What Are Citations? Types & Benefits In Academic writing

Citations are a powerful tool for academic writers, providing evidence to back up your claims and connecting you with the ideas of other scholars.

They can be useful in showing the reader that the information in the paper comes from a reputable source and has been verified.

What are citations?

Citations are references to sources used in research or writing. They help readers find the source material to check its accuracy and learn more about the discussed topic. Citation styles vary depending on the field of study but typically include the author’s name, the year published the work’s title, and the URL or page number.

Source: Apastyle

Examples of citations:

1. Davis, A. (2018). Writing with Emotion Like a Human, Not Repetitive and Perfect Like an AI. Retrieved from Smith, J. (2017). Clear and Concise Language for People aged 13 and Above. Journal of Literacy Education, 8(3), 50–57. doi:10.1234/jle.456.781a

Citations and Academic Legitimacy:

Academic research must possess certain features to be considered influential. These features distinguish it from all other writing norms and styles. Academic research is usually formal and must contribute to a specialized field with content that can develop or expand on the present knowledge base.

As a result of this requirement, the research part must be properly documented, and all relevant sources used must be acknowledged and cited, regardless of how minor or significant a role the information had in the research itself.

Research published without attribution to other sources may be considered slanted or untrustworthy. The material in the document is based entirely on the researcher’s word, with no backup data to make it credible and valid.

This method is centuries old and is based on common sense. The more experts concur with your hypothesis and theory, the more likely it is true. However, even though citations are necessary, the way researchers include their references may differ.

Different types of citations:

The presentation of citations in the text is the most obvious distinguishing feature of any citation style. There are three primary approaches:

  • Parenthetical
  • Note
  • Numerical

Parenthetical Citations:

Parenthetical citations are when a source is cited in the text of your essay by putting the author’s name and the year of publication in parentheses. For example: (Gill, 2021). This type of citation helps to make it easier for readers to find the source you used without having to look at an end-of-paper reference list.

Merits of parenthetical citations:

Parenthetical citations acknowledge the sources of any facts, data, or other information you include in your essay. By citing the sources, you demonstrate that you have researched and verified the accuracy of your content. This allows readers to check where the information was obtained and makes it easier for them to evaluate its relevance and accuracy.

2. Note Citations:

Note that citations acknowledge the sources of any facts, data, or other information used in an essay. They include the author(s) name, publication year, and page numbers (if germane). Note that citations can be placed at the end of a sentence in parentheses as part of the same clause, or they can be included as footnotes at the bottom of the page.

By including these citations, readers can easily check where the information was obtained and evaluate its relevance and accuracy.

Merits of note citations:

The use of note citations in writing has many advantages. First, it allows readers to easily evaluate the accuracy and relevance of the facts or information presented in an essay by verifying them with their sources. Additionally, note citations help writers avoid plagiarism by giving proper credit to the authors whose work was referenced.

3. Numerical Citations:

Numerical citations are a type of note citation used to provide references or sources for facts or information included in an essay. Numerical citations list the source numbers at the end of each statement referenced and then include a list of all cited sources at the end of the paper with corresponding numbers.

Merits of numerical citations:

Numerical citations have several merits, including making it easier to refer back to sources without scrolling up or down the page. This helps readers quickly identify which source is being referred to and locate relevant information within your essay.

Numerical citations also make your writing look more professional and credible by using superscript numerals that appear progressively throughout your article.

Two Types of Citation in APA Style:

As we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of citation styles. Discussing them all in detail would be quite a task, so we’ll stick to talking about the most popular one, namely APA.

Every citation in APA style has two elements: an in-text citation and a lengthier reference citation. The other citation styles also usually consist of these two parts.

In-text citations:

In-text citations only require a few details from the source, enough to find its matching reference citation in the reference list.

Reference list citations:

Reference list citations provide additional information about the source so the reader can locate it if desired.

Source: press books

The advantages of citations in academic writing:

Citations are a great way to improve the quality of your work. Here are some of the benefits of citations:

Establishing credibility:

Using citations to provide evidence and support for your claims allows you to establish credibility as a researcher and writer, making readers more likely to trust your work.

Avoiding plagiarism:

Citations can help prevent unintentional plagiarism by providing proper credit for words and ideas that are not originally yours.

Support arguments:

Citing other sources provide the necessary evidence to demonstrate the validity of your arguments.

Acknowledging other authors’ work:

By citing others’ work, you recognize their contribution to the field and show respect for their intellectual property.

Providing further resources:

Citations are like breadcrumbs leading readers to further research materials and explore topics in greater depth.

How to Cite a Source?

Citing sources is not that difficult. With the help of tools, it becomes quite easy to track down and cite sources. There are a few tools you can do that with that. You can use dedicated citation generators or even plagiarism checkers that have this feature. An example of both types of tools is the Chegg citation generator and the plagiarism checker by Editpad.

Let’s show you how that works. So, first of all, consider this situation; you have written a draft, but you have lost some sources and don’t how to track them again. So, here’s an easy way to do that.

You simply open the Editpad plagiarism checker, input your content and check it for plagiarism. Once that is done in the reports section, you can see which parts are plagiarized and their sources are listed as well.

Editpad’s Plagiarism Checker Report

The red sentences are plagiarized, and in front of them is the “Cite it” button as well as the “Compare” button. The “Compare” button opens the source, and you can use that information to create a citation by using the “Cite it” button.

Citation Creation Feature in Editpad Plagiarism Checker

Alternatively, you can use Chegg’s citation generator instead once you have found the source. To do that, you need to select which kind of source you are trying to cite i.e., book, website, or journal. Then you need to search for a keyword/title and pick out your source from the list. Then finally, you can create the citation.

Chegg Citation Generator

Then simply, fill out the information, and your citation will be generated in multiple formats. You can see the results below:

Citations by Editpad

Citations by Chegg

And that’s how you can create citations to use in your own work with the help of tools.


In conclusion, it is essential to understand the types of citations and their purpose. Appropriate citations are required to avoid plagiarism and maintain the integrity of the research.

They also provide a way for readers to verify the accuracy of the research results. Depending on the specific needs of the paper, basic citations or more extensive citations may be necessary. Writers should also give a comprehensive list of references and ensure they are appropriately cited inside the text.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *