Citing Sources – Part of Academic Culture

As a university student, you are actively engaged in the process of reading, writing and doing research – the core activities of academic life.   

Participating in these activities is a bit like walking into a conversation among scholars discussing their ideas and research through the articles, books and other materials they have written. You build your own ideas on the basis of this conversation, and when you write it is important to let others know what parts of the conversation you are working from.

Citing your sources in a paper is important as it:

  • situates your work in the context of existing ideas and studies
  • allows your reader to find and read the specific material you have used
  • acknowledges and gives credit for ideas and phrasing to the original author
  • lends credence and authority to your arguments
  • demonstrates to your instructor that you know how to find and use materials that support your research
  • shows evidence of academic honesty and respects York University’s Policy on Academic Honesty and protects you from charges of plagiarism