1. rja2015
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    rja2015 New Member

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    Should you be pedantic about the clerical errors you see in an academic reference book?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by rja2015, Jul 18, 2016.

    I'm currently studying History in a distance learning school where the primary mode of instruction is through online delivery of academic materials called modules. My concern is that most of these modules contain minor clerical errors, which can be easily spotted and corrected with the help of other references. In one module, for example, the last name of the former U.S. senator Stephen Douglas is spelled with a letter "h". Another module claimed that "Palawan", instead of 'Palanan", was the place where the first Philippine president, Emilio Aguinaldo, was captured. The academic committee responded appropriately when I informed them about these mistakes. But should I continue to be pedantic about the minor clerical errors I might encounter in the future?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 9.33.20 AM.png

    Minor errors like these happen. I don't think anyone's advice here is going to be of benefit in whether or not you should continue to serve as a spot checker for the course. I would think that the tone of the response you received would be more indicative of whether or not continued help in this matter is of value. And, just to be pedantic, you missed the word in in the last few words of your final sentence. ;)
     
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  3. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    My long-distance learning materials are appalling. They're not only littered with errors but they don't even make sense in parts. What would be the benefit to me in proof reading them? No benefit. I just mark the course appropriately in any end of year surveys.
     
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  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed. Also, one has to have a true accounting for just how pedantic a spot-checker one is. If I got my knickers in a twist every time I read had ran, had ate, had wrote in digital media, I'd be bonkers by now.
     
  5. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love fanfiction. I love FanFiction dot net, I can talk for hours about my favorite fanfictions and what they did right that many of fanfictions (and original works) didn't, and I spent two and a half years working on a novel-length Doctor Who story for the same site.

    And I don't even look at 95% of the stories for any given fandom on the site because I can tell from the synopsis that the SPAG is going to be atrocious, and even 90% of the ones I do look at have such horrible editing that I can't force myself past the first chapter or two. I'm actually starting to consider a day job as a copy editor (especially after finding 2 resources on how to be a writer and/or editor that each had a glaring SPAG error).

    @rja2015 I would have to say keep it up ;) Even if you don't share the mistakes you find with with powers that be, you'll still be getting yourself in the practice of finding them in your own work.
     
  6. rja2015
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    rja2015 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply! May I know the name of your school and what course/ degree you're studying?:)
     
  7. newjerseyrunner
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    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

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    I guess it would only matter if it changed the content. If a minor error is a glaring error, but doesn't change the content that you are reading, I would say it's fine. I would be very concerned however, if this was in any way a STEM course. Those must be extremely precise in their wording. There is nothing more annoying to me than a textbook that uses the speed of light as a metric without a reference frame. If you use the speed of light like that, you failed special relativity. My nieces and nephews have summer math assignments, I did them myself and had to send an email because they were so poorly worded.
     
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