When you write a research paper, you want to provide enough information so that others can locate the source you used themselves. It allows you to credit the authors of the sources you use and clarify which ideas belong to you and which belong to other sources.
Generally, citation information usually includes:
TIP: Many article databases have a built in option to email citations formatted for MLA style.
Citation management software will let you save, organize, format and share citations from a variety of sites (e.g. library catalogs, article databases, Amazon etc.) and create bibliographies and cited reference lists using citation style formats (e.g. APA, MLA, etc.)