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Feb 7 / Andrew Tornetta

Supporting your arguments with facts, stats, boosts your credibility

Andrew Tornetta

Think back to the time you wrote your first essay in English class. If you were anything like me, your teachers probably harped on you to support your arguments with facts.

Regardless of the topic, that lesson was always drilled into my head.

And it’s become even more important since joining Bleacher Report’s Advanced Program in Sports Media. Instead of one teacher wondering where I came up with my claims, there are now thousands of critical readers doing that and more.

I don’t think a certain team is good enough to win the championship? That’s fine, but I’m going to have an entire fan base ready to tell me why and how I’m wrong, so I’d better be making a strong argument.

I’ve found that my favorite articles are the ones I put the most time into researching statistics to back up my opinion, because even if people don’t agree with what a writer has to say, most of will at least understand and respect it if the writer supports his claims.

One of these occasions for me came a few months ago when I proclaimed that the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs weren’t legitimate championship contenders. I gave a handful of reasons why I believed this, and I quickly followed up every explanation with at least one or two stats to back it up further. Of course, Chiefs fans didn’t agree with me but the vast majority of commenters respected why I believed what I wrote and just hoped the team could prove me wrong.

If I went into that article making wild claims with no evidence to support them, the commenters would have taken a much different approach. Research and evidence are always key to a good article.

When you’re writing an article, make sure you read through it afterward and look for any possible argument that could be debated. If each claim isn’t followed by some sort of statistic or fact to support it, go find one.

Loading up articles with facts not only makes them stronger, it makes your reputation as a writer stronger as well.

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Andrew Tornetta is a Dolphins FC for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewTornetta.

One Thing You Need to Know is a series in which we ask members of the Bleacher Report Advanced Program in Sports Media to write about just that: One thing they’ve learned that they would pass along to other aspiring writers.