Answered By: Mary Ann Cullen
Last Updated: Jul 14, 2016     Views: 280

Citations are important for several reasons:

1. Avoiding plagiarism.  Plagiarism includes:

  • Having someone else write "your" paper
  • Copying someone else's work and representing it as your own.
  • Acting like someone else's ideas, writing, or research is your own.  This includes not citing sources in your paper.

2. Citing your sources lends credibility to your work.  Scholarship builds on the work of others.  By properly representing ideas, you show you've done your research and you sound scholarly, too!

3. To support your facts.  When you cite a fact or survey, citing the source of your information shows that you just didn't make this stuff up!

4. So your readers can track down your sources.  Suppose you are reading a paper and see an interesting fact or quote and you decide you'd like to track down the original source for more information.  You can use the citation to help you locate the original source.

Visit Citation Styles Research Guide for more information.

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