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The Attribution: Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” (Romans 4:3, NLT

A Word For Writers

The Attribution: a #devotional for #writers based on Rom 4:3 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WritingTips

“Attribution refers to the process of giving authors credit for their ideas, words, and other creative media,” says University of South Florida English professor Joseph Moxley, Ph.D

Attribution is not only the law, but it also demonstrates respect for the person who originated the content. Plus, it offers a way for readers to refer back to the original source for the quote, fact, statistic, or piece of information.

You can create an attribution in context, just as I did with Dr. Moxley above. Or you can offer an attribution as a footnote.

New Testament writers gave plenty of attribution to their Old Testament counterparts. There are at least 283 New Testament instances that say, “As it is written” or “In the law,” referring to a prophecy or psalm or other piece of information from the Old Testament. Matthew offered 45 attributions in his gospel. The writer of Hebrew gave 42. And Paul quoted scripture 58 times in his letter to the Romans. 

For example, he gave attribution to Moses by quoting Genesis 15:6 when he explained how Abraham modeled faith: “For the Scriptures tell us, ‘Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.’” (Romans 4:3, NLT)

Follow the example of the New Testament pros. Give credit where credit is due.

A Wise Word

Give attribution credit where credit is due.

A Word To Pray

Gracious Father,

Thank you for your Word. Your writers gave proper attribution to those who came before them. Let me show respect and do the same.

In Jesus’s name, Amen. 

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