Here at Proofed, we get a lot of requests for help with referencing. But why exactly is referencing important? And why does citing sources clearly and consistently earn you better grades on your papers?
Joining the Conversation
An academic discipline is like an conversation between thousands of thinkers and researchers, past and present. When you write about a specific subject, you contribute to that conversation.
Citing your sources demonstrates the depth of your knowledge, while also making your arguments more authoritative by drawing upon those who have discussed similar ideas before you.
The main purpose of referencing is to give credit where it’s due. By citing your sources, you clearly indicate the influence that other people have had on your work, thereby ensuring your work is academically honest.
Failure to cite sources, on the other hand, can lead to accusations of plagiarism, especially if you quote a source without using “quotation marks” or leaving a citation. If you are found to have plagiarized in your work, this will negatively impact your grade.
Distinguishing Your Ideas from Other People’s
In academic writing, you may need to engage critically with opposing ideas (either contrary to your own position or when discussing two conflicting theories).
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When doing this, it is important to differentiate between your own ideas and those of the thinkers you are discussing. A well-placed citation should remove any ambiguity about this, thus ensuring you can express your ideas clearly.
It Saves Detective Work for Your Reader
While researching a paper, you’ll probably need to check the reference list on a website or in a book to find other relevant sources. This is, in fact, an essential skill for any researcher. It’s also another good reason to cite your sources, as without clear citations (including full bibliographic detail in the reference list) your reader will find it difficult to find the texts you’ve used.
Demonstrating Academic Skills
As the above factors hopefully indicate, referencing is a key skill in the academic world. Consequently, by citing your sources clearly and consistently, you prove to your reader that you are a diligent academic. And this alone can make the difference between a passing and failing grade.
Expert Academic Proofreading
Proofed offers an unbeatable academic proofreading service. We also have expert editors with in-depth knowledge of dozens of referencing systems, so we can help ensure your citations are always clear and consistent. To find out how proofreading could help you win extra marks, try our free sample service today!