Plagiarism is a violation of Ivy Tech Community College’s policy on academic integrity.
The good news is that the more you know about plagiarism, the less likely you may be to commit it. So read on to find out what plagiarism involves, how to recognize it, and most importantly, how to avoid it.
Plagiarism is “presenting within one’s own work the ideas, representations, or words of another person without customary and proper acknowledgement of that person’s authorship.” (Ivy Tech Community College, Student Handbook)
While plagiarism often involves printed work, such as books or articles, it is possible to plagiarize using a variety of other materials, including photographs, artwork, graphic designs, videos, audio recordings, and online information. The Internet is a common source of plagiarism.
You are not committing plagiarism when you write about your personal experiences or opinions or when you provide information that is considered “common knowledge.” A personal perspective is usually indicated by a textual reference: "In the authors' experience ..."
Common knowledge is information generally known to others; it is often found consistently described in several sources. For example, the statement “George Washington served as the first President of the United States” is common knowledge to Americans.
Determining what is common knowledge can depend on your audience. For example: in a Psychology class, you may not need a source citation defining what is a disorder; in an English class, you may need one. When in doubt, cite a source.
You give credit to your source with a citation. A citation helps authenticate the information you found and allows the reader to find the original source for further investigation.
The word “citation” can be used to describe how you acknowledge the author in the body of your paper, and it also refers to the complete reference you provide in the bibliography or “Works Cited” section. Check with your instructor for the citation style you should use for your course work.
You may unintentionally plagiarize through improper use of writing techniques used to incorporate someone else’s original information into your own work.
Each of these techniques, described below, requires that you give credit to the information source.
Here are some great tips to help you avoid plagiarism!
Ivy Tech Community College requires that students understand and comply with copyright law and the terms of fair use to avoid copyright infringement of the original works of others.
“Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of ‘original works of authorship,’ including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.” (United States Copyright Office, http://www.copyright.gov, accessed February 20, 2006)
To be protected by copyright, an original work must be fixed in a tangible form. Examples of tangible forms include books, articles, websites, music, or videos.
Copyright protection is automatic and requires no action or copyright symbol to activate.
The copyright owner has rights as to how the original work may be reproduced, distributed, displayed, or performed.
The length of copyright protection varies depending upon when the work was created.
Copyright for works created on or after January 1, 1978 is protected for the life of the author, plus 70 years.
Exemption to copyright protection extends to selected works, such as:
Check with your librarian if you are not sure if a work is copyrighted.
You are by law the copyright holder of the work you create as an Ivy Tech student. This work includes research papers, digital projects, web sites, artistic creations, and any other work that is “fixed in a tangible form”. The protection given your work is automatic and requires no registration or copyright symbol or statement on the work (although placing such a statement is advisable).
As the owner of the copyright for your work, you own and control the right to:
You also have the exclusive right to grant or deny permission to others to make and distribute copies of your work, display or perform it, or create a derivative work.