It is important to cite when borrowing the ideas and thoughts of others for several reasons. Citing sources
- builds credibility in your work by showing you are not alone in your opinions;
- gives you a chance to show that you have thought about and investigated your topic;
- gives your reader the information he or she needs to verify your source or to find more information on the subject; and
- allows you to give credit where credit is due.
Please note that not citing your sources is academically dishonest and may lead to charges of plagiarism.
Citing Your Sources." Texas A&M University-University Libraries. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Oct. 2014.
What is a citation?
What Is a Citation?
A citation is a reference that allows you to acknowledge the sources* you use in a formal academic paper, and enables a reader to locate those sources through the key information it provides.
Citations are placed both in the text and in an organized list at the end of the text.
*Source material might come from books, journal articles, speeches, websites, on-line articles, films, government publications, legal proceedings, maps, and so on.
When Do I Have to Cite?
1) If you quote an author, even if you are only borrowing a single key word, you must tell your reader where you found the information. Using an author's words exactly as they appear on the page, then, is a direct quotation that always requires a citation.
2) You also must cite a source
- if you restate an idea, thesis, or opinion given by an author,
- if you restate an expert's theory or opinion,
- if you use facts that are not common knowledge, or
- if you need to provide an informational or explanatory note.
These restatements of an author's words, thoughts, or ideas will take the form of either
- a summary, or
- a paraphrase (or indirect quotation).
Citing Your Sources." Texas A&M University-University Libraries. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Oct. 2014. http://library.tamu.edu/help/help-yourself/using-materials-services/online-tutorials/citing-sources/citing-sources-2.html.