In academic research, citing sources distinguishes between your original work and the ideas of others. It also makes you a more credible author by supporting your claims with valid evidence and well-researched information. Original ideas are considered intellectual property and require giving credit by law.
Citation styles and writing conventions are standard methods for documenting your sources. Citations help you and your readers find the same information you are citing to refer back to the source of information.
Use standard citations when you refer to the work of others in the body of your paper with in-text citations when using direct quotes and paraphrasing information. Then, compile full citations for works consulted or referenced in a reference list at the end of your paper.
Citations also help you avoid plagiarism, which is the misuse of words, media, and ideas that are not your own. Examples of plagiarism include:
- Outright copying or paraphrasing without attribution
- Not documenting the source of webpages, images, interviews, etc
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