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I had answered a question here. Vemonus had made an edit which as far as I can tell was to correct a typo in the first quote. (Though, I have not verified that with Vemonus) Minecraft is written "Minecaaft" in the source. I had seen the typo when I posted but I figured it was a direct quote so I left it.

This made me curious about using sources in general. I always provide a link to any source material but I don't like the link only answer and realize it is discouraged.

I generally paraphrase as the sources were what I used to come to my own answer. The question I link to here, I had no idea on that answer. I did an internet search of those seeds and returned the results. I didn't want to take credit for information that was not mine.

My questions:

  1. Is it preferred to directly quote a source or to paraphrase?
  2. If directly quoting, should I be correcting typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors?
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    In this case, I would have corrected the typo and presented it as the quote. It is obvious to anyone what "Minecaaft" is supposed to mean, and leaving it as is or even leaving it as is with "[sic]" is just noise that's potentially distracting from the meat of the answer. – Unionhawk Aug 5 '17 at 17:14
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    Somewhat related: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/94282/… (I understand that's academic vs a community) – Tas Aug 8 '17 at 3:04
  • There is a perfect solution: sic. It is very short and I can see absolutely no drawback. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sic – Ludi Aug 15 '17 at 23:47
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There really aren't any rules when it comes to quoting, aside from making sure to credit your sources.

Is it preferred to directly quote a source or to paraphrase?

There's no real community preference here, just make sure your answer is easy to read and understand. If a direct quote would be several paragraphs, then try to paraphrase it to be a lot shorter. If the quote is only a few lines, though, then you mine as well just copy/paste.

If directly quoting, should I be correcting typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors?

I'll direct you to our friends over at English.SE for this one:

Should I fix typos/grammatical errors in quotation?

How to deal with quoting a grammatical error?

The tl;dr is to go around and ahead silently correct typos if you want, or you can just leave them in but mark them with a [sic]. If the quote is borderline unreadable due to grammatical errors, though, I'd definitely either correct them or just paraphrase.

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