Most people know that thorough research is needed when writing nonfiction for children. That means writers must use a variety of primary sources, reliable websites, and trustworthy books because research requires diligent and careful study to investigate a subject and to establish facts. Those who use one source violate the rules of research. One source wouldn’t provide enough information needed to research a topic adequately.
However, there are a few writers who think that one source should do the trick. These writers are either unaware of what is required for research, or they are just plain lazy. Either way, a nonfiction submission with one resource will usually end up being rejected.
When I encounter nonfiction submissions for Kid’s Imagination Train that have only used one source, I am not impressed. These submissions tell me two things: our guidelines have not been read and the authors don’t understand how to research a topic. But...these writers are given another chance to improve their work and to submit again. They are asked to use more sources and develop the article by adding more interesting facts.
Most of the time writers will comply and resubmit a well-researched piece. But in some cases, writers merely just add a couple more books to the bibliography without incorporating any new information. Shocking, yes? It happens. To be blunt, these kinds of writers are cheaters. They are cheating themselves of learning some pretty cool stuff when researching. They are also cheating themselves of the satisfaction and pride that comes from digging deep. More, they are cheating children of rich details and interesting information they so wholeheartedly deserve.