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Fact checking

Accuracy matters. Use these steps as a guide to checking facts in your external communications.

Accuracy checks

Provide written drafts of your editorial content to interviewees and other sources — or read relevant passages aloud to them. Ask them to review the content for factual errors.  

Editing questions

Contact editors in University Affairs for assistance with editing, including questions about MU style, AP style, grammar, punctuation and word usage.

Names and titles

Check the spellings of the names of students, faculty and staff through the MU Directory. The directory lists the year in school and academic affiliation of each student, as well as the job titles and academic affiliations of faculty and staff. 

Look for details in all proper names and titles. MU business students, for example, study at the Trulaske College of Business, not the business school; the arts and sciences are taught in the College of Arts and Science (note the singular use of science); and the theater department’s proper name is the Department of Theatre. Check names of academic units through links to schools and colleges, departments, units and divisions.

Spelling and grammar rules

Run a spell check and a grammar check. Sure, your computer can work wonders as you compose, but take the time when you’ve finished to use the helpful spelling and grammar tools. Also, keep a grammar book or online reference tool at hand to review common errors such as misuse of which and that, misplaced modifiers, run-on sentences, incorrect use of commas in a series and missing commas in a compound sentence.

Style rules

Use style rules set by the MU Style Guide and Associated Press Stylebook, which are the standard guides for external communications.

Times, dates, locations

Verify times, dates and locations of university events and activities through the MU Events Calendar. Follow the AP style guidelines for listing the time, date and place of an event. Example: 8 a.m. Monday, Feb. 11, 1839, on Francis Quadrangle.

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