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Research Help Guide: Why we Cite

Getting Research Help

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Research and Citation Help

Learn how to conduct research and cite your sources with these helpful guides and videos

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Workshops are scheduled throughout the term.

 

Why We Cite (Infographic)

Quick Summary: Why we Cite

  1. Citing is part of your academic duty to attribute words and ideas to their original source – simply giving credit where credit is due.
     
  2. It adds weight and credibility to your paper – you demonstrate that you are engaged in the relevant research material
     
  3. We cite to avoid plagiarism - Plagiarism means claiming the words, ideas, artistry, drawings, images or data of another person as if they were your own.

 

More Informationdecorative

Academic Integrity at Ryerson (policies) 

APA Style

Why citing is important (videos)

Watch one of these videos on why we cite from the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University. 

Why We Cite

From The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Citation: A (very) Brief Introduction  

From North Carolina State University

Image of Video for Why we Cite - click on image Citation Video from NCSU

Why We Cite (in depth)

Information has Value!

If you quote, summarize or paraphrase from one of your sources, you need to give credit. Giving credit to others is part of your “academic integrity.” If you don’t, you could be charged with plagiarism.

According to the Ryerson University Code of Academic Conduct (Opens PDF document), plagiarism means claiming the words, ideas, artistry, drawings, images or data of another person as if they were your own.

When you cite you are engaging in a conversation with your sources by either supporting or disagreeing with their point-of-view. Your paper is meant to add to the debate or conversation started by experts in your topic’s field. Therefore, your paper should be a balance of citations from the experts and your own voice.

Here's a break down of why we cite

  • To attribute words and ideas to their original source – simply giving credit where credit is due

  • To provide your readers with a kind of “map”of what you have been reading – to help your readers understand what has influenced your thinking

  • To add weight and credibility to your paper –to demonstrate that you are engaged in the relevant research material

  • To provide an easy way for your readers to get access to the source material

  • To situate yourself in an academic community with shared conventions

  • To avoid plagiarism