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  1. rja2015
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    rja2015 New Member

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    Should an academic reference be discarded/ replaced if it contains few clerical errors?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by rja2015, Apr 27, 2016.

    One history book my professor gave me contains around eight easily recognizable clerical errors. An Example of these errors is "Demosthenese", which should have been spelled without an "e" at the end. Overall, the book is accurate, save for one statement claiming that the Great Wall of China can be seen from the moon.

    So what do you think? Should you be excessively concerned with minor details?
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  2. Necronox
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    Necronox Active Member

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    I would me more worried if it is an accurate book from a decent publisher. Mistakes like that should have been picked up in the reviewing process. If you professor said it was good to use, then it most likely is, he probably knows more about that book then I do.

    As a whole minor errors do not mean you shout omit that reference, though it does raise eyebrows to it's origin and trustworthiness
     
  3. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    The Great Wall of China being seen from space (not the moon, IIRC) was something that Nixon told the Chinese to compliment them when he was working on reopening relations, so it's understandable that it might have worked its way into a history text, even though it's false. Still, I'd check other sources if I found anything else that I didn't feel sure of.
     
  4. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm often confused by the fact that when new insight into history comes along that history continues to be taught with the (now) mistakes intact. So, I've come to doubt all reference material.

    And then there's the possibility that the new insights might be wrong as well.

    In the words of Bernie Laplante (Hero): It's all bullshit, layers and layers of bullshit. You just have to pick a layer and say, there! That's my bullshit.
     
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  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It depends on which part you're referencing. Anything other than the Great Wall portion should be fine. Also, you can reference typos by adding [sic] after the word to show that the error is present in the original text.
     
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