Taking the time during your research to record your sources helps you, your audience and readers, and the author of the source in the following ways:
- If you remember a general idea that was in a book, magazine, encyclopedia, video clip, or website posting, but cannot remember the specific details, knowing the title, author, and date will help you locate it again.
- If readers or the audience for your presentation want to know more about the topic, they can use your list of sources to learn more about the ideas or information you shared.
- If an author or creator has worked hard and paid attention to detail to present you with information you find of value, you should recognize the author or creator and remind readers or your audience that your research builds on that of other hard-working people.
A review of just a handful of books available to someone researching the life of Harriet Tubman and her role in the Underground Railroad before the American Civil War shows that you cannot just rely on "This information is from a book about Harriet Tubman," for a teacher or librarian to help you find it again.