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How to Write Research Papers with Citations
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Why use in-text citations?

Why cite sources at all?

What's wrong with a basic bibliography?


T
he problem with simply listing the sources you used at the back of the paper is that no one can tell where specific information came from.  The point of citing your sources is that a reader can verify everything that has been written. 


Imagine a paper without in-text citations that says: "Joan of Arc became queen of France in 1789."  This is clearly inaccurate on many levels.  The bibliography for this paper lists 20 sources.  Is a reader expected to read all 20 sources to find out where the writer got this inaccurate information?  It is unreasonable to ask a reader to look through all 20 sources to find verification of this statement. 


Your job as a writer is to make verification of facts as easy as possible for your readers, by providing as much information as possible.  Ideally, your reader should be able to quickly and easily verify anything and everything in your paper.


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