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Academic Writing

Why Is Referencing Important In Academic Writing?

March 30, 2022
Education
Albert Barkley

Referencing in academic writing seems daunting, especially to undergraduate students. The students often feel exhausted in searching the most relevant source of information. No doubt, searching sources, finding their authenticity and screening the quality of the information in the scholarly article are tiring processes in academic writing. For proper referencing, we have to perform multiple tasks like selecting the referencing style, creating a bibliography and finding the relevancy of a source with the nature of given research.

By practicing and knowing the importance of referencing, students can learn its role in research work. Hence, this article will first set the stage by describing what academic writing is. It further proceeds with the importance of referencing in academic writing by giving the three most prominent reasons. Before ending the article, a detailed note on the importance of referencing in academic writing clarifies why it is compulsory for research.

What Is Academic Writing?

Academic writing is a formal style of writing. In schools and universities, it aims to access learning outcomes of students. It is all about solving numerical problems, drafting a thesis, writing assignments, and producing some scholarly materials. It also helps in written examination, writing an essay, reporting some findings, and making slides or posters. Whatever the type of academic writing task you have to complete, plagiarism-free content with proper referencing is of paramount importance.

Plagiarism-free content explicates the originality of the work, while referencing is important to link your ideas with other renowned scholarly works. Referencing is a novel way to credit the original author of a scholarly work, and it is also meant for providing plagiarism free content. Apart from all these essentials, the following are some key characteristics of academic writing:

  • Formal writing tone
  • To the point argument
  • Point of view (POV)
  • Prime focus on research
  • Proper ordering and organisation practices
  • Source citation and referencing

These six are vital components of academic writing. But referencing is the most difficult and important part that students must learn before attempting any writing task. The following section will explain the three main reasons for referencing that will help you know how important is referencing in academic writing.

Also Read This: What Is A Hook In Academic Writing? How To Write It?

What Are The Three Main Reasons For Referencing?

Referencing is a vital element in academic writing. Whatever the nature of your research is, you cannot complete it without citing the source materials. It aims to put your work in context. It displays the depth of your research and knowledge about the topic of interest. Also, it aims to prevent the loss of the original work in the depth of the internet, or it is a way to acknowledge people’s work. Consequently, the references are important due to many reasons but below are the three most prominent reasons. Let us have a look.

  1. Referencing brings clarity to your content. It aims to help the readers know what ideas originally belonged to you and what you have brought in from other studies. Put it in another way, it states what others say about a problem under study and how you relate others’ findings with your context. Thus, these functions of referencing help researchers avoid plagiarism, which is an important ethical consideration in research.
  2. It is the best way to support your argument. Academic writing includes proving, investigating and exploring the real world facts that need evidence for each and every claim. In many cases, the facts stated in already published scholarly articles are more than enough for supporting your argument. But standard research guidelines suggest you to always cite a proper reference for all evidence so that the originality of your research cannot be challenged at any stage.
  3. Another most important reason for proper referencing is that it helps other researchers to find data. Even if you are conducting different research, still you have to search for closely related scholarly material. Reference list and in-text citation are the shortest possible ways to find the most relevant source material for your research as well.

What Is The Importance Of Referencing?

Referencing is a universal practice that never depends on the nature and discipline of your studies. Whether conducting social sciences, humanities, life science, or fine arts studies, you can never get your work published without proper referencing. Yet, the referencing style guides are greatly different from university to university. But skipping the referencing is not the case anywhere in the world. Thus, for ensuring your survival in a research community, you must learn proper referencing techniques.

Also Read This: How Is A Bibliography Different From A Reference List?

In scientific research, the worth of your work is determined by the reputation and contributions of an author in a particular field. Improper citation and fake references are acts of dishonesty. This dishonesty results in a negative effect on the overall reputation of authors as well as journals. Thus, proper and valid referencing saves you from committing any academic misconduct. Careful referencing of sources helps you eliminate all academic dishonesty related concerns.

Being a Good Researcher:

For being a good research worker, exceptional attention to detail at all levels of research is of paramount importance. Attention to detail helps researchers in exhibiting good habits. In research, good habits account for preparing a detailed referencing list or bibliography. The titles of the sources written in a reference list indicate their usefulness in the context of your research. Thus, the references help in good scientific thought and better analysis or reporting of a situation.

The poor and improper referencing are the signs of mental laziness, partial academic writing knowledge and unclear thinking abilities. Good references eliminate all readers’ doubts regarding your point. A clear bibliography indicates the quality of research and is a hallmark of an extensive read and well-informed researcher.

In a big picture, referencing is important for acknowledging others for their academic contribution. It works for removing plagiarism from the academic task. In a manuscript, the references help reserve the originality and uniqueness of your work. Thus, we can say that referencing is important not only as an ethical issue but also for proving the originality of your research. By flipping the picture, it also prevents the unnecessary pile up of similar work.

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