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How to Use The Word "Sic"


A properly written essay, report or article often cites outside sources to add credibility to the work. When quoting a written source, it is usually best to write exactly what the original author wrote without changing words or spelling. Spelling, grammar or syntax errors made by someone else may reflect poorly on your writing, though, if the reader assumes the mistake was yours. To prevent this, the word "sic" is used to indicate to your audience that the error was the original writer's and not yours. Following proper style and grammar rules when using "sic" in your writing will ensure that your reader understands that the errors included in the quotes do not belong to you.

Insert the quote you are going to use into your writing, using quotation marks. Make note of which word is spelled incorrectly.

Place the word "sic" after the misspelled word. If there are multiple misspelled words within one quote, place "sic" at the end of the phrase but within the quotation marks.

Italicize the word "sic," but do not italicize the rest of the quote or the misspelled word. This is the proper format when using "sic."

Enclose the word "sic" in brackets. Do not put any punctuation marks within the brackets.

About the Author

Marissa Willman is a Palm Springs-based travel journalist and content writer. She has been writing professionally since 2007 for such publications as Viator.com, VisitPalmSprings.com and Palm Springs Life. Willman is also the local guide for the Palm Springs section of travel website 10Best.com. Willman holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from California State University, Fullerton.

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