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Why Is Referencing so Important?

  • Date Submitted: 10/23/2011 09:00 PM
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Why is Referencing so Important?  

Referencing is very important in academic works because “Failing to properly attribute work is plagiarism” (Learning Guide Unit 4, 2011) and plagiarism is a gross violation of someone’s right over his creative work.   No one has a monopoly of ideas or concepts.   Someone in some given time must have thought of the ideas you are working on or theories you want to prove.   In that case, for your work to be valid and strong, it must withstand the scrutiny of the academic community.   If your theory is challenged, which more likely it would be, then it is wise to be armed with references to bolster the assertions you have presented in your work.   Ethical and legal implications call for the observance of proper referencing as a good academic practice.   Creative works, be it literary or artistic, are covered under copyright laws.   Any violation of the provisions of the law can either penalized the offender or, worst, caused him his liberty.  
Notwithstanding, the reasons for citing sources can be summed up in the following statements, to wit: (1) “Working with sources can inspire your own ideas and enrich them, and your citation of these sources is the visible trace of that debt, making you a more mature thinker; (2) recreating a sense of lively debate and establishing intellectual context,…(putting) your ideas in a dynamic and contested framework; (3) giving credit where it is due, (being) the only or the primary reward for scholarship; and (4) leading to further research, (showing) readers where they might look to test, explore, and extend your conclusions” (Yale College Writing Center, 2011).
Like in all academic communities, “University life is structured so that your ideas will receive constant testing and refinement in discussion with others” (Yale College Writing Center, 2011).  
Learning Guide Unit 4-Reading Assignment (2011). my.uopeople.org. Retrieved October 6, 2011 from...


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