Citation is the practice of providing information about the sources you have used in your writing. This allows readers to trace ideas back to their original sources and gives credit to the original author.
Citation acknowledges any source that has directly influenced your language, ideas, or arguments. You should cite not only what you quote, but also what you paraphrase.
If you don't cite, you may be guilty of plagiarism.
Writing citations and bibliographies can be tedious and time-consuming. Luckily, there are some great free tools that will create them for you. Such tools will let you collect a set of sources and then drop them into your paper as you type. They will also let you automatically convert from one citation style to another. We recommend using either Zotero (see our guide) or Mendeley (we have a guide for that too).