to a reader, it’s important that you give them the evidence behind those ideas, using credible sources. Otherwise, they’ll feel skeptical about what you’re saying.
Statistics, facts, figures, and quotes are all useful tools to support your claims. They strengthen your arguments and make your writing more persuasive. They add credibility to your research. And when you link to your sources, readers can verify that your work is trustworthy.
Most of the time, there’s no trick to finding quotes and statistics to use in your work. It’s usually a matter of plugging relevant words into Google and then having the patience to follow the rabbit trails until you find what you’re looking for.
But, if you want to learn more about research, the Library of Congress offers a series of case studies showing how librarians help patrons with quote attribution. You can find those case studies here.
AWAI also offers a course called Secrets of Becoming an Internet Research Specialist.
Sources for Quotes and Statistics
To be certain you provide accurate information to your audience, you need to be able to turn to reliable sources.
Fortunately, there are several places you can go online to find reliable statistics, quotes, and facts, such as government websites, industry-specific journals, and peer-reviewed research articles.
University of Oregon
The University of Oregon (UO) has a database you can access, if you need scholarly quotes. Some sources are restricted to students and faculty, but many are available to the general public. If you find something helpful, try Googling the name to see if you can access it directly rather than through the UO database.
For example, I discovered a resource within the database called Browzine. Browzine is a list of academic journals.
Suppose you’re writing a B2B whitepaper and want to include an academic quote. You could browse the list of academic journals in Browzine to find a relevant publication.
Now, you won’t be able to access the publication through Browzine unless you have a UO ID. But, you can find the name of a relevant journal and Google it. All the journals I looked at are available online and can be accessed directly.
Medscape is a medical news site for physicians and medical professionals. If you need to find current medical news and information, including information about various diseases and drugs, Medscape might be helpful.
For example, if you’re writing an article about bladder cancer and want an overview of bladder anatomy, you’ll find explanations and visuals on Medscape. They also include additional sources you can reference for further information.
EDGAR stands for Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system and is part of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
This is where you would go if you wanted to look up a public company’s financial information or view the documents they’ve filed with the SEC. You can also use EDGAR to research mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and variable annuities.
Goodreads can be an excellent place to find quotes from books. You can search by keyword, which is great, if you know the topic you want to cover but don’t have a specific quote in mind.
You can also search by name. For example, if you’re writing a piece about copywriting and think a quote from Dan Kennedy would enhance your article, you can drop his name into the search bar and find 95 Dan Kennedy quotes that might apply to your project.
Gallup is an analytics company that collects data and research and publishes its findings in easy-to-understand articles. In addition, they offer infographics you can download and use to add additional context and visual interest to your writing.
Statista is always my first stop if I can’t find what I need via a quick Google search.
Statista is an analytics company that gathers statistics on more than 80,000 topics from over 22,000 sources. Some of their studies are available only to paying subscribers, but many can be viewed for free.
If you’re looking for U.S. government-funded research, data.gov is the place to go. Just pop a keyword into the search bar, and the site will return relevant results from more than 335,000 data sets.
Pew Research is a “nonprofit, nonpartisan, and nonadvocacy” organization. They conduct research across various categories and offer their findings in multiple formats like essays, fact sheets, and videos.
You can find information by using their sorted categories or search keywords in the search box at the top of the page.
Hear me out.
While no one would claim Wikipedia is a credible source to include in your writing project, it does have a place in the research process. Wikipedia can give you a general overview of a subject and recommend additional resources.
At the bottom of most Wikipedia entries is a References section. This area often contains citations with links to credible source material. Just click on ones that look relevant and follow the trails.
Tips for Verifying Credibility
It is essential to verify the credibility of your sources before referencing them in your materials. Not only will unreliable sources damage your reputation as a professional, but they can also lead to inaccurate information being shared with your readers.
To verify your sources, check the author’s credentials and affiliations, read reviews and comments from other readers, and look for evidence that the reference has been cited by other reputable publications.
Also, double-check any statistics or quotes you find against multiple sources to ensure accuracy.
And verify that your data is up-to-date. This is especially important in rapidly evolving industries like tech and medicine.
You need to cite the sources for any stats you use. Citing your sources tells people where you found your information and helps with credibility.
For digital copywriting, it’s usually enough to hyperlink to the source, but you’ll want to check with the business you’re writing for. They may have a preferred style for citations.
Be sure to cite the right person or company behind your stats or quotes. You might need to follow several links to get to the data source.
For example, in this article from Search Engine Journal (SEJ), there’s a statistic that says 83% of marketers believe it’s more effective to create higher-quality content less often.
While you may have found the stat via the SEJ article, when you follow the link they included, you’ll see the statistic originated in a report from HubSpot. If you decide to use this stat in your writing, you should credit it to HubSpot, not SEJ.
Including statistics and quotes in your copywriting is a great way to add credibility to your writing projects. And citing your sources helps readers see that you’re trustworthy, which builds your authority and your client’s.
What sources do you use when you want to include stats and quotes in your work? Share them with your fellow copywriters in the comments below.