The most important reason for citing your sources is honesty (i.e,. not plagiarizing). Citing is a sign of respect towards other writers, researchers, and creators.
Citing the sources of your information gives more credibility to your writing. It shows that you have done your research, and know the prominent theories and authors in the field. Furthermore, it shows that you know how to write a research paper, that you have learned (or are learning) the conventions of the academic world, that you are on your way to becoming a credible colleague to your teachers and other reseachers.
Another important reason to cite your sources is to enable others to find the same information. Interested readers might want to follow your argument themselves or to build on your ideas on their own.
Consequences to plagiarism in school and academic setting vary from failing the assignment or the whole class to being dismissed from the institution.
The following always need the source information listed:
- quotations, opinions, and predictions (whether directly quoted or paraphrased)
- statistics derived by the original author.
- visuals (=charts, photos, other images)
- another author’s theories
- case studies
- another author’s direct experimental methods or results
- another author’s specialized research procedures or findings
Note that any sounds you use in PowerPoint presentations must also be cited.
Read more at Style for Students Online by Joe Schall, Penn State University. The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) has excellent writing and citing resources.