Attribution, fundamentally, is about “giving credit where credit is due.” By acknowledging (through citation) where information comes from, you:
Attribution is a scholarly habit of mind that everyone can and should cultivate. You are engaging in the scholarly conversation when you keep track of where you find information and properly cite your sources in your final product--everything from a final paper to a thesis, a presentation to a website.
Image: First Day of Classes, 1982. Copyright 2002-2011. The Trustees of Indiana University.