Should citations be used in introductions and conclusions if they just introduce and summarize the body of the essay where all others' ideas are referenced in details?

Ideas that are not discussed in the body of the essay but belongs to others are excluded from this question.

  • 6
    Should citations be used in introductions and conclusions -- Yes. But the rest of your question doesn't make sense to me. Commented May 25, 2014 at 17:23
  • If the same ideas are cited in the body where they are developed, I think there is no need as this is a mere repetition. However, if the introduction starts with a quote or some statistics that are not discussed in the body, of course they should be cited. Commented May 25, 2014 at 19:26
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    I think there is no need as this is a mere repetition — If the text is mere repetition, you should remove the duplicate text from the paper. If the text is not mere repetition, you should cite the earlier source in both places.
    – JeffE
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 0:56

1 Answer 1


If I understand your question, you're asking whether statements in an introduction or conclusion which summarise fully-referenced, more detailed statements in the body of your writing should be referenced too.

The answer is the same as for anything, regardless of where it's found in something you write:

If a statement is your own conclusion based on information you have drawn from outside sources, then as long as you note what information you got from which sources by referencing correctly within the body of the document where you explain how you came to your conclusion, you don't need to reference this conclusive or interpretive statement; it's the result of your own mental process.

On the other hand, if the statement is information from another source, you must reference it. Whether or not it's heavily summarised or you intend to expand on the statement, with references, later, the simple rule of referencing everything that did not originate with your own work still applies.

As a rule, though, I'd advise you to check with your teacher, tutor, student advisor, TA, lecturer, or whomever else applies. What I explained above is technically the right way to do it, but it wouldn't surprise me if some institutions at least aren't quite that strict.

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