While writing an academic paper, you will use other publications, e.g. books and journal articles, to obtain in-depth information on your research topic.
You will deal with ideas, arguments and results of other authors and thereby come to your own views or agree with others.
In order to avoid plagiarism and to maintain good scientific practice, it is imperative to separate other authors‘ word phrases, ideas, arguments, results and text structures etc. from your own ideas.
The term "citation" means that the use of other authors' intellectual property within your own scientific work is marked directly in the body text. At the end of the paper, list all sources in a bibliography.
There are two citation forms:
Direct quotation: word-for-word report of what someone else wrote, use double quotation marks („...“)
Indirect quotation: reformulate what you have read in your own (!) words
In addition to marking citations and indicating sources, proper citation means using a consistent citation style in your scientific work. Reference management software provides an appropriate solution. With the help of these programs, you can easily manage your references right from the start, organize and edit them, and export your citations and literature sources according to your chosen citation style.
Depending on the discipline, different citation styles are used. Frequently, citations are made according to the so-called Harvard system. A well-known citation style that uses this citation method is the APA citation style of the American Psychological Association. In STM subjects, other citation styles are mostly used, e.g. IEEE editorial style of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
As a matter of precaution, ask your supervisor about the citation style to be used.