Why cite?

It is good academic practice to cite the sources you base your text on so that:

  • the reader can distinguish your thoughts from information you find elsewhere
  • the reader gets the information needed to access the sources you have used
  • it shows that you master the rules for academic communication
  • it strengthens your arguments by tying them to previous research
  • you give credit to work done by others.

When to cite

Always cite your sources when you base your text on other sources. Even though you use other sources and cite them correctly, your own text should always dominate.

When not to cite

If you are referring to common knowledge, it’s not necessary to cite a source. It can be difficult to determine what common knowledge is within a specific subject area, though. Discuss with your teacher if you need help determining what is considered general knowledge in your subject area.