A bibliography (aka "Works Cited," "References," or other) is your list of sources of information. You should include sources from which you quoted, reproduced a figure or other graphic material, AND sources whose information you paraphrased or restated. Each citation in your bibliography should clearly and precisely identify the source you used.
A citation typically includes:
Your instructor may require a particular style. If there is not an assigned style, then choose a style and be consistent with that style throughout your work.
For more details on citing sources, see our Citation Guide.
With these tools you can collect book and article citations from the library catalog and databases. Then using a plugin for MS Word, you can insert those citations into your paper in the appropriate format.
1. Citing sources is the hallmark of professional and scholarly communication. As a scientist or engineer, you communicate how you built your work and reached your conclusions.
2. You give others the credit they deserve for their work--just as you want future authors to give you credit.
3. Your readers can use your citations to put your work in context and explore further--your work isn't a dead end.
4. Citing sources encourages you to think. By documenting how others' ideas connect to yours, you get the concepts more firmly in your head. Anything else is cheating yourself on your education.
5. Plagiarism is bad. Whether you content-scrape, buy another's paper, or just don't keep track of what you're doing, it's a breach of professional ethics if intentional, and also a sign of incompetence if unintentional. Either way, be aware of what constitutes plagiarism, and don't do it.