When writing any type of paper for class, you will probably refer to the intellectual work of others as support for your own ideas, arguments, and assertions. As you do so, academic integrity demands that you give credit to the originators of the ideas or specific sentences and phrases that you make use of. Take a look at the libguide about Academic Integrity at Piedmont University to learn more about the College's policies.
The reason that academic papers require the use of highly detailed methods of making references to the work of others is partly to avoid the risk of seeming to pass off the work of someone else as your own work. This is one way of defining plagiarism. You should take a look at the excellent discussion of plagiarism and how to avoid it at the Purdue OWL Avoiding Plagiarism to learn more.
These excellent, highly detailed guides from the Purdue University Online Writing Lab, the Purdue OWL, give detailed examples for creating citations and references in the APA, MLA, and Chicago/Turabian styles. The OWL guides also have great examples of making references to web documents, websites, and other types of online-based information.