Franklin Style Manual Online

1.3.3. Citing references

Your methods for presenting source materials are ultimately up to you and should be based on your overall purpose in writing and original development of ideas for your particular audience. However, every instance where a source appears in your paper must be cited properly for a number of reasons. While the following section (1.4) treats the practical uses of correct citation to avoid charges of plagiarism, three other practical purposes for citing sources exist:

  • To acknowledge and credit the intellectual work of other thinkers writing in the field.
  • To help your readers locate your sources if they desire further information.
  • To illustrate that your arguments and analyses are based on an established, accepted body of information—or, in other words, that you are not just making these things up!

In a nutshell, knowing the source of words or information helps professors and fellow students engage (as with you) in a broader conversation about the subject about which you wrote. By citing your sources, you show your readers that you are neither writing about some esoteric, unimportant topic, nor so self‐important that you think your own ideas matter more than those of others.

Last Updated: 06/8/2012 16:52