Why do we incorporate scholarly information into papers, presentations, and assignments?
In most cases, the goal is not simply to present the results of research, but to use those results in support of our own ideas. Of course the real goal in this setting is to demonstrate that you can write a good paper, and the best papers combine your own ideas with the ideas and findings of other scholars. It’s a mistake to either
Your ability to select appropriate information resources will be one of the factors considered in the evaluation of your work. This includes both
Your professors will evaluate, among other things,
A top-quality paper will cite information sources whenever they are necessary or appropriate. For instance, there will be almost no instances in which you fail to cite evidence in support of an assertion. This criterion isn’t just “Have you cited all your sources?” It also accounts for whether you have recognized when “outside” information would be helpful as a way of supporting your statements or otherwise strengthening your paper.
Citations included for no reason will hurt you rather than help you. In a good paper, readers will find it easy to understand why you included (and cited) each work. You will introduce and explain the cited information well, and use it in ways that serve your own purposes.
These suggestions may be helpful when you're writing your paper.