Why Bother with Citations?

One reason to cite is to avoid committing plagiarism and the consequences of academic dishonesty. But there is a more significant reason.

Doing research and writing papers are how students learn to participate in the sharing, analysis, and creation of ideas. By studying other people's ideas, we build upon them to create our own interpretations and eventually form new ideas.

   A eureka moment. When your professors ask you to write a paper or speech, they are asking you to take part in this process, to take ideas and concepts from your own reading and research, to comment on or analyze them, and to offer your own thoughts and opinions.

Proper citing shows where the old ideas stop and your own ideas begin. It enables people that read your work to find the sources you have used, either to assist them in their own research or to verify the accuracy of your citations.