Citing your sources gives you credibility as a researcher and helps you give credit where credit is due.
By citing your sources, you acknowledge the scholars who came before you and helped you along the way.
Citing also helps anyone reading your paper evaluate your writing for credibility. In the same way that you might evaluate a resource you find on the internet, your readers will evaluate your writing using your citations.
Accidental Plagiarism is more common than you think! Watch out for...
Quoting another writer's exact statement. Be sure to use quotation marks and cite the quotation.
Not using an in-text citations when paraphrasing.
Working on an assignment with classmates (without approval from your instructor!)
Using a "homework service" to obtain all or part of the work you turn in
Turning in a paper that you've used for another class or assignment - this is called self-plagiarism!