Why do we cite?

  • Citation allows people reading your work to find the original sources if they want to learn more about something.
  • Citation gives people credit for the work they did - you're not taking credit for someone else's work.
  • When you cite other people's work it shows that you have done your research and that your arguments are based on a strong foundation.
  • If you don't cite properly, you are committing plagiarism and risk academic or even legal repercussions.

You should cite any information you got from reading other people's work. This includes...

  • direct quotations
  • information you summarize or paraphrase from your sources.
  • any references to the work of others.

A good general rule is to cite any information you didn't know before you started doing research.