The Authority of Citations and Quotations in Academic Papers

Begoña Carrascal


I consider some uses of citations in academic writing and analyze them as instances of the “appeal to expert opinion” argumentative scheme to show that the critical questions commonly linked to this scheme are difficult to apply. I argue that, by considering citations as special communicative and argumentative situated acts, their use in real practice can be explained more adequately. Adaptation to the audience and to the social constraints is common and necessary in order to collaborate with others and to advance in a discipline, but also to attain rhetorical goals that differ from strictly cognitive ones.


Act of arguing, argument from expert opinion, authority, citing, communication, testimony

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ISSN: 0824-2577