Teachers Share The Funniest Sources Students Have Ever Cited In A Paper

/ Contributor via Getty Images

Most students are taught how to properly cite sources sometime in elementary school. At the time, it can seem like an arduous task. "Why make us write out the name of the book I used in such a confusing way?" Thanks to the age we live in, an age of disinformation and "fake news," it's more important than ever to make sure the sources we're using are real.

...And then there's these kids.

Reddit user, u/Hummis6047, wanted teachers to rat out the best of their laziest when they asked:

Teachers of Reddit, do you ever look at the cited sources of your students projects, and if you have, what kind of bs have you found?

Not Even The Professor Wants To Read That

Middle schoolers citing 1000 page scientific papers when they probably just looked at the references section of the Wikipedia article they copied


That's how I got through grad school.


The saddest moment is realizing there is no wiki articles on some of the stuff you're studying and you actually have to read through a tonne of articles to find useful ones.


Where's Your Proof?

Had a student once turn in a research paper about Abraham Lincoln's black ancestry.

The source?

A known satire website.


Well... I've never seen Abraham Lincoln's supposedly non-Kenyan birth certificate, so.....


What, You Don't Trust These Guys? Steve and Dave and Jeff and Mike and...

"the data didn't support our hypothesis but our personal experiences do, so we still think this is a thing."

also, one student used author's first names instead of last names for the in-text citation. "steve and dave, 2016." I cracked up.


It's A Harmless Mistake, Right?

Former high school teacher now university lecturer here.

Yes. I once found that a student had cited a legit source to support the completely imaginary argument he was making in his writing. There was nothing in the source material that had anything at all to do with what he'd written. When I called him on it he said he 'must've got the sources mixed up'. We then proceeded to have a rather heated discussion about why it wasn't fair to penalise him for what he saw as essentially a pretty harmless mistake. I mean, anyone could do that, right?

The bigger issue I have is students NOT citing sources and producing these wonderful pieces of writing and analysis which they expect me to believe are their own ideas. Again - when you call them on it, it's not plagiarism, it's just something they 'forgot'.

In my own country that would have been grounds for immediate exclusion from the uni. Where I am now, the powers that be are getting more serious about it, but a lot of people still think I'm overreacting (I'm in Germany).


Ah. That "Google" Guy Again?

I found out that a photograph came from "images.google.com"


I literally did that once with like 20 images in a project, and I realized right after turning it in that the links to them were like right under them all along.


Well, That Professor Is Just Silly

Not a teacher, but in my first year of Uni I took a history course on Vikings for fun. During one of my tutorials, our professor told us that most of us had done well on our essay, but that it should go without saying that nobody should be referencing "How to train your dragon" in a University level essay.



8th grader's only source for a paper on railway history: My uncle, he knows a lot about trains.


Just Do The Work

I taught an undergraduate course last semester. I checked most of the references the students used. If there were many references in the paper, I normally just looked to see where they came from to see if they were reputable. Most of the time the students just found sh-tty websites as opposed to journal publications. That's BS in my opinion, but I couldn't take points off for everyone.


Respect The Player, Not The Game

This was last year, but a student in my AP Biology class had his main cited source as a quick link that went straight to " Never gonna give you up" by Rick Astley

This was for his final project to pass the class... He still passed the class


When looking at a resume, it's easy to understand how prospective employers will assume someone is very intelligent based on their education and past experience.

But one shouldn't only assume someone's intelligence based on what they read.

More often than not, one can tell rather quickly that someone possesses above-average intelligence, based on how they speak, how they behave, or other telling details.

Keep reading...Show less

With each passing year of a marriage, couples will often discover that while they don't love each other any less than they once did, that spark their relationship used to carry has faded.

This will often lead these couples to look for ways to spice things up a bit.

Among the more popular experiments is inviting a third member to their bedroom.

Enticing as this prospect is, however, it's also easy to be intimidated by the reality of it, or even the mere suggestion of it.

Keep reading...Show less
People Share Their Best 'You Either Die The Hero Or Live Long Enough To Become The Villain' Experiences
Photo by Terry Tran on Unsplash

"You either die the hero or live long enough to become the villain."

Though not necessarily a universal truth, all of us have witnessed unfortunate moments in our lives where we've seen this saying become a reality.

Be it seeing our favorite public figures take a serious fall from grace, someone we know and admire eventually disappointing us in a devastating manner, or even seeing ourselves turn into someone we promised we'd never become.

Keep reading...Show less
People Describe The Darkest Thing They've Ever Done That They Don't Regret
Photo by Ashley Jurius on Unsplash

Sometimes we do things that have to be done.

And some of those things live in life's gray area of right and wrong.

What comes as a surprise to some is when we don't care if we're wrong.

We may still technically be in the right.

But morally and ethically, there may be some issues.

But still, many people don't care.

Keep reading...Show less