Good Points to Follow
Mary-Claire van Leunen explains the art of writing meaningful citations (and other issues) in her excellent book A Handbook for Scholars, Oxford University Press, 1992
, A Handbook for Scholars - Victoria library Catalogue
She points out that citations have a number of functions:
- Citations opens the door to further information and independent judgement.
- Citations keep you honest.
- Citations means you don't have to introduce old notions, just include your citations that point you to where they are introduced or described.
- Citation can be used to strengthen your argument.
- Citation is courtesy of scholars.
She also discusses what makes a meaningful citation, some highlights:
- Avoid brackets without context.
- Let the information and emotion hidden between citations out into the open. Honest. Instead of "Furbot  identifies ..." try giving some context "Furbot, writing in the VUW Journal of Phrenology , described for the first time the computer scientist convulation ...".
- Avoid things like "it has been said", "see [x] for a further discussion".