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

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/ 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

shartography

That's how I got through grad school.

WatchYourPosture

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.

Tempname2222

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.

IcarusBurning

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

TheDigitalGentleman

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.

adastrally

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).

tkcal

Ah. That "Google" Guy Again?

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

teenytinylittleant

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.

_NullKarmaVoid_

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.

DistinctPangolin3

That's...No...

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

linnsie

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.

julseth314

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

redditusernmbr13

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