Writing A Research Paper Without Citations: Things To Be Aware Of

Citation is a central part of any academic writing process. In fact, lack of citation leads to accusations of plagiarism which is considered a grave sin in the world of academics. It attracts hefty penalties which may include discontinuation or a compromise on your career years after your graduation. Citing means that you acknowledge your sources and that the information provided is not personally generated.

Is it Possible you Write a Paper Without Citing?

There are few exceptions to the citation rule. Before looking at the exceptions, it is important to understand when the citations are mandatory.

  • Whenever you make a quotation, credit must be given to the source. This applies to both short and long quotations in all disciplines and subjects.

  • Any section, sentence or phrase copied word for word must have its source cited.

  • When you paraphrase someone’s idea, you are required to provide a citation that indicates the source of your words.

  • A summary of ideas must also be accompanied by a citation.

In essence, any data, description, quotation, statement or materials in your paper that is not your original idea must be accompanied by an attribution of its source. The manner of presenting the citations varies depending on the formatting style you are using, the discipline or area of study and personal preference by your department or tutor.

When Are You Likely to Be Accused of Plagiarism?

  • Whenever you copy or paraphrase words by other writers without attributing the sources

  • In case you summarize or state the ideas and opinions of other people without stating the source

  • When you use downloaded materials from the internet and fail to attribute it to an author or source

  • Any time you make a copy of the works of other people and submit it as your own

  • When it can be proven that you paid for or obtained a research paper from a third part and submitted it as your own.

There are extremely sensitive applications online that help to detect plagiarism. This makes it practically impossible to lift materials from the internet and claim it to be yours without being detected. Widely known facts do not have to be attributed or cited. For instance, proverbs, historical facts, scientific discoveries, etc do not need citations. However, news items need verification to avoid misinformation or damage to character.

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