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Why Citing Your Sources is Important:

By: Alyson Rafferty


Suppose you are a high school student writing your first research paper, or maybe you are a first generation college student who wants to better understand the requirements of your final paper worth over half your grade.

Here are some reasons as to why we assign the research paper for ASLU courses and why citing is required for your paper.


First, research papers consist of two type of citations. 

Research papers include a reference list at the end of your paper listing the information about your sources and in-text citations for quotes that are directly pulled from a source.

We, (here at ASLU), want to help develop the skill of being able to cite sources in a research paper, specifically for college and beyond. Typically, information we learn in the process of writing a research paper is not always prior knowledge.

Therefore, in order to include the new information to support our thesis and create a deeper discussion, we cite the sources of new information. While also including our own thoughts, insights, and conclusions on said information, if permissible.

Proper citations makes it clear which words are yours and which words are from the sources you are using. Listing the (Last Name, Year) at the end of a paragraph without quotations can lead to confusion about if the entire paragraph is from the source.

Another reason to include the research paper as an assignment is for the possibility of your research to be built upon and used in the future. If there are proper citations in your paper, people will be able to verify where your information is from. With proper citations other people can use your work and/or the work you included in another research paper or project. 
One of the most important reasons to learn and be able to use citations properly is to avoid being accused of plagiarism. If the person reading your paper cannot distinguish between which information was from your brain and which information is from your sources, odds are you will be accused of plagiarizing your paper.






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