Why Citations Are Important In Writing A Research Paper?

Why Citations Are Important In Writing A Research Paper?

If you are new to research, you may not know what citations are. What is the purpose of citations? Why is it important in writing a research paper? What are the different types of citations? What serious consequences you may face if failed to properly cite others’ work? And many more. As a brief note, the citation is a reference to the source we add in our studies as evidence to support the argument. Research is a continuous process, and citations aim to conserve the continuity of research by systematically linking a current study with numerous previous studies. Moreover, citation aims to find the uniqueness in a given research paper. Therefore, this article will first discuss the four main purposes of citation. It will also explain why citing or acknowledgement is so important in writing a research paper.

  1. What are the 4 purposes of citation?

In writing a research paper, citation is as important as referencing. The references and bibliography is the list of sources researchers use to raise the worth of their academic tasks. At the same time, the citation is the source that we usually mention in the main body of the text. By reading the in-text citation, one can easily locate the original source of evidence. Moreover, there are many different styles of citations one can use in writing a research paper. Among all, Harvard, APA (American Psychological Association), Chicago, and others are some famous citation or reference styles in academics. Each style has its own set of rules to cite a research paper. Some students face issues in selection of the best citation style for their dissertation. They often prefer to buy dissertation online.

Whether we talk about the purpose of citation or references, the common objective of both is to give credit to the original researcher. Moreover, in writing a research paper, the citation has four main purposes.

  1. The foremost purpose of citation in any academic work is to credit the original author/s, as described earlier. The citation acts as a clue about the name, title and year of publication that collectively bring to the reader the original source. In another way, citations support the original author to be known for his contributions in a specific field.
  2. Citation aids researchers to remain short and concise in writing a research paper. For a better understanding of this point, let us take an example. Suppose you have to write a long list of methods of extraction of a variety of plants. Then how can you include a thorough protocol for the extraction of each in a limited word count suggested by the journal? Of course, this happens by directly citing the extraction method by the name of the original author. You can write in this way, for Azadirachta indica leaves extraction, we used Michele et al.’s method of extraction. Therefore, the citations help researchers to shortly refer to the method instead of giving unnecessary details.
  3. Another purpose of citation in writing a research paper is that it helps readers in knowing your individual effort in a research field. Many times, our individual work is better than already published work. In such cases, citations set a stage for readers to compare and contrast their work in the light of the others.
  4. How can we forget the role of citation in eliminating ethical issues, such as plagiarism and authorship? According to the responsibilities set by the ethical research code of conduct committee, the researchers are not prohibited to include others’ work in their research. But there are proper rules to cite each work in order to avoid plagiarism. Therefore, both in-text citation and reference list are important to follow these ethical research codes of conduct.

All four purposes of citations work for giving credit to authors and researchers in one or another way. As a big picture, the citation aims to preserve the rights of original authors and facilitates readers to locate the original document in case of any authenticity-related doubts.


  1. What is the importance of citation in a research paper?

Citation in writing a research paper helps readers in obtaining main sources, providing means of critiquing your study and creating a platform to reach prior studies in case of further investigation. The citation is also an important defensive act against allegations of plagiarism. Furthermore, citing the work of others is important due to many other reasons.

  1. Citing the other’s work exhibits that you did thorough research on a given topic in order to draw useful inference.
  2. Whether you want to prove a point in daily life or research, solid proof relevant to your point of view is of paramount importance. Similarly, in writing a research paper, citations are important to make your arguments trustworthy.
  3. The ideas from someone else’s research lead to the foundation of good critical evaluation, an important aspect in writing a research paper.
  4. The ideas are the intellectual property of an individual, and there are serious consequences if someone fails to cite properly. Citation aims to refer from where ideas or proofs originally came from.
  5. The findings of other research are also important to oppose or support your findings. The citation, in this case, helps research authorities in identifying any false interpretation by citation tracking. In simple words, the citation is a tool to monitor the quality and standards of research.
  6. The citation also acts as a research tool, especially for students. For those who specifically do not have proper keyword searching knowledge, the citation and bibliography suggest the right direction for research.
  7. It helps researchers in establishing a connection with the experts of their own field.

In broad terms, in all academic writing tasks, you need to properly state which ideas, thoughts and concepts belong to you and what evidence you picked from another study to prove the worth of your ideas. Whenever someone uses, relates, summarises, or even directly quoting ideas, he/she must need to acknowledge the source. The only possibility when you do not need to cite the original sources is when an idea or fact is universally accepted. Otherwise, proper supporting citation is the only way to save you from any allegation like plagiarism.

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