1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
Tags:
  1. rja2015

    rja2015 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    2

    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

    Necronox Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2015
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    Victoria, Australia
    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

    Iain Aschendale "Cue the artillery" Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,535
    Likes Received:
    2,694
    Location:
    Second Turtle from the Bottom
    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!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,428
    Likes Received:
    1,622
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    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.
     
    Iain Aschendale likes this.
  5. thirdwind

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,441
    Likes Received:
    2,938
    Location:
    Boston
    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.
     
    Iain Aschendale likes this.

Share This Page