1. Give credit where credit is due
Every time you use someone else's ideas or words, you need to give them credit. Whether you are paraphrasing or quoting, and no matter where you find the information (journal article, book, Wikipedia, website, etc.), you must cite your sources. If you use someone else's ideas or words without crediting them, that is plagiarism.
Quite often plagiarism is unintentional. Please visit the Library's Avoiding Plagiarism guide to be sure you understand plagiarism.
2. Help your reader find your sources
By citing, you are helping your reader locate your sources if they want to investigate them further.
3. Lend credibility to your arguments
Citing other sources demonstates that your arguments are solid, and can be backed up by other research. The better your sources are, the better your argument will be.
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