There are many reasons to provide references to the sources that you use:
Your audience may want to know how to investigate your topic further. By providing your resources you are helping others who are interested in the same topic. Also, you want to give proper credit and attribution to published researchers or writers. Plagiarism is a serious offense.
Here is a definition of plagiarism: Plagiarism is appropriating someone else's words or ideas without acknowledgment. To understand plagiarism we must consider two questions: (1) How is plagiarism like or unlike theft— (2) Why is plagiarism considered wrong; why should we acknowledge the originator of an idea. (Encyclopedia of Ethics. London: Routledge, 2001. Credo Reference. 17 April 2009 <http://www.credoreference.com/entry/7915618>.)
College writing and oral presentations should provide your audience with verbal cues to the information you have used: the SOURCE where you found your information. (This might be an interview, scholarly article, book,or website, etc.); the AUTHOR, when available, and the DATE when your source was published or accessed (for web sources and interviews).
For helps in citing properly you may wish to visit OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab
Once you have gathered a variety of sources, begin to synthesize what you have found. Look them over and determine how they fit together and relate to your topic.
Many people want to know more about how to install and use Zotero to manage their citations. Here is a great tutorial created by Ohio University Libraries that walks through steps of installation and linking resources to your Zotero account. Please ask for assistance at the ASK desk if you need.
Citation management tools can save time and frustration.
Zotero is a dedicated citation management tool that helps you organize the resources that you have found and provides correct citation format.
Find help: Getting Your Stuff into Zotero
If you choose not to use a dedicated citation managment tool of which Zotero is just one of many, you may also wish to cut and paste citations from specific databases, such as WorldCat, into a word document.
The way to save the bibliographic record varies but the general process is similar to the example below:
Most of the databases also have a link that provides formatted citations.
While Zotero is dedicated to citation management there are also quick ways to cut and paste proper citation formats from many databases, e.g., WorldCat or EBSCO databases like Academic Search Premier or PsycINFO. These automatically generated citations are readily available. Like every other citation generator double checking the information is essential.