Why cite the information you put in your research paper? A: There are several good reasons why
you should cite any information sources you use in your research:
To show the
authenticity of your information. Your research is supposed to be
drawn from truthful and authoritative information. Citing any research
you use shows the authenticity of your information, and enables your
readers to locate your information sources in case they wish to consult
one of your cited sources.
To give credit
to the creator of the information. Good research is built upon the
findings and intellectual work of other researchers. Citing your information
sources gives credit to the originator(s) of the information, and avoids
the appearance of misrepresenting another's work as your own.
The most important reason to cite your sources is to avoid plagiarism.
Plagiarism is when a researcher or writer uses another's words, ideas
or research without clearly acknowledging the source of that information.
Avoiding plagiarism is very important. At the University of Pittsburgh,
plagiarism is considered an academic offense that could result in a reduction
of your class grade, academic suspension, or dismissal (see Student
Obligations/Adjudication for Violation). Unintentional plagiarism,
where you may have forgotten to cite your source or do not cite your source
correctly, is not considered a valid excuse by instructors. As a college
student, you are expected to be able to cite your information sources