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A citation is a reference to a source. In both research and discussions, citing sources is fundamental in demonstrating your understanding of a subject and your ability to utilize credible information in the topic. It is also how one provides credit to claims.
There are three main reasons to provide citations:
1. Avoid plagiarism (See the Plagiarism page in this guide for more info.)
2. Demonstrates that you have thoroughly researched the topic, and that your work is based on evidence.
3. Provides details necessary for readers to find the original source if they wish to read it themselves.