When to Use Citations
not only locate a piece of writing within the
of a particular scholarly debate, they also allow
writers to make claims based on the authority
of another expert.
a scientist researching the possibility of AIDS
vaccines may rely on some data gathered by the
Center for Disease Control. Using a citation,
the scientist tells the reader where
the data was collected and that
of the CDC attests
to its accuracy.
in the Humanities, a scholar analyzing Jane Austen's
Pride and Prejudice may cite a philosopher
or literary critic, like Michel Foucault. The
scholar therefore identifies the type
of interpretive lens / theoretical framework
being brought to the analysis. Critics may or
may not accept the validity of the interpretive
lens, but the scholar won't
have to re-create the entire philosophy.
do you need to use citations?
paraphrasing someone else's
using a statistic
or direct fact
you are using someone else's work as a theoretical
framework / interpretive lens
you are relying upon data
collected by someone else
you are relying upon opinions
or interpretations articulated
by someone else
will strengthen your case if you support any
with citations to show support
amongst experts for accepting the validity of
do you not need to use citations?
knowledge (knowledge that can
be found in many sources OTHER than those in
the bibliography). If you aren't sure that something
is common knowledge, it probably isn't.
the ideas, opinions, interpretations are
your own, (although it strengthens
your case if you are able to cite others who
would agree with you or whose work leads to