When it comes to convincing a reader, providing evidence to support an argument/statement using another person’s/expert’s work to corroborate your assertions is generally good practice in many forms of (written) communication. Whether it is a newspaper article or academic essay, a non-fiction book or a journal article, public policy or a tweet, on a very basic level we are more likely to be convinced by an argument if the speaker/writer shows:
So, whenever you (a writer) refer(s) to or include(s) someone else’s words or work, whether it is a direct quote, a reproduction of a photo, or a description of an idea you (they) should always reference the source of where you (they) found that information.
In this respect, using other people’s work and effectively referencing your sources will:
To get started with academic research and writing, you need to understand the elements that make up a reference so you can identify the type of material it is and refer to that source:
If you do not acknowledge your sources correctly, you risk passing off someone else's ideas as your own, which could constitute academic dishonesty. Having a grasp of what plagiarism is, and the different forms of plagiarism, can help you avoid this malpractice.
To get started, have a look at our guidance on plagiarism and UCL's guidance on academic integrity.