Do college professors actually check sources?

When writing essays, thesis, dissertations, term papers, and research papers, it is common practice to use sources to support any facts or ideas that are not your own.

This is the main difference between creative writing and essay and dissertation writing.

Sources may include journals, credible websites like the CDC website, news websites like CNN, books, interviews, videos, newspapers, surveys, and films.

As long as a source is credible and reliable, it can be used in paper writing.

However, most college professors recommend that students focus on scholarly sources or peer-reviewed sources when writing academic papers.

One common question that most students ask is: do college professors actually check sources? In this blog post, we seek to answer this commonly asked question in detail.

Do college professors actually check sources?

College professors actually check sources when grading their students’ papers. Professors will randomly check if a source cited is accurate. In addition, most professors are well versed with the topic being discussed and will tell fake sources by just looking at the reference list.

Hire a cheap essay writing service that will write your paper from scratch using credible and  reliable sources

Once a professor finds that a fake source has been used in a paper, they will most certainly dig deeper and closely examine if other sources used are correct.

It is important to always avoid faking sources, as this may lead to a failing grade or being suspended for plagiarism.

Remember to double-check all your references and in-text citations before submitting your paper for grading.

It is crucial to ensure that all sources used are credible and have appropriate in-text citations to support facts in your academic writing.

Do professors check every source?

Professors do not check every source. However, if they suspect something unusual, they will check the source in question, and if they find any anomaly, they will review all other sources in the paper.

Since most college instructors are well versed in the courses they teach, they can be able to tell when a student makes a claim that might not be correct.

This might prompt them to scrutinize the source making the false claim. And this answers the question: do professors actually check sources.

If they find out that the source used is incorrect, they will review all other references used in the paper to ensure they are correct.

If you have used any fake source, your professor will punish you for this by giving you a failing grade.

Also see: Is My Source Credible? is Mayo clinic credible? is CDC credible? is WEBMD credible?

Do professors fact-check students’ references in the assignments?

Professors generally do not fact-check all references in assignments but will randomly check a few sources to establish their credibility. Most of them also know most of the sources cited by students.

Professors mainly specialize in one subject area. As such, they usually are well versed with most of the scholarly sources in the field.

In fact, most of them have authored some of the sources used.

As a result, they are able to tell when a student uses fake sources or when a student uses credible sources but makes false claims in their assignments.

Students should be careful and only use credible sources to support their facts when writing assignments.

Otherwise, your professor might penalize you for fabricating sources.

Also see: Is The Encyclopedia Britannica A Credible Source?

Do professors actually check references on essays?

Professors do actually check references used in essays. They do this by going through the reference list to check if the references used, align with what is written in the paper. But will not manually check all sources used.

College professors are smart, and when checking if the sources used are credible, they will first go through the references listed on the bibliography page.

From here, they might be able to see if the sources used are correct and also be able to establish any anomalies.

For instance, if the paper is about tort law, they might quickly go through the sources to see if the sources used are related to tort law.

So, if they find any sources not related to the topic, they might carefully go through all the references to ascertain the student did not fabricate the sources.

Will college professors check your sources in papers?

College professors will check sources used in your paper to find out if they are any fake sources. Mostly they will spot-check one or two sources for each student to see if they are any anomalies.

However, if they sense any foul play, the professor will check more sources. When they dig deeper, they will manually check all sources used to determine if the sources used are reliable.

Most instructors advice all students to use sources available in the university library or journals that the university has subscribed to.

Suppose they find the sources used are not both in the university library and the list of journals the university has subscribed to; they will have reason to believe that the student fabricated the sources.

Will college professors look at citations on the work cited page?

College professors will look are the citations on the work cited page to determine if they are credible. While professors might not check all the sources for each student, they can check one or two sources for every student.

The first step of checking the work cited page is to see if the sources used are relevant to the topic at hand.

If the paper is about nursing theories, the instructor will automatically expect that all sources should be related to nursing theories.

The second step is to find out if the sources used are credible and relevant.

Remember, in academic writing, students are advised to use scholarly and peer-reviewed sources to support their major points in a paper.

If everything checks out at this point, your professor will be satisfied with the sources you used and might not delve deeper.

However, if they sense an anomaly, they will manually go and check all the sources used.

Do teachers check to see if a source is accurate on a student’s paper?

Teachers will check to see if a source used in a student’s paper is accurate. While teachers might not check all the sources for each and every student, they will check a few sources for each student.

A teacher can also decide to check if sources are accurate if they have any reason to be suspicious.

At times, the teacher might have read the book or journal and might detect any information cited that does not correlate with the book or article.

Besides, teachers might also check to see if the source is legitimate.

Also, teachers might also check a quote or a citation to verify the information.

Teachers have a 6th sense when it comes to telling whether the sources used are accurate. And while they miss a few, they don’t usually miss many.

How often do teachers actually check the sources that a student cites in their essay?

Teachers often check the sources students cite in their essays. While time might not allow them to check each and every source for all students, teachers will normally check a few sources for each student. 

Teachers are usually experts in the subject areas they teach. As such, they are able to tell if a source is relevant and if it makes sense.

Chances are they have come across the source, and they know the information contained in the source.

With that knowledge, they are able to automatically tell if the source cited was actually used when writing the paper.

Do teachers actually check the references on papers?

Teachers actually check the references on papers. They will check one or two sources for every student since time might not allow them to manually check each and every source students use in their papers.

Teachers will check sources used to determine their quality. While writing essays and academic papers, not all sources found on the internet can be used.

You have to use credible, reliable, and scholarly sources in your essays.

Instructors will also check if sources are appropriately cited with appropriate in-text citations. Remember, for each and every source listed on the reference page; a corresponding in-text citation is needed.

Do teachers actually look at the citations in the works cited?

Teachers actually look at a few citations in the work cited page to ensure they are credible and accurate. Depending on the time they have, they may decide to check all sources used for each and every student.

English teachers are particularly notorious for going through all the sources cited in a paper. Apart from checking if sources used are accurate, they also check if the student has cited correctly.

Other teachers will go through the sources listed, and if they suspect something is off, they then check all the references manually to determine their credibility.


In this blog post, we answer the question: Do college professors actually check sources?

And yes, most professors and teachers check sources used in essays, assignments, dissertations, and thesis to determine if they are accurate.

Students need to ensure that they use credible, reliable, and scholarly sources when completing their papers.

They should avoid using fake sources and fabricating sources as this might land them in trouble.

Watch the video below to determine how to evaluate sources for credibility