In your research projects, it’s important to seek out a variety of sources like books, articles, websites, films, etc. These sources will help you define and describe your topic, identify new developments, current events, or emerging research, and see what conclusions or opinions other people have come up with related to your topic. When you write your paper and present the information you found in your research, you need to say where this information came from. This is called attribution or acknowledging your sources, and it’s usually done through a citation.
Citing your sources serves a few purposes:
- It shows your preparation for your research assignment and illustrates the conversation surrounding your topic.
- When you use credible sources, it helps strengthen your argument
- It allows your reader to learn more by referring them back to the original source
- It helps you avoid plagiarism by giving credit to the thinkers and authors whose works you are drawing from.
A citation is required anytime you:
- Summarize someone’s ideas on a topic.
- Use a direct quote or copy and paste from a source.
- Paraphrase information you read in a source – meaning you’ve taken someone else’s idea and put it into your own words.
- State a fact that is not considered common knowledge
Watch the video, Citation: A (Very Brief Introduction)