Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Why We Cite
When you write a research paper, you use information and facts from a variety of resources to support your own ideas to develop new ones. You cite these sources for the following reasons:
- To Give Credit
Giving credit to the original source acknowledges experts and scholars for their contribution. In some fields, citations can lead to career advancement.
- To Establish Credibility
Citations build credibility because they demonstrate how much you have read and learned, including sometimes from competing and multiple viewpoints. It will be clear to your reader that your ideas are well supported.
- To Help the Reader
Citations can guide your readers to more information about your topic. They can also offer in that they suggest clues to the larger conversation in which your work is positioned.
- To Participate in the Conversation
Your work contributes to ongoing intellectual conversations.
- To Help Researchers Organize and Share Information in a Standardized Way
The Path of a Citation
The purpose of the in-text citation is to direct the reader to the full citation in the Works Cited page.
Creating a path from:
The original source to
Your text using in-text citations to
Your Works Cited page
Library Citation Workshops Spring 2022