Citations are the way you show others where you got your information. This helps your readers understand how you developed your ideas in relation to the work of others. When you don't give others credut for their ideas or words, you are stealing and this is plagiarism. Plagiarism is the act of presenting the intellectual work of others as if it were one’s own work. It is a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy, and even one offense can result in failure of the course or suspension from the university. So please cite your sources. It's not just the rules, it's the right thing to do! Be careful when you copy and paste. Be sure you make note of where the information came from, and then cite the source in your paper. There is nothing wrong with presenting the ideas of others as long as you give them credit.
Online information about the MLA and Chicago citation styles.