Linking to Sources with Highlight Tool or Blockquotes
Firefox Browser Users: Using Highlight as a Free Download to Source Material & Build a Story
For those of you who prefer Firefox over Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Opera browsers, NowPublic has created a tool that easily allows Firefox users to quote up to 50 words from an online source and add it to your article, or start with the quote and build your article around it. In either case, your own original words are the primary content/majority of the story rather than stringing quotes together with a few introductory remarks.
Highlight is an easy-to-use tool that allows you to capture quotes that substantiate your story from credible sources across the Web and with one click embed that excerpt directly into your NowPublic story, thus getting it "from the horse's mouth" and properly crediting the person or site where you found it.
- Download our free Highlight for Firefox (compatible with Firefox 3.6) tool so that the icon appears in your Firefox toolbar. If it has been downloaded but does not display, you may need to add it via View->Toolbars->Customize.
- Now when you're browsing the Web in Firefox and you see an interesting article, on a subject about which you have some expertise and would like to report, highlight the most relevant 50 words.
- Now click on the Highlight icon and a window will open overlaid at the bottom of the page with fields for a Headline and Details, the latter containing your copied text with HTML code around it.
- Add a headline if you haven't already started to post your story (up to 65 characters and keyword-rich) and add your own story text before and after the quoted text.
- Select a NP Channel for your story from the dropdown menu, then type in relevant tags or select from the list of auto-tags to add them.
- Click the Preview button to confirm the tags and preview your story.
- Check for related news stories in the right-hand column and click all that apply.
- Click Preview Story.If your story looks good to go, hit Publish and you’re done!
- If you want to make changes, you can Save as Draft or click the Edit Text tab.
- If you navigate away from your story or if something technically interrupts the publishing process from Highlight, your story will be automatically saved as a draft.
- Click your most recent Stories, Photos, and Videos on your member page to retrieve, edit, and publish auto-saved drafts.
Although Highlight is a powerful tool to quote from external sources and link back to them, it's no excuse to cut-and-paste a story together by stringing quotes in a row with little else to connect them. NowPublic encourages 80% original content to 20% Highlighted text at most - 3 highlight passages for every 600-word article. Entirely Highlighted posts will be unpublished or flagged for improvement.
If you are posting a story that was first published on your own blog (Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, Tumblr, etc), please be sure to use the block quote or Highlight tool to quote a 50-word excerpt from the original post rather than just re-posting it in entirety here. Google doesn't like duplicate content and neither do we, so reference it as a component of a new story here.
Quoting Sources in Your Article: Adding a Block Quote HTML
Identify the most arresting or relevant 50 words from the online source you're quoting and add it to your article as a block quote by doing this:
- In a separate browser tab, find the passage of text from the original online article that you’d like to quote (up to 50 words or 250 characters) and then select and copy it using your mouse.
- In your NowPublic article upload form (a second window/tab open in your browser simultaneously), place your cursor where you want to place the quote in your article.
- Type: a square bracket q url=” Now cut and paste the url of the page your quoting from after the first quotation marks and then close it with another quote and square bracket.
- Copy the 50 words of text you're citing and place it after that second bracket, then add square bracket /q square bracket after the last word.
- Finish writing the article (ideally 400-600 words, but 250 minimum with no more than 3 block quotes), and press Publish.
- You can add up to three quotes per article in this manner - ie 150 words total - making sure you've made clear the context in which you're discussing the comment, fact, or sourced information so that it holds together as a cohesive story and not just a random "overheard" snippet of material that in and of itself does not constitute professional reporting.
What is Plagiarism and Copyright?
Using previously published work (in print or electronic media) without giving credit to the original author is plagiarism and we have zero-tolerance for this at NowPublic. You can quote up to 50 words maximum from a given source or authority, but you MUST link to the original source to be above board. Put this information within quotation marks in your text as explained below.
Ideas originating from another source may be paraphrased if your rephrasing substantially differs from the original source, but credit must still be given where credit is due so in this case you should still create a hyperlink with anchor text naming the original source to indicate that this is a cited reference. If you're not actually quoting, you don't need to use a block quote, but you do need to link.
A note about sources...we know everybody uses it, but Wikipedia is an anonymous and collectively-written site and no one person is accountable for the information there, so needless to say it’s not Encyclopedia Brittanica, BBC, and the Harvard library rolled into one. It may be good as a very basic starting point to inform your article, but do not use it as a primary source. Many articles there are factually incorrect and the site itself is a collection of sources, so you never know who, exactly, you're citing.
If you wish to be the go-to expert on the subject then cite references that supplement, but don't directly mirror your own words, and write articles that are themselves as comprehensive as possible. Avoid “rehashing" and instead, bring something fresh to the table or that gathers great resources and places them in context.
See the Posting a Story guidelines for other good linking practices - ie linking to other very relevant NowPublic stories within the first 250 words of your article, using keyword-rich anchor text of 2 or 3 words, and avoiding weak link text like "here" or "this" instead of nouns for what you'll find if you click the link and verbs for what you'll do if you click the link. Other questions? See our Newsoom links or FAQ.
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