Adding references is typically perceived as the most boring part of an assignment. Students are usually unwilling to cite all the multiple sources they’ve turned to. This is really a time-consuming activity that requires much focus and concentration. However, citing sources you’ve used to complete your homework is very important due to various reasons. Some of them are listed below, so keep reading the article to discover compelling arguments for reserving a block of time in your schedule specifically for the purposes of adding citations. Let’s find out how to make this task easier for you.
Why add citations?
- To show off your scientific knowledge
To earn the respect of your instructors and have a good reputation in the academic community, you need to demonstrate your scientific knowledge. One of the ways to do it is to provide the list of books or dissertations you have read. In fact, an extensive reference list is a hallmark of a well-informed and diligent student. Sometimes, a big number of proper citations may be a reason to get compliments from your peers and professors. In contrast, if you don’t add any sources to your paper, you will be considered a lazy and ignorant person.
- To be accurate
Accuracy is a must for any type of writing, especially academic one. All the information you provide must be precise and evidence-based. As you might understand, it’s almost impossible to check the facts you’ve mentioned without citations. But your instructors need to look up your references for verification. Before giving you the highest grade, they always double check the key concepts and quotes you’ve added to your paper. So if you don’t give them an opportunity to make sure that everything written by you is true, they will never consider your work as an excellent one.
- To become a better researcher
One of the key traits of a good researcher is attention to detail. Not surprisingly, citation helps you to develop it. If you learn how to properly attribute source names that entail a lot of small elements, it won’t be a problem for you to notice important details while doing research or completing other academic tasks. What’s more, a good researcher must be able to make meaningful connections between different facts and concepts. You can also master this skill while transforming vast amounts of information into short passages and making references to them.
A citation life hack for students
As you know, all the sources must be cited according to a certain writing style. Different instructors may set different requirements and it’s not really easy to switch between them. And chances are, you will make mistakes while changing your citation format from MLA or Turabian to Chicago or APA. However, there is a way to avoid errors and complete a citation list much faster. You can find an automatic citation generator at https://apastylegenerator.com/ and get your bibliography done in just a few minutes. This tool can create accurate in-text citations and references after you add some basic information about your sources, such as the author, title, and publication date.
- To enhance your writing skills
Scientific writing must be very compelling. To achieve this, you need to provide good attribution. Otherwise, your work will reflect intellectual laziness and vague thinking. If you don’t cite specific sources of facts you present, you probably resort to generalizations, cliches and false claims. So instead of so-called sloppy writing, you should provide clear evidence backed with references to scientific journals or books. If you are good at citing, such phrases as ‘everyone knows’, ‘they say’, etc. will be replaced with more sophisticated academic language, so you’ll eventually improve your writing skills.
- To build your credibility
The smallest thing you need to learn if you are going to make a successful career as a scientist or scholar is how to reference the work of other authors in a proper way. Well-cited articles are a must for researchers who want to establish their credibility among peers. They prove that your arguments are not based on unreliable studies or poor experiments. On the contrary, everything you state is backed with strong emprical evidence. Note that the better documented your research is, the more respected you are by your scientific colleagues.
Making citations in accordance with all academic rules can be a real challenge. But every student inevitably has to overcome this challenge since it’s an integral part of any type of assignment. As you see, there are enough reasons to add citations to your work. Hopefully, this article has explained the importance of references and gave you a valuable insight on how to make this task less difficult.
Michael Turner is a researcher and academic coach. Michael conducts studies on different aspects of human behavior and social processes. As a coach, he helps students achieve ambitious goals and make the most out of their studies.