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What Are Citations In An Essay?

What Are Citations In An Essay?

Citations in an essay tell the reader that some of the content in your work is borrowed from another source. What Are Citations In An Essay? Citations give your readers information about the borrowed content in such a way that they can find the source if needed.

The data that citations give to the reader include:

  • Information regarding the author

  • The title or name of the work from which you have taken the content or material

  • The name of the company that published the copy of the source

  • The date of publishing

  • The page numbers of the content which you are borrowing

Why should citations be given in an essay?

While giving credit to the original author is the correct way of borrowing content without being guilty of plagiarism is the primary reason to cite your sources in an essay, there are other critical reasons as well. They include:

  • With the help of the citations in your essay, the reader can access the main source and get more information if he or she needs

  • Not all sources are great. Some may be bad too. If your writing is better than the source that you have clearly cited in your essay, you need not take the blame for the other person's mistake

  • Citations reflect the amount of research that you have done

  • Citations strengthen your thesis statement by getting support from outside for your ideas

When are citations needed

Whenever and wherever you have borrowed materials and/or ideas, then you will have to make citations. The following scenarios definitely call for citations:

  • When you are quoting someone

  • When you are paraphrasing someone's idea

  • When you use an idea that is already been said by someone else

  • When you specifically refer to someone else's work

  • When you have used someone else's idea to develop your own thoughts

How do I make citations?

There are different ways or making citations in your essay and before you submit your essay, ensure that the format of citation is as per the instruction given by your teacher which could be different from the one discussed here

In-text citations – You write the name of the author and the page number of the material that you have used. For example, Johnson makes this point (12-12) or This point has been argued before (Johnson 12-13). Here Johnson is the name of the author and "12-13" is the page number from which you have taken the content for use in your essay.

The above method of in-text citation is the most commonly used citation method and is called MLA. It stands for Modern Language Association.

Works Cited

This is usually put on a different page after your essay. It lists the sources from which all the material that you have used in your essay. Use the following formats to create the list of sources in your "works cited" page:

Books – Last name of the author, first name of the author, initial of the middle name of the author, book title, place where it was published, the name of the publishing company, year of publishing

Encyclopedias – Last name of the author, first name of the author, initial of the middle name of the author, Title of the encyclopedia, year of the edition

Magazines - Last name of the author, first name of the author, initial of the middle name of the author, name of the article, name of the magazine, day, month and year, page number

Websites - Last name of the author, first name of the author, initial of the middle name of the author, Article title, Editor's name, date when you accessed the information

Final Notes

Many college students have this question about citation: If I cite sources in my essay, doesn't it make my writing less original?

The answer to this is, "No, absolutely not!" On the other hand, by correctly and accurately citing sources, you are clearly distinguishing what you have written and what you have not written. This, therefore, enhances the originality of your work.

We, at Prescott Papers, understand how difficult it is to learn and master the art of citations. Our experts will be very glad to help and guide you. Do contact us for any kind of help in academic writing.

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