Why Cite Sources?
Whenever you quote or base your ideas on another person's work, you must document the source you used. Even when you do not quote directly from another work, if reading that source contributed to the ideas presented in your paper, you must give the authors proper credit.
Citations allow readers to:
- locate and further explore the sources you consulted
- show the depth and scope of your research
- give credit to authors for their ideas
- evidence for your arguments
- add credibility to your work by demonstrating that you have sought out and considered a variety of resources
In written academic work, citing sources is standard practice and shows that you are responding to this person, agreeing with that person, and adding something of your own. Think of documenting your sources as providing a trail for your reader to follow to see the research you performed and discover what led you to your original contribution.
Below are links to the Purdue OWL guides for three styles used for most academic papers or research. Your professor should specify which style you are required to use: