Why Is It Important to Cite Your Sources?

The proper acknowledgement of sources is a no-brainer when you’re writing your thesis, dissertation, essay, or paper. But there are many instances where improper attribution goes unchecked. But it should not; credit should be given where credit is due! Apart from the obvious moral obligation, why is it important to cite your sources? Let’s see here: 

#1 Citing a source serves as a fact-checking tool.

Accuracy is important in writing, especially when you’re quoting facts and figures. When someone reads your academic document, their act of looking up the references that you have mentioned serves as an accuracy check, for example, to double-check a direct quote, to verify the passage you’ve cited, or to cite another study that’s related to yours. 

#2 Citing makes you a better researcher.

Some of the hallmarks of good research include attention to detail and the ability to discern patterns and make connections, which good citation practices can help with. The proper citing of sources consists of many details: correct page numbers, the spelling of author names, and the accuracy of facts that you are presenting in your own article or other work. Becoming detail-oriented in one aspect automatically instills good habits across the board in your research.

#3 Good citation practices make you a better writer.

Citing specific sources for the various facts that you have presented removes generalizations, clichés, and outright false claims. Additionally, when you cite sources properly, you leave no question in your readers’ minds regarding your point. 

#4 A good bibliography says a lot about your knowledge of your topic.

A bibliography is a compilation of the sources that you’ve read and cited in your own dissertation, thesis, essay, or paper. And an extensive one is the hallmark of a well-read and informed researcher. When you submit your paper for review, for example, you don’t want the researcher critiquing you because you forgot to cite a well-known piece of literature!

#5 Careful citation practices build your credibility as a good researcher.

A deeper, more meaningful role that a good bibliography plays for you is to establish your credibility among your peers in their field. The better documented your research and arguments, the more credible you are to your colleagues.

#6 Citation enables better verification of your work.

Any piece of academic writing goes through several rounds of editing before it finally makes it into print or onto a website. Your paper is much more likely to be passed through these multiple rounds of editing with minimal criticism and positive feedback if you have already taken the trouble to attribute your information correctly and cite all your sources.

#7 Citations help you steer clear of plagiarism.

Correctly citing your sources helps you avoid plagiarism. Citing is what separates a correctly written paper from an academically dishonest one and indicates when something written wasn’t your idea. 

To sum up, citing your sources is crucial to establishing your identity as an honest and credible researcher. But being good and honest comes with a lot of hard work, with which we can help you! Head over to the PaperTrue website and check out how our editors help in editing your academic documents, which includes help with citations.