Giving credit where credit is due is an important and highly regarded concept in academic work. It is the way we acknowledge the many foundations on which our own endeavors are built. Citing is not something created just to annoy you. It is a fundamental aspect of being someone who learns.
A citation should be created when:
Common sense rules:
Use the citation style assigned by you professor.
If your professor does not have a preference, use the style with which you are most familiar.
Never copy the formatting of a citation from another publication. Publishers generally have their own particular style formats that differ from others.
Visit your campus Writing Center for in-person help.
Citing Your Sources
There are many different "styles" you may choose from when citing sources. Your professor will probably tell you which "style" is preferred for your class. MLA (Modern Language Association), Chicago, and APA (American Psychological Association) are the three which are used most often by students at The Claremont Colleges.
(17th edition) Includes 2 basic documentation systems: the humanities style (notes and bibliography) and the author-date style. This online version is searchable (by word, phrase, or paragraph #), making it easy to find answers to style and editing questions. Also includes a Citation Quick Guide.
Citation Managers are tools to help you keep track of your citations as you research and to create/format your citations and bibliography. For example, Zotero allows you to keep citations, full text articles, and other research resources organized in one place. You can also use these tools to format your bibliographies and the notes/citations in your papers according to the appropriate style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.).
Zotero is a free open source application that works with Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, you can also download a client to your computer. It is a good choice if you use just one computer when researching. You can access citation information when online or offline.