If I am reading and analyzing a particular case study and then answering its questions, if I am just giving my opinion or a solution, should I 'cite' it? For example, if we are talking about branding and the question is about the power of the brand in the market, if I answer with the following:

'To lead a change in an industry, I think that it really depends on the brand equity and the market concentration factors'. So should I try to 'cite' my opinion? Perhaps someone spoke about this particular point before, but at the same time, I am just giving my view on the matter and the solution to the question.

2 Answers 2


Based on your comment to dan1111's answer, I think what you're really asking is: "Can I give my opinion in a paper, or do I need to find where other people have the same opinion, and cite them instead?"

You can give your opinion, and since it's created by you and not previously published, you do not need a citation. However, earlier in the paper you should lay the foundation for your opinion, and that may require citations.

For example, suppose my opinion is that Academia Stack Exchange is a very useful site for academics. Before stating that opinion, I need to lay the groundwork. I might do this by providing some statistics on the number of people that have been helped by the site, which means I'll need to cite the statistics. That way the reader can see how you came to that opinion.

  • Right. Personal opinions without cited substance backing them up are worth very little (maybe unless one is a big-shot...) Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 16:31

Cite anything that comes from another source. Whether or not it is "opinion" doesn't matter.

Examples of another source:

  • Anything created by someone else (whether published or not).
  • Something created by you, that you have previously published.

Content created by you, which hasn't been made public before, does not need to be cited. Attribution is via your authorship of the current document.

Update: attribution of your opinion.

  • If you thought up the opinion yourself you don't need to cite it.
  • It your opinion was formed based on specific sources, I would say you have an obligation to cite those sources.
  • If your opinion was informed by others, but you don't know of a specific source, you should make a good effort to find a source and cite it. The problem here is that there may be a specific source where this opinion originates (even if you aren't aware of it). Failure to cite would look like plagiarism in that case. Even if that is not true, providing a citation would always strengthen the document.
  • Agreed. However, if I am simply saying like 'x company should adopt this and that strategy', I am just giving an opinion, does that need citing? It could be exhausting to search for an academic/official source for an opinion I am applying on a case as an answer...
    – R. AS.
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 8:18

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