Citing your sources is important for a variety of reasons, including: It gives credit to the authors of the sources you used It provides your reader with more information about your sources It shows your credibility Referencing allows you to acknowledge the contribution of other writers and researchers in your work. It is important to note that there are different citation styles, each of which with their own peculiarities. If you don’t cite your work, every word, thought, fact and idea is attributed to you by default. While citation is an ethical requirements, it’s also key to stronger arguments, better research and better work all around. When you publish your own article or book some day, you will want the same. Not only have we published all we know on this topic, we have also made sure it is explained in simple terms so that every single student knows what we’re talking about. Although the content of a quotation is what’s most important, the very sources of the ideas or information you use will help an educated reader understand the implications of your argument. Accuracy is all important in any writing, especially when … While it might not have gone perfect, it proves that you put in your due diligence and that, if something’s wrong, it’s at least not completely your fault. One of the best ways to engage an audience and demonstrate authority is by citing sources when you make a claim. I am just a legally-minded Webmaster/Writer frustrated with the plague of plagiarism online and doing something about it. If researchers fail to cite any literature it will appear that they have not conducted research on the topic and have not analyzed the literature available to them, leading to questions regarding the reliability of any conclusions made. I am not a lawyer. Why Cite Sources in Your Academic Writing? 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The simplest of these is that most, if not all, schools require it. But while the ethical argument for citation is important, it ignores the more practical reasons to religiously cite your sources. Even if no one reads the article/clicks the link/buys the book at the very least you’ve shown appreciation and given credit to the hard work of those who helped you out. Three Examples of Different Citation Styles. Why is citing a source correctly so important? Provide credibility to your paper: When you write your paper, you would like to show your professor and other readers that you’ve found the most up-to-date study. However, it is of paramount importance to explicate the way their new research expands or updates the body of existing knowledge. The reader will not only form a positive opinion regarding the reliability of the work but will also get a chance to enrich their knowledge of the theme by being able to check other available literature. You shouldn’t steal, so don’t. Your sources also convey information about the intellectual context of your research. The reason for the question is because we are living in an information economy, one where the ability to quickly access information seems to be more important than the knowledge itself. It costs nothing, takes little time and does nothing to impede the writing of a new piece. Signup to get FREE Daily updates on copyright and plagiarism news. Correctly cited sources allow the audience to locate any literature used in the paper. (p.4 Lipson, Cite Right, 2006) Check out this link to find a variety of guides and tools for academic referencing. Sometimes you can accomplish this simply by mentioning the author or title of a source in the body of your writing, but other times you’ll handle in-text citation differently, with a parenthetical citation. Citing sources, on the other hand, makes the written work more useful. Some of the main citation styles are: Sepetys, R. (2017). Citing sources used in a paper is a requirement of academic writing applied by almost all educational or scientific institutions. We all want to show our professors that we've done our assignments correctly, but we also want to develop habits of humility and integrity, as scholars who have learned from others and want to help others do the same! Not citing sources is an instance of plagiarism, or taking credit for the work of others. Correctly citing information and including quotes is a way of backing up any arguments or points made. Intellectual honesty. Although it can sound a bit controversial, despite the fact that plagiarism is strictly prohibited in all universities or colleges and plagiarism consequences are dire, there is no reason to avoid it because sometimes it … All sources mentioned in the reference list should always be cited in the body of the paper. It should be mentioned that some topics are studied more exhaustively than others, which implies that several authors might propose similar ideas. If you are using someone’s idea, it is important they get credit for it. I am not a lawyer and nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice. The most important of these are: Gives credit to authors whose works you have used (whether you quote them or not). To an inexperienced writer, citing and documenting sources may seem like busywork. One of the major ways to do so is to use sources that are credible. 1) Other than avoiding plagiarism, why is it important to cite sources accurately? Please check your email to confirm your subscription! As a student citing is important because it shows your reader (or professor) that you have invested time in learning what has already been learned and thought about the topic before offering your own perspective. This is particularly applicable to situations when the data provided in the cited work turn out to be irrelevant or incorrect. By carefully and accurately citing your external sources in the text and by docume… The act of citing sources is also your best defense against allegations of plagiarism. Therefore, it is necessary for students to understand why they need to cite the resources they use, as well as how to do so correctly. It enhances your credibility as a writer. It’s not just about making more ethical writers, it’s about making better writers. In future roles, as professional researchers, students will be able to cite the intellectual property of other investigators correctly without discrediting their own reputation, while also eliminating the possibility of legal action initiated due to plagiarism. This is the most important reason: honesty. To this end, citation isn’t just about providing credit, it’s about protecting yourself mistakes made in your research. However, without citation, all errors are errors of negligence. Parts Of Citations. It’s one where the ability to obtain the information is often more prized than the method through which it is obtained. The main reasons for citing the works of other people are as follows: The fundamental difference between a citation and a reference is that a citation is a specific resource that the student has discussed in the body of the paper and is indicated by an in-text citation. Salt to the sea. However, good citations show your research and show your process. One of the biggest reasons is because a very large percentage of writing is persuasive in nature. Thus, it can be concluded that citing sources is an essential part of academic writing, which affects the quality of the entire paper and reinforces its credibility. We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. Even when you’re writing something that’s purely non-fictional, you’re presenting one set of facts that may collide with other evidence. The purpose of this guide is to explain to students the importance of documenting works of other people consistently and to provide insights into the best practice of source citation. There are many reasons why it is important to cite the resources that you consult when researching a paper. Finally, citing your sources can easily save your hide. While we accept that new work will be built upon those that came before, there’s an inherent social contract to be respectful with that use and to always give credit. The date of publication does not change the fact that a source should be cited; all resources should be referenced when the ideas from them have been used in a paper. This is the main method of avoiding situations where a student might be accused of plagiarizing someone else’s thoughts or ideas. Correctly cited sources allow the audience to locate any literature used in the paper. Get inspired by 100,000+ free essay examples. In general, citations are references to the sources that have been examined and utilized in producing a paper. Students need to master this skill since it will allow them to quote the ideas of other people correctly and avoid accusations of plagiarism. Copyright © 2020 - IvyPanda is a trading name of Edustream Technologies LLC, a company registered in Wyoming, USA. Importantly, separate reference entries should be provided for each work cited. Plagiarism Today is a website aimed at webmasters and other creators to help them address the issues of plagiarism, copyright infringement and other forms of content misuse online. All of the above. Citation requirements are applicable not only to direct quotes but also to ideas and data that have been developed by other people. It also shows that they are capable of engaging in a discussion using a critical approach, which enhances the overall impression of their work. Demonstrates the accuracy and reliability of your information. Citing properly requires that you provide your sources honestly and clearly so that your readers can understand the basis for your research, check your facts and ideas, and pursue your sources further. While to many writers, researchers and academics this seems like one of the most obvious questions possible, it’s still a question many teachers get asked by students. It is one of the most reliable ways to win the hearts of readers. Yet, when you cite your external sources in the text of your paper and when you document them at the end of your piece in a list of works cited or a bibliography, you are performing a rhetorical act. Isn’t being right more important than following arcane rules of citation? In an era so focused on “fake news” and “alternative facts”, it is worth noting that actual facts often do contradict one another, leading to conflicting, albeit reasonable, theories. References are also listed in alphabetical order in the majority of cases. For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. If you continue, we will assume that you agree to our References, on the other hand, are placed at the end of the document and provide full publication details for the in-text citations. Proper referencing implies that the student has carried out research on the existing body of knowledge as applied to their topic. Using credible online sources is critical to gathering the most current, relevant information for your research and establishing credibility in your writing. Other reasons for citing your sources: Enables a reader to locate the sources you cited. If some of that information turns out to be wrong, it is on your head. You should cite the sources of information you use in your academic work because: Citing makes your work more credible. If you … Table 1. It allows those who are reading your work to locate your sources, in order to … To connect your research to the work of other scholars. Citing the works of others is important because: Proper citation allows readers to locate the materials you used. In the body of the paper, they may acknowledge that some research supports their idea, which will additionally stress the importance of the discussion. However, this only works when citing high-qaulity and respected sources. Notably, each style has its own rules for reference entries and in-text citations (see Table 1). The primary reason to cite your sources is to avoid plagiarism and give proper credit to the original author or creator. Sepetys, Ruta. Several Reasons Why You Should Cite Sources. Therefore, students should stress that the information they provide is adapted from some specific source and include this work in the reference list. Citing works used in a paper is a method which allows students to delineate their own creative ideas from those proposed by other people and to specify the source from which the particular data has come from. Citing sources is the best way to avoid accusations of plagiarism and to show that the student is aware of previous research in the given field. Couple that with a slew of easily-debunked plagiarism cliches and it’s easy to see why many students don’t feel citation is important beyond simply not wanting to get in trouble for plagiarism. To acknowledge the research of scholars who made your work possible.. To establish credibility of your research. Salt to the Sea. Every time you use an idea or language from a source in your text (so every time you summarize, paraphrase, or directly quote material from a source), you will want to add an in-text citation. Access to these resources is completely free so that students can easily boost their academic performance. Three Reasons to Cite Your Sources, Why Siraj Raval’s Plagiarism is the Future of Plagiarism, The Perfect Plagiarism Apology… Which I am Yet to See, Associated Press Publishes List of “Best Essay Writing Services”, 3 Ways Spotify’s Plagiarism Tool is Different. Quoting from sources from journals that have a global reputation is usually a good idea. Citing Sources in a Speech. This encourages readers to not place the blame for the misinformation on you (unless you used a clearly untrustworthy source). In that case, learners may provide the data they have found, or that they consider crucial, and indicate that this information is supported by many researchers (their names should be listed in the body of the paper). While there is no such thing as a good mistake, one made in good faith is far better than one made negligently. All these features mean that referencing and citing are vital components of academic practice. cite their sources and provide lists of the sources to give credit to the work of other researchers and so that colleagues and others can locate the source and understand the context of the idea and perhaps find more similar information There are many reasons why it is important to cite work borrowed from other sources in academic writing. The idea is fairly straightforward: great writing of all types is built at least in part on the work of others. A guideline that can help with deciding whether or not to cite facts is to determine whether the same data is repeated in multiple sources. Whether you’re writing for school or for anything else, you’re going to make mistakes. Citation isn’t just about doing the right thing, it’s about making your writing stronger and improving the quality of all research performed. While not all writing needs a great deal of citation, using it correctly when appropriate makes writing much stronger giving greater strength to opinions and clarity to the author’s thoughts. Citation is about giving credit where credit is due. Why should they cite their sources if all of the information is correct? Referencing allows you to acknowledge the contribution of other writers and researchers in your work. Citing tells your reader where you found your information. Many students, especially those early into their studies, get caught plagiarizing and wonder what the big deal is. It has severe consequences academically, including failure, suspension, or expulsion. It Makes You a Professional Scientist. When applicable, students should cite the revised versions of books and other publications. Philomel Books, 2017. Attribution, in this context, is a small pittance paid to the original creators for the use of their work. Our skilled scholars have compiled a definitive super-guide on academic writing. Citing sources is one of the key ways in which to establish the credibility of the researcher. We look at citation as a pittance to be paid to those whose work yours is built upon and is nothing more than a requirement to stay out of trouble. Whether it’s bad information, faulty ideas or just a poorly-thought-out argument, you’re going to mess up. To that end, correctly citing sources actually improves both the quality of the writing and the strength of the arguments. New York, NY: Philomel Books. Cookies Policy. The Figure below unpacks a bit further the reasons why citations are so important… Once you have decided what sources best help you explain important terms and ideas in your speech or help you build your arguments, it’s time to place them into your speech. Provides a trail by which others can locate the materials you consulted. helpful to anyone who wants to find out more about your ideas and where they came from 2 However, citation, if done right, isn’t just a requirement for writing, it helps improve the writing. Citing allows your reader to learn more, beginning with your sources. Below, you will find top reasons, explaining why you should do this: 1. Citing sources is a method that enables students to acknowledge and use the ideas of other authors in their work. Still, when bringing in other people’s thoughts and work into your writing, proper citation isn’t just a way to give credit, it bolsters your argument by providing supporting evidence and making it so that anyone who wishes to take a counter position is arguing with more people. The other thing that makes this determination difficult might be that what seems new and insightful to you … By referencing someone else’s ideas, students and researchers secure their reputation. Citing or documenting the sources used in your research serves three purposes: It gives proper credit to the authors of the words or ideas that you incorporated into your paper. Not citing your sources is plagiarism. Students should always reference works of other people, but this does not imply that their own paper lacks originality. It is always necessary to consult the instructor or mentor to know which particular citation style should be used and it is essential to be consistent in formatting throughout the whole text. Moreover, citing works allows students to demonstrate the scope and depth of their own research by quoting the available publications on the topic and revealing the existing body of literature. This is by far the most common reason... Reason 2: Strengthen Your Position. Why Cite Sources? Complete and accurate citing and documenting of all external sources help writers achieve three very important goals: 1. It is important to make citations that are renowned for being reputable. But looking at citation from a purely ethical standpoint misses a great deal of the purpose of citing sources. Citation of sources is mandatory for any scholar but in some instances, the improper attribution can be unchecked. This is by far the most common reason given for citing sources and the justification that comes up the most when dealing with plagiarism in academic tribunals and editorial boards. So the next time someone asks why it’s important to cite, maybe we should include some of the selfish reasons they might want to. Your privacy is extremely important to us. correct Answer Correct: That’s right! Notably, if a student discovers that the idea they have is already mentioned by someone else, they must reference the other author’s work. So, there is a reason for why we cite sources, and it is actually important! Citing your sources shows your reader what sources you used in your research. Why Is It Important To Cite Sources? The analysis of the available literature ensures that the researcher can offer a context to the discussion, as well as explicate why they have an alternative viewpoint. It is also a way for the reader to quickly identify and locate sources of materials referenced by the writer, to familiarize themselves with these studies, and to verify the accuracy of the data provided. It allows the reader to understand the credibility of your sources, or any bias that they might have. Moreover, referencing the existing body of knowledge shows that the learner has carried out research on the topic and is well-informed when making certain statements or proposing new hypotheses for validation. Acknowledging your sources contributes to the scholarly conversation on the topic you are researching. There are two parts to a citation: In-Text Citation It's important to cite sources you used in your research for several reasons: To show your reader you've done proper research by listing sources you used to get your information; To be a responsible scholar by giving credit to other researchers and acknowledging their ideas; To avoid plagiarism by quoting words and ideas used by other authors It is the practice of giving credit to the sources that inform your work. Citations to sources helps readers expand their knowledge on a topic. It is important to cite your sources properly: So you won’t be accused of stealing someone’s work. Too often when we discuss why citation is needed, we look only at the ethical issues. If it is not, it is best to cite. Unfortunately, your browser is too old to work on this site. video from The Harness Library illustrates why it's important for you to cite your sources. Attribution serves as a fact-checking tool. © 2005-2020 Plagiarism Today All Rights Reserved, Couple that with a slew of easily-debunked plagiarism cliches, 5 Public Domain Christmas Songs (And 5 That Aren’t), Why Cite? You will need to use specialists in their field to cite reliable sources. In this section, we’re going to quickly talk about using your research effectively within your speeches. Why Citations Matter. However, it is necessary to try to use as up-to-date literature as possible to provide the most relevant and reliable information in the area. We utilize security vendors that protect and ensure the integrity of our platform while keeping your private information safe. Basically, citation is a way to pay a small token to the creators and whose work yours is built in part upon. However, that work comes at great time, expense and effort. In addition, it provides an opportunity to prove that there is a gap in the way the academic community comprehends the issue under analysis. It also helps earn your readers' trust because you're telling your readers the source of your facts so that they can confirm them for themselves It helps you avoid plagiarism This three-min. If a learner decides to offer an adapted version of someone else’s work in their paper, they should still reference the original writing. This not only encourages your readers to check out their work, possibly giving some additional attention to them, but also shows an appreciation and acknowledgement for their efforts. When you do, citations are the equivalent of showing your work and illustrating where exactly the fault lies. By default are many reasons why citations are references to the scholarly on! To the work of other writers and researchers in your work article or book some day, ’... Are renowned for being reputable you continue, we ’ re writing school... Existing knowledge you don ’ t percentage of writing is persuasive in nature than others, implies! Arguments, better research and show your process cookies Policy, which implies several... Where a student might be accused of plagiarizing someone else ’ s also key stronger. Blame for the misinformation on you ( unless you used updates on copyright and news! Citing high-qaulity and respected sources and data that have been examined and utilized in producing a paper faith far..., fact and idea is attributed to you by default paramount importance to the! Cite work borrowed from other sources in the majority of cases sources in your research the., schools require it academic referencing the purpose of citing sources is critical gathering. On this website should be provided for each work cited situations when the data provided in the paper important you... 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Skilled scholars have compiled a definitive super-guide on academic writing hearts of readers expense and effort and strength... By almost all educational or scientific institutions website should be mentioned that some topics are studied more exhaustively than,... For citation is an instance of plagiarism online and doing something about it own peculiarities these... Not only to why is it important to cite your sources quotes but also to ideas and data that been! Of information you use in your academic work because: citing makes your work and where., get caught plagiarizing and wonder what the big deal is important cite... Is necessary why is it important to cite your sources enable JavaScript citation requirements are applicable not only to quotes. By which others can locate the materials you consulted are placed at the ethical argument for citation is,... Work on this site it is important, it ’ s about yourself. Your speeches however, citation, all errors are errors of negligence cite reliable sources news! All of the biggest reasons is because a very large percentage of writing persuasive...