What is the relationship between proper citation and credibility?

What is meant by proper citation?

A citation is basically a reference to any published or unpublished source, original or otherwise, that allows one to acknowledge and give credit to one’s sources that has been used or referred to while writing a formal and academic research paper or custom term paper. A proper citation, in fact, does all that and also eases the reader’s proper understanding of the topic or context through the key and detailed information provided at the citation which in turn enables the reader to trace a referred source without any difficulty. These sources can be anything ranging from books, magazines, articles, journals, lectures, speeches, films, websites, government publications, maps, legal proceedings and rules and so on. Generally citations are found within a text, commonly called in text citation (i.e., those made after a referred phrase, sentence, quotation, passage etc,), as a footnote (i.e., those made at the end of the particular page or chapter where the reference is done) or as an organized endnote list or bibliography (i.e., those made at the end of the academic work or text).

What are the benefits of a good citation?

A good citation acts as the frame of an academic work. It can make or break an academic research paper or any such writing and in fact is important enough to mould the reader’s views and opinions about the academic writer and his/ her work. It is also known to upgrade and improve the quality and standard of an academic writing, be it a research paper or a term paper. It speaks loads about the level of research and background study that the academic writer has made in writing the paper and the time and efforts invested in putting up any argument and providing the accurate and proper citations. Therefore, the benefits of good citation or reference can be listed as follows:

  • A foremost advantage of a good and proper citation is that it proves the academic writer’s thorough research and studies on the particular topic or subject and helps the readers to form an opinion of the work
  • Another important aspect of citation is that it reflects the academic writer’s complete honesty and integrity towards his own work and that of others and thus in turn towards the cause of academics
  • A good and accurate citation always  helps in acknowledging and giving the due credit to any cited source and the creator
  • It provides the readers with the necessary information that they might need in order to verify the sources, gather more information on it and thus became more enlightened on the topic, if they were formerly not acquainted with the author or the referred work
  • It sometimes acts as an influencing agent on both the present academic writer and the readers who are going through the research work paper or writing
  • It is probably a known fact that a well made citation also enables the academic writer to present to the readers the vast and different enlightening perspectives of various expert authors and writers on a given topic and this in turn improves the readers opinion of the writer
  • At times a good citation also helps in identifying an additional old or forgotten source that might actually enable the readers to delve more deep into the topic for a better and easier understanding
  • One of the most important functions or benefits of a good citation is that it helps in tracing the evolution of a particular thought, idea or concept from one writer to another, one culture to another, through the continuous progressive process of arguments and contradiction
  • It sometimes also acts as a help to those readers who intend to verify any fact or statement, in the form of numerical, ideas, opinions etc, that are put forth in the research paper or term paper work by the present academic writer

Relationship between a proper citation and credibility

It is very important to always keep in mind the relationship between a proper citation and its credibility. One of the most common errors made by the academic writers at times while working on their research papers or term papers is making an improper and inaccurate citation. Such errors are thoroughly condemned and make an academic writer lowly and disrespectful in the eyes of his or her readers. These might frequently result in unintentionally misleading facts and unsubstantial and incomprehensible conclusions and inferences, which add nothing to the academic writer’s goodwill, reputation and even his or her academic career. Thus, the fundamental purpose of citations and references being intellectual honesty, it is the writer’s responsibility and duty towards his or her fellow writers or creators to attribute and acknowledge their creations, concepts, ideas and efforts. Some of the well-accepted, easy and basic ways to know the credibility of a particular source are as follows:

  • Authenticity of the source like the book, magazine, article, journal or any such publications from where the reference is taken
  • The author of the source, if it happens to be a published one or an already referred one
  • The suitability of the addressee of the citation or reference
  • Application of the source, either as a primary one or a secondary one, in the academic writing

How does it affect an academic work?

A proper and accurate citation, as is well known, goes a long way in establishing an academic writer’s views and his image among the readers and his or her fellow researchers and academic writers. This might also undermine the brilliance and potential of the academician and thus his or her views might even go unnoticed at times if they are not supported by proper citations and are instead laid upon inappropriate and inaccurate references that lack credibility and basically serve no purpose and put absolutely no credit to any of the writer, the referred source or the original author. Thus in order to make  a piece of academic writing a success, it is always necessary to access the credibility of a citation and then refer it properly with all the formalities.