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What is the purpose of citations in an essay?

Essay writing is an art by itself and the more original the essay is, the better it is from the reader’s point of view. However, creativity improves only with extensive reading and research. This reading and research, when, combined with one’s own interpretations and unique style, make the essay a complete one. Why does a student need to cite at all? Why should he not write his own interpretations alone? This is a valid point that any student can make and the answer would go like this. Original interpretations get enhanced when the student shows his awareness of what other eminent critics have written on a particular piece of work. His capacity for research is revealed when he quotes an eminent critic to support his argument.

In the course of his research a student reads through many articles written by experts on the particular subject. Here in comes the purpose of citations. Say for example, to a student writing a Shakespeare essay, reading Bradley would be an essential part of his research. Having read this great person’s critical acclaims of the dramatist, it is only fair that the great critic is given his due credit.

Reading through other experts gives the student a grip over what he attempts to understand; secondly it impresses the examiner when he cites the reference properly. The examiner is convinced that there is no plagiarism in his essay and his citations are proof of the fact.

When students fail to follow the guidelines for proper citations the essay becomes less impressive. Download a few of the essays from our academic library of essays org and get guidance about citations.

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