Bad "scholarly article" needed for information literacy classes

Stacy Pober stacy.pober at MANHATTAN.EDU
Mon Mar 9 17:26:42 EDT 2015

I'm looking for an example of a badly written pseudo-scholarly article to
use as an example in an info literacy class.

For years, I used a badly written veterinary article that was on the
website of a manufacturer of herbal supplements. It claimed to be a report
of the results of a double-blind study of their products as used to treat a
particular disease but it described a terribly designed study which was not
even single-blinded.  It had no bibliography.  It used some of the
buzzwords of academia and was co-authored by two veterinarians and the
owner of the supplement company. It was a very good example of very awful
pseudo-academic writing.

Alas, the company has taken the article down from the web.

Does anyone have some similarly bad articles they can suggest using?  I am
not looking for articles that are written just to prove that one can write
badly, and I don't want one of those articles written by an automatic paper
generating program.. I know there are some of those on the web. I want one
that is bad but written by people who sincerely thought they were writing a
good research article.

The article I used to use was chosen partly because of the large number of
people who linked to it from other websites.  Those other sites were
linking to it because they believed it. They were not using it as a bad

Stacy Pober
Information Alchemist
Manhattan College Library
Riverdale, NY 10471
stacy.pober at


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