Good evening,

I'm in the process of writing a small research paper for my college and im facing the following dilemma.

One of my sources has a typo. More specifically instead of the word "Christians" the author wrote "christians" (lowercase C) which is wrong. Should i correct it or should i leave it as is?

I know that this is a minor mistake but in the future i will probably come across many other typos like this one and i would like to know.

PS. Im using MLA 8.

Thanks in advance.


2 Answers 2


The usual convention is to quote the source as is but add "(sic)" after the incorrect word to indicate that the error is in the source and is not a transcription error.

christians (sic)

  • See my comment following the answer from A Child of God.
    – user23046
    Apr 20, 2017 at 4:28

What Mark Baker said in his answer is correct, but there is another option. If you want to correct the typos for clarification or add information for clarification, you can add text in square brackets []. In your case, here is an example:


According to the English Oxford Living Dictionaries,

Square brackets (also called brackets, especially in American English) are mainly used to enclose words added by someone other than the original writer or speaker, typically in order to clarify the situation:

He [the police officer] can’t prove they did it.

  • 2
    According to the Chicago Manual of Style, minor typo corrections that do not affect the sense, are better done this way. It is less intrusive. Also, the (sic) method has the reputation of being a negative comment. That is, the (sic) may be interpreted as intentionally demeaning the credibility of the original writer, by so obviously calling attention to the typo.
    – user23046
    Apr 20, 2017 at 4:28

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