What is Citation? Why does Citation matter in Research?

MOST ESSENTIAL LEARNING COMPETENCY: Enumerate and describe the different citation styles


1. Enumerate the different citation styles

2. Describe the different citation styles

3. Recognize the importance of proper citation in writing a scientific paper.

WHAT’S IN: Citation is a formal reference to a published or unpublished source that you consulted and obtained information from while writing your research paper. The way in which you document your sources depends on the writing style manual your professor wants you to use for the class [e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, etc.]. Note that some disciplines have their own citation method [e.g., law].

Difference between citation and citation style

A citation is a way of giving credit to individuals for their creative and intellectual works that you utilized to support your research. It can also be used to locate particular sources and combat plagiarism. Typically, a citation can include the author's name, date, and location of the publishing company, journal title, or DOI (Digital Object Identifer). While a citation style dictates the information necessary for a citation and how the information is ordered, as well as punctuation and other formatting.

Different citation styles

There are many different ways of citing resources from your research. The citation style sometimes depends on the academic discipline involved. For example:

• APA (American Psychological Association) is used by Education, Psychology, and Sciences

• MLA (Modern Language Association) style is used by the Humanities

• Chicago/Turabian style is generally used by Business, History, and the Fine Arts


The Common Types of Plagiarism

1. Direct Plagiarism

Direct plagiarism is the word-for-word transcription of a section of someone else’s work, without attribution and without quotation marks.

2. Self Plagiarism

Self-plagiarism occurs when a student submits his or her own previous work, or mixes parts of previous works, without permission from all professors involved. For example, it would be unacceptable to incorporate part of a term paper you wrote in high school into a paper assigned in a college course. Self-plagiarism also applies to submitting the same piece of work for assignments in different classes without previous permission from both professors.

3. Mosaic Plagiarism

Mosaic Plagiarism occurs when a student borrows phrases from a source without using quotation marks, or finds synonyms for the author’s language while keeping to the same general structure and meaning of the original. Sometimes called “patch writing,” this kind of paraphrasing, whether intentional or not, is academically dishonest and punishable – even if you footnote your source!

4. Accidental Plagiarism

Accidental plagiarism occurs when a person neglects to cite their sources, or misquotes their sources, or unintentionally paraphrases a source by using similar words, groups of words, and/or sentence structure without attribution. Students must learn how to cite their sources and to take careful and accurate notes when doing research.

Citing the works of others is important because:

Citations document for your readers where you obtained your material, provide a means of critiquing your study based on the sources you used, and create an opportunity to obtain information about prior studies of the research problem under investigation. The act of citing sources is also your best defense against allegations of plagiarism.

1.Proper citation allows readers to locate the materials you used. Citations to sources helps readers expand their knowledge on a topic. One of the most effective strategies for locating authoritative, relevant sources about a topic is to review footnotes or references from known sources ["citation tracking"].

2.Citing other people's words and ideas demonstrates that you have conducted a thorough review of the literature on your topic and, therefore, you are reporting your research from an informed and critically engaged perspective. The list of sources used increases your credibility as the author of the work.

3.Other researcher's ideas can be used to reinforce your arguments. In many cases, another researcher's arguments can act as the primary context from which you can emphasize the significance of your study and to provide supporting evidence about how you addressed the "So What?" question.

4.The ideas of other researchers can be used to explain reasons for alternative approaches. If you disagree with a researcher's ideas or you believe there is a gap in understanding the research problem, your citations can serve as sources from which to argue an alternative viewpoint or the need to pursue a different course of action.

5.Just as the ideas of other researchers can bolster your arguments, they can also detract from your credibility if their research is challenged. Properly citing sources prevents your reputation from being tarnished if the facts or ideas of those cited are proven to be inaccurate or off-base. It prevents readers from concluding that you ignored or dismissed the findings of others, even if they are disputed.

6.Ideas are considered intellectual property and there can be serious repercussions if you fail to cite where you got an idea from. In academe and the professional world, failure to cite other people's intellectual property ruins careers and reputations and can result in legal action. Citing sources as a student in college will help you get in the habit of acknowledging and properly citing the work of others.

Reasons why people commit plagiarism

Most people do not deliberately commit plagiarism. Usually, it results from:

1. Procrastination

It is important to set aside adequate time to complete your assignment. When using sources, you should get in the habit of citing them in full as you write. Filling in page numbers, making footnotes, or making a works cited page or bibliography after you have finished writing often leads to inadvertent miscitations or omissions.

2. Incomplete Understanding of Original Material

Avoid using any source with which you are not completely comfortable. As a general rule, if you cannot restate the main idea of a passage in your own words without referring to the original source, then you should not use this source for your own work.

3. Citation Errors

Common errors that lead to accidental plagiarism include using words or passages from the original source without using quotation marks and/or without citing the source; using different citation formats within the same assignment; or using a citation format incorrectly.

4. Poor Note-Taking

Inexperienced students often forget to put quotation marks around notes taken directly from text, or find that their notes are disorganized. As a result, they cannot tell which notes came from which source when they are in the stages of writing up their assignment.


Reference: https://www.bowdoin.edu/dean-of-students/judicial-board/academic-honesty-and-plagiarism/common-types-of-plagiarism.html

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