Citations are important because they offer a uniform way in which authors convey where information comes from. Since the style is standardized, readers in specific disciplines become accustomed to retrieving information from published works in a certain way. This allows for ease of access to pertinent information. In addition, proper citation ensures credit is given where credit is due and helps reduce unintentional plagiarism.
When we think of citation styles, we usually think of footnotes, end notes, in-text citations, and bibliographies. However, there is much more to it. Citation styles, like APA, also provide standardized rules for formatting papers and writing for your peers and colleagues. This lends structure to professional, academic writing.