Research involves the investigation of facts to extend the boundaries of human knowledge. Researchers conduct research by studying and analyzing data. They draw new conclusions and check the validity of existing hypotheses in the field. The hypothesis may be rejected or validated based on the findings of the subsequent research work in the field.

Research is conducted on different subjects, and the method of conducting research varies based on the field of study.

For instance, historians and archaeologists conduct excavations and carry out carbon dating to place historical finds in different eras. Basic sciences like physics and chemistry draw a conclusion from hardcore experimental studies. Likewise, public policy and laws can also be a matter of research, and one example of concise writing on public policy is

A research article typically has an introduction that summarizes the field’s current standing. It has a materials and methods section, a results section and a discussion or conclusion section. They also have a reference section to cite the work of other scientists who have been helpful in reaching the conclusions of a paper.

Why Is Citation Critical?

Giving Each One Their Due Credit


Citation is giving credit to the people for the work that they have done. Thus, it is an ethical and accepted convention in all fields of study. Research is time-consuming; for example, a PhD thesis can take anywhere between five to eight years to complete.

Doing experiments or conducting field studies also requires significant monetary investment. It is essential to give credit to the scientist or the analyst who did all the hard work and the organization that paid the money also needs to be credited for their contributions to the field.

Helps Establish Novelty

Any research piece’s value depends upon the novelty of the finding. Hence, citations are important because they give the reader an idea of what was already known and what was contributed by the author of a given paper. Thus, it helps judge the novelty and capability of a particular author.

How To Write A Paper Without Citing Everything?

Citing Only The Original Source


In any subject, after an article makes it to a journal, several other papers or reviews use the results of that paper. Sometimes, a person might read about a finding in a review or from other papers, not the original one. In such cases, the person, while writing up his own paper, might cite several studies or papers instead of the one which is authentic.

Thus, the referencing of the paper becomes faulty as it does not give credit to the original discovery, and it gives credit to people who reviewed the original data. Hence, a thorough reading is essential to find out who the original author was and credit him instead of several others who restate the initial finding.

Referencing the original work is ethically correct and does not confuse the reader. A significant purpose of putting references or citations is to allow the reader to go back to the original source and read about that work in detail. If reviews are referenced instead of the original work, the readers are bound to be misled.

By Taking Credit For Own Work


A new researcher might feel less confident in his findings, or he may fear any accidental plagiarism. Hence, people who are new to the field often shy away from taking their own due credit. They cite other people just to show that their work is solid or due to under confidence.

It is also equally important to avoid self-plagiarism and cite all the previous work from the same author in his subsequent articles if a paper uses some facts from the old articles of the same author.

Hence, budding scientists or analysts should be confident in their work and not give credit to others just to avoid accidental plagiarism. This will ensure the reference section is short and concise.

No Need To Cite General And Well Accepted Facts

In every subject, there are well-known and well-accepted facts that do not need citation. For instance, any paper on neuroscience that uses the name of a certain type of neuron need not reference the one who first identified that particular type of neuron. It is expected that if a person is reading an advanced-level article on neuroscience, he will know basic facts about the field.

Again, facts which are well known and based on common sense do not need any referencing. For example, stating facts like “pollution is harmful to the environment” or “exercise is good for health” does not need any kind of reference. Thus, removing references for well-known facts or common sense-based statements that readers accept as it is should make the bibliography or reference section straightforward and easy to navigate for readers.

Running A Plagiarism Check


There are several free-to-use software programs that are available on the internet that run a plagiarism check for articles. Running a plagiarism check will ensure that an author does not unintentionally plagiarize, that is, to show someone else’s work as his own. Thus, if the software verifies that the data is well cited, then the authors need not be guilt-ridden, and this can make the reference section much shorter and simpler.


There are several advantages to keeping the reference section of a paper short and crisp. It saves the cost of printing journals. It also does not confuse the reader, and at the same time, it gives credit where it is due.

It is always a good idea to read about good citation practices which clearly state things that can be left without citation. Most Universities and funding organizations have their own guidelines for what they consider plagiarism.

It is also vital to avoid innocuous mistakes like not citing when paraphrasing someone else’s work. Thus, keeping an eye on good research practices and reading University and funding organizations’ guidelines on plagiarism is prudent. Also, doing thorough background research can help an author cite properly and keep the reference section short simultaneously.