Citing your sources is an important and required part of any academic research and writing. But why?
To Give Credit Standard practice requires giving credit to the author of the original words, ideas, or research to show honor and respect for their work and legal rights.
To Avoid Plagiarism Citing your sources ensures that you are not taking credit for the work of another.
To Maintain the Accuracy and Credibility of Your Work Citations establish that your data and facts are correct and allows the reader to check the source for themselves.
MLA (Modern Language Association) style for documentation is widely used in the humanities, especially in writing on language and literature. MLA style features brief parenthetical citations in the text keyed to an alphabetical list of works cited that appears at the end of the work. (Source: Official MLA website)
Each entry in the list of works cited is composed of facts common to most works—the MLA core elements. They are assembled in a specific order.
The concept of containers is crucial to MLA style. When the source being documented forms part of a larger whole, the larger whole can be thought of as a container that holds the source. For example, a short story may be contained in an anthology. The short story is the source, and the anthology is the container. (Source: MLA)