Attribution is about "giving credit where credit is due." By acknowledging where information comes from, you show respect for the intellectual work of those who came before. An example of attribution is a citation. Citations provide credibility to your work and build a firm foundation on which to put your new arguments and ideas. If scholarship is a chain of connected authors, citations are the links that allow you to follow the conversation.
This is an example of a citation of Elie Wiesel's collection of essays Legends of Our Time:
Author's Last Name, Author's First Name. Title of Source. Publisher, Publication Date.
Wiesel, Elie. Legends of Our Time. Bard Books, 1968.