I've run across a whole lot of terrible research papers. But I think I got the crown of creation this time round. The paper used some really terrible sources to begin with, but what made it particularly bad was how those terrible sources were used. The writer said things like "Gulliver believes that Lilliputian politics are silly (Smith 202)." The initial problem is that if in fact Gulliver thinks that, then the writer ought to quote something from Gulliver's Travels as evidence, not some secondary source. But ever worse, when I go to Smith 202 to see what she says, it turns out that there's not a single solitary reference to the idea on 202--or in the rest of the article, for that matter. The whole paper does the same thing. Over and over again a statement is made and referred to a source that has absolutely nothing to do with what the writer has asserted. It would be funny except that it's more pathetic than funny.
Edited by yoyo52 (05/16/1402:04 PM)
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