What is a citation? - Consequences of Wrong Citations & Prevention

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What is a citation 1
VIEWS: 3291 Views CATEGORY: Learn READING TIME: 10 Min To Read UPLOADED ON: 17 Aug 2023

A citation is a reference to a source of information and is frequently used in academic writing, research papers, articles, and other types of intellectual work. It gives readers the specifics they need to find the source the author consulted or referred to.

When studying in an institute, the students are required to take care of multiple chores. From preparing quizzes to participating in activities, there’s a lot of load on the shoulders of students. Their hectic routine makes them compromise on working on assignments, which needs to be taken very seriously.

Many students believe that creating assignments is just a waste of time; hence, they put no effort into their creations. However, in actuality, assignments possess the ability to improve certain skills in learners that pay off in their professional careers.

While making assignments, you need to make sure that you don’t replicate information from any source. It’s because duplication or plagiarism can badly hurt your academic integrity and lead you to face several repercussions. 

Many students are aware of plagiarism and make sure to avoid it, but their work still gets flagged as plagiarized. 

Do you know why?

It’s because of the existence of faulty citations that don’t allow you to give credit to the source accurately.

Citations play a vital role in academic assignments, as they help educators understand the research patterns utilized by students. They are also essential to quote supporting evidence and ideas in your academic work to avoid plagiarism.

You might wonder what consequences you’ll have to bear due to faulty citations and how they can be avoided. We are here with this blog to help you know exactly this! So, let’s get started without any further ado!

Consequences of Incorrect Citations

Your assignments may contain incorrect citations for several reasons. It could be done mistakenly due to insufficient knowledge of citation styles. In that case, you won’t be able to beat the consequences of incorrect citations. The common consequences of faulty citations include the following:

Failure in an Assignment/Course

Depending upon the seriousness of the issue, you might face a failure in an assignment or the entire course due to incorrect citations. Many students underestimate the importance of citations, and they consider it just an ordinary requirement that needs to be fulfilled. 

However, it’s not like this at all, as it plays the role of acknowledging sources from where you have taken assistance to prepare an assignment. If you continue to cite incorrectly, it will lead you to face severe penalties. You might get asked to rework the citations part of your submission. This error can also make things worse for you, as some institutes may even fail you in the entire course. It will waste the time and effort you spent in its completion, as you’ll be required to repeat it.

Embarrassment in Front of Peers 

The existence of inaccurate citations in your college assignments can affect your reputation badly in front of peers. You might think that faulty citations won’t be a big deal to tackle, but it will result in creating embarrassment. No one desires to come into the limelight for a bad cause, but with incorrect citations, you’ll be inviting danger for yourself. 

The fellows in your class might mock you for making this mistake and make you a laughing stock, which can negatively impact your mental health. Furthermore, the educators might also add insult to injury by quoting your mistake as an example in front of the entire class, which can cause further humiliation.

Face a Rejection

If you’re writing a research paper, it must contain proper citations to show evidence for your study. The research papers containing faulty or no citations can face rejection from the institute. A majority of institutes don’t show any relaxation when it comes to research work. Moreover, if you want your research work to be published in a conference or journal, then citing sources properly is inevitable to avoid any unwanted situation.

In addition, if your research paper has been marked as plagiarized due to improper citations, you’ll have to stand alongside plagiarists. It can lead you to face serious issues in the future, as plagiarism becomes a stigma on your reputation, which might not allow you to get admission for further studies in a reputable institution.

Tips to Avoid Faulty Citations

After going through the consequences of faulty citations, you might have understood why it is important to cite sources accurately. Now let’s discuss some tips that can help you avoid making this mistake in your assignments.

Note Down Correct Sources

Conducting extensive research is the first step to follow in the assignment creation process. When researching a topic, you’ll come across various ideas, examples, stats, and evidence that can be used in your assignment. If you’re planning to use any information, then you should extract the proper data related to the source containing it. By following this tip, you’ll be able to use the correct source information while creating citations in your assignment. 

You might think that this step could be left for last, but it needs to be done in advance because you can easily lose track of the source info, which can lead you to make errors in citations. Therefore, whenever you’re researching, you must extract and note down correct sources and relevant data to avoid faulty citations.

Paraphrase Properly

Paraphrasing is the process of restating someone else's ideas or information in your own words while retaining the original meaning. Ensure that you are using an authentic and trustworthy paraphrasing tool to rephrase the content in your own words.  Proper paraphrasing is important to avoid faulty citations and to demonstrate your understanding of the source material.

Remember: When paraphrasing, it's essential to provide proper credit to the source. Use appropriate citation styles to acknowledge the original author and source.

Format Citations Properly

Faulty citations don’t occur just because of inaccurate source information; the formatting of citations also needs to be done properly as per the required citation style. The popular citation styles that are commonly used in institutes include APA, MLA, and Chicago. When you’re asked to prepare an assignment, you’ll be given a prompt that contains instructions related to the style and formatting that needs to be followed. 

Cite the source

If you don’t have enough time to master your skills in a specific citation style, then you can take the assistance of an online citation generator. This tool allows you to get your hands on properly formatted citations for your required sources in a matter of seconds. All you are required to do is enter the source information and select the required citation style. As a result, it will provide you with in-text and full citations within no time.

Identity Missing Citations

We, as humans, are prone to making mistakes. Even after following the aforementioned tips, there could be room for missing citations in your academic assignments. However, institutes don’t compromise on it and give no room to their students in this regard. Therefore, the next tip is related to the identification of missing citations.

To detect text that isn’t cited in your assignment, you can make use of a plagiarism checker. The basic function of this tool is to detect sentences, phrases, or paragraphs that are copied from other sources. If it identifies the instances of plagiarism in your entered text, you can thoroughly go through the highlighted text and figure out if any of them isn’t cited. It’s an efficient way of spotting missing citations, as you won’t be required to put in manual efforts.

Remember: Accurate and proper citations are not only about avoiding plagiarism; they also contribute to the credibility and reliability of your work. 

That’s All!

In the last analysis, faulty citations can lead you to face several troubles like the ones discussed in this blog. Without adding proper citations in your assignments, you won’t be able to score a good grade in the particular courses. Consequently, your overall performance in academia will fall, which isn’t good for your CV. Therefore, you need to avoid them by following the aforementioned tips.


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