We hope you now understand that research and citing are common practices in your everyday life. You look up what you want to know and prove what you are saying by citing sources, in a range of situations. For example:
- You use Google to look up where the latest Bond movie is playing. You find out that it’s at a drive in. You text a friend to tell them the location of the drive in and show times, and you say you found out this information from a website. You just did research and cited a source.
- You and a couple of friends want to live in Fernwood (a funky neighbourhood in Victoria, B.C.), so you decide to look up the rents on a reliable website. You discover the rents are quite pricey and you tell your friends. You just did research and cited a source.
The research and citation practices associated with academic writing aren’t completely different from these everyday functions of research and citation. That said, because academic research has important implications in academic communities and for society at large, it requires more exactness and depth. If we were to take the Fernwood example and apply an academic approach, then you might decide to investigate rent increases in Fernwood in the past thirty years and cite statistics. Then you could look up information about rent control advocacy in Victoria in a library database. Your findings based on these sources are more reliable than the everyday research you usually perform because academia produces reliable, ethical, and authoritative information. Academic research is trusted and cited by a wide-range of stakeholders—from journalists to politicians to everyday folk. We hope you now have an understanding of why research and citation practice is vital to both your everyday and academic lives.