Why should you cite your sources?

Why should you cite your sources?
When you as a student write a paper it is part of scientific communication and should therefore follow the same rules as other scientific work. The academic method involves not taking credit for other people’s work. Instead it is important to show that you are familiar with the research that has been done within the subject field and which relates to the question you are trying to answer. Below you will find more reasons for citing your sources.

  • By citing your sources, you document the work you have put into getting background information, and it also shows that you are familiar with current research in your field. This increases your own credibility.
  • By citing your sources you can show that you have collected facts for your work from relevant and credible sources. Furthermore you will not be questioned in case the sources you have used turn out to contain incorrect information.
  • When you copy someone else’s words and use them as your own, you miss the chance to comment on and discuss them.
  • By writing correct references you make it easier for the reader to retrieve the sources you used for further reading or for checking information.
  • By adding correct references you avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism can lead to disciplinary consequences, e.g. suspension from studies for some time.
  • Plagiarism creates unfair conditions between students and can undermine people’s trust in university education.