What is Citation and Why Should you Cite the Sources When Writing Content 

When you write content, whether it is for a blog post, article, website, or academic research, it should be plagiarism-free. However, when writing, you research online and you like some phrases or ideas on the topic by some author and include them in your work without giving credits. This form of writing could lead to plagiarism, and you know the possible consequences. It could ruin your reputation, your readers could lose trust in you, you could be charged hefty fines or you could even go to jail in some countries.

Here in this blog post, we will talk about citation and why it is essential.

What is Citation?

Citation is the way to tell the readers that you included some information in the content from another source. Whenever you directly quote, summarize, or paraphrase other authors’ ideas in your content, it is essential to cite them. It gives all the vital information to the readers to help them find the source later. The information in the citation includes the title of the topic, info about the author, and the publication date. It also includes the name and location of the company that published the work and the page numbers.


Why Cite the Sources

The proper acknowledgment of the sources is essential when writing content. But there are many instances where improper attribution goes unchecked. Credit should be given to the author where it is due. Crediting the original author by citing is an ethical way to use other peoples’ work and stay away from plagiarizing. Apart from this, there are several other reasons to cite the sources. Let us have a look at them.

Citation serves as a fact-checking tool.

When writing content of any type, accuracy is essential. It is also more important when you are quoting facts and figures. When your readers read the content, if it has proper citations, they can look up the references you mentioned, and it serves as an accuracy check for your writing. For instance, to double-check a direct quote, verify the passage you have cited in the content, or cite another study that is related to yours serves as a fact-checking tool.

Citing makes you a better writer.

All the writers out there want their content to be compelling and hook the readers to read till the last word. Good citation habit builds a strong foundation to this goal. Citing the sources for the facts removes vague thinking, intellectual laziness, sloppy writing, and false claims. When you cite sources correctly in the content, there are no questions in your readers’ minds regarding the point you want to put across. Moreover, proper citation allows you to write in an active voice and avoid raising the dreaded red flag of passivity. Also, when you cite well, you may forever remove the phrase “It is said” from your content.

Citation offers better verification of the work.

Verification of work is done for academic writing. All the content of academics goes through vetting several times before it is published either in print or online. The peer reviewer, editor, or editorial assistant goes through your work and tracks down the sources to ensure that the citations are accurate. If you properly provide citations in your work, it makes the verification process easy. Also, your paper is much more likely to be passed through multiple rounds of editing with positive feedback.

Citation provides credibility to your work.

When you accurately cite the sources, it tells the readers that you have done your research and know what others have said about your topic. Citation provides context to your writing and lends credibility and authority to the claims you made in the text. For instance, if you are writing about sustainable clothing, cite brands engaged in offering sustainable clothes and accessories. Additionally, proper citation demonstrates how research is social.

Citation keeps you away from plagiarism.

One of the most important reasons to cite your work properly is to keep away from plagiarism. However, when you reuse someone else’s work, make sure you rewrite it in your words and then cite the work. If you copy and paste the entire sentence and cite it, it is still plagiarism. When including the sources’ work into your content, check what is the most important part to quote and try to limit how much you want to include while providing citations correctly. When you cite the work this way, it helps you keep away from plagiarism. Also, citing the sources is vital to establishing your identity as an honest and credible writer.

Different Types of Citation Styles

Citation style is a set of rules on how to cite the sources. It varies mostly in the location, order, and syntax of information about references. The diversity of citation styles signifies different priorities such as concision, dates, authors, publications, and readability.

The most used citation styles are APA, MLA, Chicago, and CSE.

  • APA citation style was developed by American Psychological Association for manuscripts submitted for publication in journals. Also, it is used to cite work in social science history, business, nursing, etc.
  • MLA (Modern Languages Association) citation style is commonly used in literature, philosophy, religion, languages, and arts.
  • Chicago citation style is mainly used to cite history, but also for humanities and social science fields. Turabian is a variation of the Chicago style for student writers.
  • CSE (Council of Science Editors) citation style is used in natural sciences.

When citing your work, you need to choose the citation styles based on the disciple you are studying. If you are not sure on which style to choose, ask your instructor before you begin the research.

You can cite your work either as an in-text citation or end-of-paper citation. 

In-Text Citation

The in-text citation alerts the reader about an idea from the outside source.

When you use APA or MLA citation style, the in-text citation usually appears as parenthetical notes. Here the information given is the author’s name, year of publication, and page number. It is inserted into the text at the end of the sentence or a paragraph.

For APA style, it is written as the author’s last name, year of publication, and page number, for example (Field, 2008, p. 45). If there are two authors, then use (Field & Tremblay, 2008, p. 39), and if three or more authors, use (Field et al., 2008, p. 50).

For MLA style, only the author’s last name and page number are provided, for example, (Field 45).

When you use Chicago or CSE citation style, in-text citation occurs as numbers, for example, Forrest ordered his men to stop firing14 in a letter to his wife. The number is associated with a full citation. It appears either at bottom of the page, end of the chapter, or a list of cited references at the end of the paper.

End-Of-Paper Citation

End-of-paper citation includes all the details about the source at the end of the content. It includes author(s) name, article title, and publication information (URL of the information source, date, volume, issue, and pages).

In APA style, it is called the References page, and in MLA style, it is the Works Cited page. For CSE style, it is Cited References page, and Chicago style, it is either Notes page or Bibliography page.

Using Plagiarism Checker tool with Auto-Citation 

Each citation style has minute differences. Therefore, it can be hard to get every detail right. The easiest option is to use an online plagiarism checker tool with auto-citation, and Smodin is the best.

The free online plagiarism checker software uses deep search technology to scan your content and identify similarities to other texts. Additionally, it uses an API that adds auto-citations to your work correctly where needed. Smodin is the only plagiarism checker tool that includes citations and bibliography information for plagiarized sources automatically. With Auto-citation, you can cite the content from plagiarized sources correctly referencing the authors and avoid plagiarism. Whether you are an expert writer who needs a second look at your work or a beginner who wants to add a citation to your work, the Smodin plagiarism tool has got you covered.

Smodin offers citations in the most popular citation styles and multiple languages. Copy and paste your content into the plagiarism checker tool to receive the copied text content, if any instantly. Also, you get suggestions with citations to stay away from plagiarism.

So, now is the time to stop stressing over citation and accidentally plagiarizing other authors’ work. Let Smodin, the free plagiarism tool with auto-citation help you write well and make your work more professional. It is the writing companion that helps take your writing, whether academic or business, to the next level. It gives you the tools you need to become a better writer.

Whether you need a quick check of grammar usage, a thorough plagiarism check, or reliable help citing sources, just check it with Smodin, one of the most user-friendly citation tools online. Check your content and auto-cite it for free today. If you would like any additional citation features or a citation style added, please do not hesitate to contact us.