The purpose of this guide is to establish a clear understanding of the role citations play in scholarly writing. The use of citations goes beyond validating any information or claim presented in an academic paper or dissertation. When properly mobilized, citations can strengthen the writer's argument and claims, and position the study clearly and firmly in the literature.
In this guide expect to learn about:
Claims are evidence-based statements that represent the author's stance on a particular issue.
Evidence refers to any fact, data, or other information from a reliable resource that support and strengthen the claim.
Citations are formalized references of the reliable resources of evidence supporting a claim in scholarly writing.
|Statement - (Evidence + Citations) = Belief/Opinion
|Compassion is an important part of leadership.
|Statement + Evidence + Citation = Claim
|Compassion is an essential trait for leaders who want to help others (Davenport, 2019).
Integration of the evidence from Davenport (2019), in the above example, narrows the focus of leadership to leaders who want to help others. This illustrates how the addition of evidence to a statement can differentiate a claim from a generalized statement or opinion and add nuance and focus to a statement.
Citations help to meet the objectives of scholarly writing. As illustrated in the above example, drawing upon the evidence published by Davenport (2014) made the claim more specific by focusing only on leaders who want to help others. This practice of drawing upon relevant sources helps to define and refine the scope and objectives of the study.