When you conduct research and write a paper based on that investigation, you are entering a scholarly conversation with those who have discussed the topic before you. In order to direct your reader (in this case, your peers and your instructor) to this previously published information, you will create a bibliography--or Works Cited page--listing the primary and secondary sources you consulted. You will also attribute any direct quotations you use in your paper to the appropriate authors (in-text citation). It's important to cite your sources accurately; above are tutorials and FAQs to help you cite your sources in MLA format.
The Writing Center at the CSTW offers free help with writing at any stage of the writing process for any member of the university community.
Reference or background sources, including general and subject encyclopedias, can give you concise overviews of topics, together with lists of sources for further reading.