Citing Internet Information In Your Term Paper

I say so many things. Usually those things are reliable. But that “usually” implies that sometimes I say things are not reliable. That’s true.

Like a lot of people, sometimes I say things that I believe are clearly unreliable. I intend to be funny by doing so and it doesn’t occur to me that anyone could ever take them seriously. Silly, clearly unreliable things make up about half the posts here on Blurt.

Fool You Once, Shame On Me

It seems people have different ideas on how clear it is when I am unreliable. You see, last week, someone cited a post of mine for some scholarly purpose.

A rodeo clown's job can be quite dangerous, as...

This rarely happens to Austrian noblemen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several months ago, I wrote a post about a historical figure whose demise triggered the start of World War I. The post contains references to Sonny Corleone, rodeo clowns and running with a stick. I didn’t put those references in to make it clear that I really knew nothing about what I was writing about. They are there because they fit the humor of the piece.

But they should have made it clear that I really knew nothing about what I was writing about. It didn’t though. I’ve suspected that some were accessing that post in the course of their school work because it gets a lot of visits.

Then, last week, I got proof. Someone put the web address of that post into a site that generates bibliographic citations formatted for use in research papers. I’m honored and frightened to report that somewhere, someone, has cited in their term paper a post that I wrote that claims that the Archduke of Austria once dressed as a wounded gazelle to lure in a cheetah on a safari.

That someone’s getting an F.

Fool You Twice, Shame On You

Most of my regular readers do not have to write papers anymore. And all my readers that I’ve communicated with through comments or email, seem like bright people with the wisdom to separate foolishness from academically valid information.

In the event you’ve found this post while scouring the internet for tidbits to add into a paper you have coming due, please let me clue you in.

This was long thought to be the only portrait ...

Had pretty much your standard tush.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even though I have written and posted these things on the net, they are not actually true:

The world is a tricky place, kids. It is trickier if you don’t bother thinking about what you see, hear, or read.



Decide for yourself.


39 Comments on “Citing Internet Information In Your Term Paper”

  1. My Odd Family says:

    The Archduke of Austria once dressed as a wounded gazelle to lure in a cheetah on a safari.” Didn’t the cheetah know the difference? ‘ When one writes these things with such authority! Who are we to doubt?

  2. Mayor McCheese, LOL. Trip in the wayback machine on that one

  3. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Really? Not TRUE? But, wait, I’ve bookmarked WikiOma and use the information there regularly!

  4. Crap! I need to edit my paper. So did he really dress up as a water buffalo instead? Please say yes. And cite your reference. Thanks!

  5. Betty says:

    Classic. Must be a student at the “Close cover before striking” University.

  6. shoutabyss says:

    I often mix in completely made up stuff with otherwise factual (as far as I know since I got it from the internet) information. Like: The NFL quarterback proposed to his NFL cheerleader girlfriend while swinging like an ape from a chandelier.

    Normally I assume the made up bits stick out like a sore thumb, but then again, you have to be careful not to overestimate your readership. The United States is currently living out the opening scenes in the movie Idiocracy so it’s wiser to shoot for that lowest common denominator. (If you aren’t familiar with the word “denominator” just think of it as “thingy.”)

    Pingback: I used portions of this post in my term paper. You done been cited but in a good way.

  7. robincoyle says:

    Hey. If it is on the internet, it must be true. Mr. Google is never wrong.

  8. znsinger says:

    Someone seriously did that? Quoted a Blurt article academically? That guy DESERVES an F, he was probably headed for one anyway.

  9. Debbie says:

    So much easier to search the Net and find what supports your point of view, rather than doing that hard research-stuff! Are we becoming more gullible?

  10. The real tragedy in this is somewhere there’s a teacher who’s going to get an earful from an angry parent for doubting the student’s research. Been there!

    • omawarisan says:

      You’re right. But then, you know that, having been there.

      It doesn’t matter to so many if learning occurs, just that the kid doesn’t get embarrassed. After all, it’s not impossible to think that he was a rodeo clown, right? No law against it.

  11. You were cited in a paper? You’ve made it big, my friend.

  12. spencercourt says:

    > Someone put the web address of that post into a site that generates bibliographic citations
    > formatted for use in research papers.

    I wonder why they did that. A joke? Some “bot” searching for key words that would be likely term papers?

    And how did you find this out? Did the site send you an e-mail?

    This might lead to some pranks on my part in retirement when I’m bored….lol!

  13. Lenore Diane says:

    Is this a true story? I mean, is the information accurate? Just thought I’d ask before I cite this gem.
    Though Joe is only in first grade, he is doing reports. He tries to pull information via Wikipedia, but I won’t let him use the information he obtains on that sight. Much like the skills we learned in Driver’s Ed, Oma, and similar to how you ended your post:
    Identify. Predict. Decide. Execute.

    Do not take anything at face value.

    • omawarisan says:

      Ha ha…yes absolutely true, the citation site came up in my stats!

      Wikipedia – I had someone approach me about writing funny stuff to add into wikipedia as a blog project…in other words, I’d add in that Shakespeare really did have a large bum and he used it for publicity.

      He’ll appreciate your insisting on him doing things right. I did the same with my guy and it is paying off in college.

  14. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    I’d like someone to do a term paper proving that I am not McDonald’s.

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