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English Writing 300/33 - College Composition (Borders)

Why Cite Sources?

Link to Citation Style Guides

Whenever you quote or base your ideas on another person's work, you must acknowledge the source you used. Even when you do not quote directly from another work, if reading that source contributes to the ideas presented in your paper, you must give the author(s) proper credit. If you don't, you are committing plagiarism.

Citations allow you to:

  • give credit to authors for their ideas.
  • show the depth and scope of your research.
  • provide a road map of your research so that others can locate and explore the sources you consulted.
  • avoid committing plagiarism.

Citations provide:

  • evidence or support for your arguments.
  • credibility to your work by demonstrating that you have sought out and considered a variety of resources.

In written academic work, responding to and commenting on the work of scholars shows you've done your research. Adding something of your own shows your critical thinking and understanding of the topic.