Citation and Referencing – Purpose, Tools & More

Have you ever wondered why you need to place citations and references on your paper? Some people carry a misconception that these citations can help prevent plagiarism. It is true! However, there are vital contributions of citation that most students do not know.

This post shall describe how referencing tools like the hbs citation generator can help you achieve success.

What Purpose Do Citations Serve?

In general, the purpose of referencing is to acknowledge the contribution of other writers and researchers. Therefore, you should place these citations if you have used the concepts or research of other writers in your research work.

Acknowledging credentials to the writers – Referencing offers due credits to other writers if you have used their words or concepts in your work. Once you cite the work of a scholar, it means you are acknowledging their intellectual property rights.

Claim-supporting evidence – Using the concepts, insights and arguments of other writers is not illegal if you acknowledge their contribution to your assignment. Referencing offers the necessary proof supporting your assignment’s claims and assertions. Using citation lets your readers understand your knowledge and experience in the field.

Promotes navigation and reader persuasion– Citations lets you set boundaries in your specialized field and help you navigate the available space in your chosen field. In addition, they can help you create content to persuade your readers to take action.

Placement of precise references– Remember that your citations should be accurate. It should help your readers to trace back to your information sources. Therefore, while you’re reading and researching your assignment, try to maintain a record of your sources. It’ll help you place accurate references.

Authoritative value– Placing citations in your content can make it enjoyable and authoritative. It’ll help your readers realize the true importance of your writing. References can persuade your readers by showing them the value of your research work in contributing to the academic community.

Information to reference

It is a general belief that writers should reference printed books for acknowledgement. However, referencing goes beyond books. Instead, you should reference any source, concept, idea or information in your paper.

Let us look at the sources that you can use to create references with your hbs or other citation generator –

  1. Pamphlets or brochures
  2. Newspapers and magazines
  3. Journal articles and books
  4. Letter, online discussion forums and emails
  5. Reprinting pictures, diagrams, illustrations or charts
  6. Electronic sources like websites
  7. Personal interviews
  8. Tutors and lecturers by checking their preferences before extrapolating their concepts
  9. Advertisements, documentaries, T.V. programs and films

Information you should not reference

Now let’s look at the information that you don’t need to reference –

  1. Your observations or the results of your experiments, such as a field report.
  2. A reflective journal where you write on your personal experiences.
  3. Including your thoughts, opinions or inferences in your assignment.
  4. Assessing or implementing your analysis.
  5. Utilizing “common knowledge” like popular and well-renown facts.
  6. Making use of general facts or information. However, it’s best to ask your tutor since it varies across various disciplines.

Ensure you do not reference this information while working with your hbs citation machine.

The Purpose of Citation and Referencing Machines

Reference management programs, aka bibliographic management software or citation managers, can help save time and energy. They offer helpful features in your research like –

  1. Storage and organization of the references.
  2. Generate bibliographies and citations in your preferred style.
  3. Meeting publication needs by converting referencing styles.
  4. Organizes the research information.
  5. It helps you to auto format your footnotes, endnotes, and bibliography using styles like MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.
  6. Let’s you auto-format the bibliography.
  7. Citation tools can help you insert references within your Word document with one click.
  8. Let’s create and format the annotated bibliography.

An hbs citation generator tool can help you complete your research paper faster and save time. In addition, you can proofread your work and improve it before you submit it to your professor.

The Drawbacks & Limitations of Citation Tools

However potent referencing tools are, they still have their limitations. A citation tool can carry these drawbacks –

  1. It might not create the perfect reference list or bibliography that matches the preferred or expected style.
  2. Does not correct errors, omissions, or typos from the references, which you download or enter manually. You should proofread your work and check if there are capitalization, punctuation, or spelling mistakes.
  3. It cannot always distinguish the downloaded reference style.
  4. Does not always recognize the downloaded reference type.
  5. Often, some information might follow the wrong format, which may need some editing.

Using Citation Management Tools

You can create a reference collection to include citation details like the notes, URL links, and PDF files. You can use these libraries to collect, arrange, search, or share items and backup your online library.

The most striking feature of this citation management tool is that it works in Microsoft Word. You point and click within the library to cite the text in your paper. In addition, the citation management tool will create and update your bibliography by itself.

You can find citation tools such as online websites where you can input the citation information. Such tools help you with a one-time bibliography that you can copy and paste into your document.

The Major Mistakes Students Make in Citing Sources 

  1. Missing citations or references.
  2. Maintain an alphabetical order during citation.
  3. Include the page numbers in your references.
  4. Forgetting to cite text or reference pages.
  5. Use updated and credible sources for citation.
  6. Forgetting to place the URL of a website within the bibliography citation or reference list.
  7. Adding excess, unnecessary and irrelevant citations.
  8. Improper use of the et al.
  9. Placing the honorifics or initials of the in-text citations.
  10. Use of incorrect punctuation.

Since there are many rules in creating a reference list or bibliography, working on them can be difficult. Therefore, it’s best to ensure that your citations are error-free while you avoid the most familiar mistakes in citing sources.


Referencing machines can help save time while you cite the sources for your research paper. However, like all devices, these tools are imperfect and require user vigilance. Therefore, once you’ve used these tools, it’s best to check your paper for unintentional casual errors. Leaving your responsibilities and hard work to these tools can have unforeseen and unfavorable consequences.


Author Bio

Amily Parker is a writer who has worked at for the past seven years. She is an expert in using the coursework writing services and guides students to use them for their benefit.

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