As a college student, you are going to have to cite your work whenever you are going to use a source that is not you, or something that you have written. Anything that you use you have to cite, and you can bet that whatever papers you write, the professor is going to make you cite sources so that you get the practice that you need. Citing is a very common thing to do, and once you learn how to cite sources, you are going to alleviate a lot of problems that can come from not citing.
The most important thing that you are going to want to do when you cite a source is to make sure that you give credit to the author, and give the source that you used. The most common way of citing papers is the MLA format, and most colleges will use that simply because it is the most uniform way to cite papers. Also, since I have used the MLA format almost exclusively I have the best knowledge of that format.
Basically what you are going to want to do when you cite a source is use your quote or fact, and then give your proper credit within the paper. Here is an example of how you would want to go about doing so. The source is a book,i t is from page 39, and the author is Steve Jones. Here is what that would look like.
“The stock market is going to go up in the next year or so in my opinion, and people have no reason to panic” (Jones, 39).
Notice how I put the quote first, then in parenthesis put the author, then the page number. Also the comma needs to be there, and the period to end the sentence goes after the parenthetical.
At the end of the paper make sure that you have a list of works cited. This will help the reader go to the sources that you quoted to make sure that the information is accurate, and it will allow the reader to determine whether the source is a good one or not.
Go to MLA, or consult a handbook for the technical way to cite, but typically a teacher will accept something like this:
Jones, Steve. “The economy is recovering” Pg 39. Random House. 2004.
You put the last name of the author, then the first name. Then in quotation marks you put the name of the article, followed by the page number. After that is the publisher, then the year in which the source was published.
Again, you can google MLA format and get the exact definitions, but most professors will accept something similar to that, and as long as you can identify your source, you should be OK.