BK Writing Lab

Paul DiGeorgio, Ph.D.


When you are assigned a paper that requires citation, what does that mean? And why is citation required in so many papers?

First, simply put, a citation is a reference to someone else's work. There are two primary types of in-text citation: direct and indirect citation

So why is citation often required? We cite in our writing because it strengthens our work in several ways. 

First, when we cite in our writing, we show that we are knowledgeable about our subject. We show that we are knowledgeable by referring to other work that relates to our topic.

Second, when we cite in our writing, it shows that we are not just offering a mere opinion. If other writers agree with us, then it adds support to our own argument.

Third, when we cite in our writing, we can make sure that our readers know exactly what we are referring to. Instead of discussing a passage in a novel, for example, we can actually include part of the passage so that the reader is following along closely.

Fourth, when we cite in our writing, we can bolster the significance and worth of what we are writing by referring to authors who disagree with us! 


If you have any questions, send us an email at bkwritinglab@bishopkennyhs.org!


Image Credit: Library by GreenHill from the Noun Project

  • Citation
  • In-Text Citation
  • Papers
  • Plagiarism
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  • Research Paper
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