Keep track of your sources as you research! It will save you time when you go to write your Works Cited/Reference page. You can store all your citations in one Word doc, in your sketchbook, or in one of these tools made specifically to help you cite!
Most of the Library article databases have an option to cite an article. Look for it, and save time.
To cite means that you state where you found the information so that others can find the exact item again. In this way you build upon the ideas and knowledge of other people, not unlike what you do in other areas of your creative work. Using the ideas of others to create new ones is at the heart of scholarly and artistic practice.
Citing in a particular style (MLA, APA, etc.) -- and doing it consistently -- helps your audience easily understand where you got your information.
Sometimes you will come across sources that are missing some of the information you need for a citation. Do your best. It is better to err on the side of too much information than too little, but if you have any questions ask a librarian or your professor.
You don't have to cite basic information: the kind of facts you see in every textbook or encyclopedia entry. So...
What Is an Annotated Bibliography?
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations including a brief (usually about 150 words, 4 – 6 sentences) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, called the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.
Annotations may include some or all of the following information:
The smart librarians at Skidmore College developed this helpful annotated bibliography tutorial. Give it a try!
Check out these other How To guides:
Here's an example of an annotated bibliography summarizing and evaluating key literature on design and the social sector. Written by Courtney Drake and Deirdre Cerminaro with William Drenttel; hosted by Design Observer