Ethical use of information reflects an understanding that borrowed information is to attributed to its creator(s) and/or that property rights may be ascribed to intellectual and creative work, including music, the written word and video.
Clear as mud, right? Actually, there are two ways that very clearly deal with this concept. They are plagiarism and copyright. Both deal with giving credit where credit is due and using other people's work correctly. Even though information, words, and ideas are not concrete, they still can be stolen.
According to Morningside College Student Handbook on page 11, "In an academic community, students are encouraged to work together to help each other learn. Because of the many different learning styles, this kind of environment will foster the academic development of all students involved. Yet all work a student submits or presents as part of course assignments or requirements must be his or her own original work unless expressly permitted by the instructor. This includes individual and group work in written, oral, and electronic forms as well as any artistic medium." You can read more about plagiarism in the Student Handbook.
The most common form of plagiarism when it comes to resources and research is misrepresentation of the work of others as one's own and using someone else's ideas or words without giving credit.
You can avoid plagiarism. Carefully cite your sources when you use them in your assignments. This includes: when you quote directly from a source, when you paraphrase or summarize a source's information, and even when you apply an idea from a source to your argument. You must cite the source in the text of your paper and also in a PowerPoint presentation and have a works cited page, which lists all the sources you used.
Morningside College has a subscription to Turnitin, a plagiarism software program. This program compares students' papers to Internet sites, other student papers, some databases and other electronic resources for plagiarism. Your professor might ask you to use Turnitin as a part of your course, and you can also use it to double check your work.
For more information about Turnitin and plagiarism, click here.