How to Properly Cite your Sources and Why it is Important

There are a few ways academic disciplines expect students or researchers to cite sources. Depending on your field ie: science or journalistic story, different styles are required. For example, the Vancouver referencing generator is used mostly in Biology or Medicine, Oxford references are used in Law or Journalism etc.

However, the citation of sources at the end of the day depends on the type of work you are doing and the expectations of your tutor. It is possible that the importance of a proper citation has been already addressed to you, but you may not know the reasons why it is so important when it comes to your academic work/story.

Allow us to put in the picture about the reasons why is this so important and then to advise you on how to properly cite your sources.

Why proper citation of sources is important?

1. Accuracy

First things first, when you write something, especially if it’s a journalistic piece, accuracy is very important. One way to be accurate is to quote your sources, such as testimonials or cite another study/news related to yours in order to back up your research.

This way, not only will you establish evidence to your research, but you will distinguish facts from fake news.

2. It Will Make You Detail-oriented

Proper citation will make you detail-oriented, and definitely a better researcher. One of the things that make an observer good is finding the required information and arguments and connecting dots.

A proper indication to sources will allow you to become more precise just because it requires a lot of details such as author names, year, pages etc.

3. Prevents Plagiarism and Builds Your Credibility

One of the most evident reasons why it is important to cite your sources is, of course, to prevent plagiarism. This will ensure that you will take credit for your work, and by the way, it will build your credibility – the better your research is and the more quotations you have, the more credibility you get.

How to Properly Cite Your Sources?

Since now the importance of citation of sources is clear, let’s take a look at the correct way to do it.

1. Use the citation style which is required from you

There are different citation styles used in different disciplines. Usually, your peer will announce which style you should use. If they don’t, it is your responsibility to talk to them and clarify this before you start working on your assignment.

If they give you the freedom to choose, pick one style and stick to it – never mix two different citation styles.

2. Write down the author and title

It is best to identify the author and title for every source you intend to use. If you have multiple authors, write them down, as well as the title page.

3. Learn the differences

It is very important to learn the difference between paraphrasing and quotations. They are cited differently but in the end, you should always encircle with the author’s words and give them the credit.

You are allowed to use their idea, but you still have to cite them using. In case you still need more information about why it is important to cite your sources and how to properly do that, take a look at the following video: