When you include information from a source in a paper, presentation, or other project, you must give credit to the source's author. (The only exception is if the information is common knowledge, such as that the U.S. has 50 states.)
When incorporating information from other sources, you will usually quote or paraphrase the information before providing further analysis of it. Always properly cite an author's original idea, regardless of whether you have directly quoted or paraphrased it. If you have questions about how to cite properly in your chosen citation style (APA, MLA, or Chicago), check out our Citation Guides.
Ideally, papers will contain a good balance of direct quotations, paraphrasing, and your own thoughts. Too much reliance on quotations and paraphrasing can make it seem like you are only using the work of others and are not sharing your own thinking.
Communicate the relevance of the sources you use to your own ideas. Usually this involves relating new information from a source to the topic at hand and then discussing further the ideas in that source. (These Signal and Introductory Phrases can help with this.)
Indiana University's Writing Center has a particularly good webpage on quoting, paraphrasing, and using evidence in your writing. And Lesley's own Center for Academic Achievement had many valuable resources and services too.