Citing your sources is the number #1 way to avoid plagiarism. Whenever you use information, ideas, or text from someone else’s work (whether it is from a book, web blog, images, or social media captions), it is important to give credit to the original author.
Exactly, when should you use citation? Is it even when you are paraphrasing?
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When Should You Cite Your Resources
Citations are required in all types of text – even if you paraphrase. Even when you include quotation marks around something, you need to also cite the primary resource of your information or idea.
So, whether you use images, visuals, charts, interviews, exact words, ideas, you need to cite your source.
Citing allows the reader to find the original text for themselves, making your online trust stronger and reputation more credible. The kind of resources you use may also hold importance to your audience.
This brings us to the next important question:
How To Cite Your Sources
Many publications require you to follow a certain citation style, so it is best you check the requirement of the publication before citing. If no citation style is specified, or if you are writing for your own blog, you can choose any citation style and follow it consistently throughout the text.
APA is most commonly used for social sciences while MLA is the common choice for humanities. Your choice should depend on your niche.
There are many websites out there like Citation Machine that help you write your resource in the correct citation style.
2 Ways Of Citing Your Resources
After finding the correct citation style, there are two ways you can cite your resources:
- In-text Citation
In this format, you acknowledge the information used right in the body of the text. It often appears in parentheses and different citation styles have different rules about what to include in the in-text citation.
- Full Reference
In this type, all the references are cited at the end including the author, title, publication, etc. This might be more or less specific depending on the citation style. The only difference is that it is cited at the end as a footnote or reference or source rather than in the body of the text.