Reasons Why Citation of Sources is Important When Writing:
Citation or referencing is used when a writer adds or borrows an idea from the work of another author. To most writers, students, and researchers, citing is a no-brainer. But while it is an obvious process in writing, some people do not understand the reasons for citing academic papers and documents. In fact, most people only cite because their work would be incomplete without proper citation, which would deny them good grades. But besides this, there are other reasons for referencing that are much more important.
First, citation of sources when writing helps to avoid plagiarism and uphold academic integrity. Plagiarism has become very common, where writers and researchers decide to steal intellectual information from the other authors. Misrepresenting another person’s academic achievements as your own by failing to credit the original author indicates a lack of academic integrity and is punishable. When caught, you risk failing in your coursework or even getting expelled from an institution. Citing allows you to use the ideas of another writer without falling into the plagiarism trap.
Referencing also helps to acknowledge the work of the original authors. One major principle of academic writing is to provide credit where it is due. Through proper referencing, you recognize the original author and the effort and resources they have put in their research to come up with the findings. It would be unfair if someone took credit for your ideas without recognizing your efforts.
Another reason for citation is to provide credibility to your work. Citing shows your audience that you have taken your time to do the research and have integrated the findings of other researchers into your work. Citation lends your work credible before your readers and provides authority to your claims. For instance, if you are researching about environmental pollution, citing experts that have made valuable intellectual contributions to the topic shows that you are well-informed about common ideas about the topic at hand.
Lastly, citation allows your readers to easily locate sources of information that you have used in your work. Some readers may also want to verify some points and may need to track the original peer-reviewed sources. Citation also helps you keep track of your sources such that you can easily find them again in the future when doing related researches.
Often, we concentrate on the ethical role of citation. But citation is not only a requirement for writing, but it also has the power to improve writing in general. When done correctly, citation strengthens writing by giving clarity to the opinions and ideas of an author.