The following is a short video tutorial from the North Carolina State University Libraries that talks about the necessity of citation in academic writing.
Whenever you borrow words or ideas, you need to acknowledge their source. The following situations almost always require citation:
Whenever you use quotes.
Whenever you paraphrase.
Whenever you make specific reference to the work of another.
Whenever someone else's work has been critical in developing your own ideas.
Because I've borrowed the words above from the website Plagiarism.org, I include an APA-style citation here, so that I can correctly credit that website for the information that I've used. Not doing so would constitute plagiarism.
What's a Citation? (n.d.) Retrieved December 18, 2015, from <http://plagiarism.org/citing-sources/whats-a-citation>
The following is a list of links that you may find helpful in defining plagiarism and in clarifying the citation process.
APA Style: Learning APA Style
The APA style website, with a number of tutorials and learning resources.
APA Style Blog
The APA also publishes an excellent blog that addresses many questions regarding citing in the APA style.
Purdue OWL: APA Formatting and Style Guide
The excellent guide to citing in the APA style, from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab.
Most databases provide citation tools for use within the database itself. For instance, EBSCO's citation tool appears to the right hand side of an article or abstract; you'll see icons for print, e-mail, add to folder, and finally cite. When you click on cite, it will cause a new window to open with the article cited in various styles. Copy the citation style you desire and paste wherever it needs to go, while making sure to check the citation for accuracy and formatting.
ProQuest's citation tool appears in the toolbar directly above the list of returned search results, or in the same toolbar above an indicated article. The process is much the same; a new window will pop open, and allow you to indicate the style you need the citation to appear in. Cut and paste into your document, check for accuracy and formatting, and you're done.
The following links will provide access to free, online citation assistance. Mendeley and Zotero are more fully-featured services, while EasyBib and Citation Machine will easily output citations in whatever style you indicate, based on your input. Please use these services with the understanding that none are perfect, and that you may have to manipulate your results in order to produce correct citations.