Use of cited sources is one of the surest signs that an article is a scholarly article. Academic journal articles use information from other articles and books. The sources used in journal articles will be cited fully as Works Cited, References, bibliography, or footnotes.
Why do these expert authors always use source information?
First, everybody uses information from sources all the time, even when they're not writing.
There is an important insight here about the nature of learning and knowledge -- all knowledge is built on previous knowledge. To limit oneself to one's own ideas (assuming it's even possible) would be debilitating. Even the most brilliant scholars and scientists build their insights and learning with the ideas, data, and arguments of other scholars and scientists. Bottom line: you can't succeed in academic work or learning if you try to rely only on your own ideas.
You don't have to (and shouldn't) use only sources what agree with you. Expert writers often include information from sources they agree with, wither mostly or partly. They use other perspectives as a way to show that their own ideas as new and different.
Why do expert writers cite their sources?
Simple: Expert academic writers cite their sources because it defines their work as researchers and scholars. Since every academic writer is aware that their own work is built on the work of others, citing sources
- Establishes authority. A writer inherits some of the authority of his sources.
- Shows which others you're "worked with." A writer earns credibility by demonstrating familiarity with important other scholars, the leaders in the field.
- Provides other perspectives on the problem or thesis. To promote an idea successfully, you have to show readers how it's better than competing ideas.
- Shows your fairness and intelligence, and therefore improves your credibility. That's why it's important to engage openly and fairly with sources in the paper.
Here is a Works Cited example. Note that both the in-text citations and the Works Cited list of sources are necessary!
An endnotes example
A footnotes example