While writing a research paper, we all wonder how to put citations in a correct manner. After all, even one mistake can sometimes lead to instructors telling you that plagiarism of some type is present. Indeed, it will likely be unintentional. However, the problem would still lead to the unnecessary waste of time on your part. Thus, the main goal of this article is to say which of the following would always require a citation in a research paper: statistics or some facts?
Understanding the reasoning behind citation systems
One of the key things you should always do while writing something is to consider the reason why you need citations of any kind. Their main goal is to indicate that the author of some statement appearing in your paper is a different person. In this way, you ensure that the atmosphere of scientific data belonging to its creators would be upheld. Hence, while citing anything, you should always think about the following question: does my reference to some information involve some person or, at least, a well-delineated group of people?
Let’s say, you want to criticize Marxism and use a comment from Samuelson, a famous economist, in regards to it. In this case, we’re talking about a famous person with a clear scientific background. Without a doubt, citing the information is absolutely essential in such a situation. The ideas are not yours and, therefore, you cannot take them for yourself. Ultimately, citations show that some knowledge is very specific to certain individuals and, consequently, uphold the copyright of the people in question. If you still have some trouble with understanding the intricacies of citing something, try the academic assistance service named EssayHave: its experts can assist you with learning about key research paper requirements.
Statistics vs. facts
So, which of the following would always require a citation in a research paper: statistics or some facts? Here, is our answer:
- Statistics always require some form of citation. Someone usually compiles them. A clear person or group is behind the materials of such kind. Therefore, providing citations for this type of data is crucial. You clearly can’t take some statistics out of your head unless you’ve compiled them personally.
- Facts have different requirements for diverging cases. Some facts or statements that come from a definite person are usually in need of citation. The aforementioned information on Samuelson is a perfect case. However, certain types of claims may need no citations. When does this happen? When information is common knowledge. For example, the fact that World War II started in 1939 is something that most people know. Information that coronavirus was first discovered in China is not a secret to anyone either. While all of this information might have had original sources at first, it became so widespread that claiming ownership of the data is now difficult. When cases like these occur, you won’t need to add any citations. To guarantee that your teacher doesn’t ask any questions, adding some claim that a statement is common knowledge may be a great idea too.
All in all, citing something in a research paper is not that difficult. You just need to find out whether a statement belongs to someone or society on the whole. In case of any trouble, asking for some help from specialists or even your teacher may be a good idea. They should typically be able to tell which sources are good and which aren’t.