Documentation, sometimes called citing, is the process by which you acknowledge the use of another person’s words, ideas, conclusions, information, data, graphics, and products. It involves keeping careful records of your sources and using a format specified in a style guide. Students, writers, researchers, and other professionals are all expected to use proper documentation to acknowledge the use of and give credit to the work of others.
Documentation is important because it
Is a vital component of practicing academic integrity
Adheres to copyright law
Creates a path, helping readers see your ideas and conclusions
Avoids confusion about which ideas are yours and which ideas you are using as supporting evidence from a source