What is Copyright?
The term Copyright is a form of protection given to anyone who is the creator of “original works of authorship.” That means that anything you create – a poem or story, a drawing or other form of artwork, or even a report for your class – is protected by this law. This includes works that are literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, or anything else created from your imagination. Since you are the author of the work, you have the right to do anything you want to it, including:
- make copies of your work;
- distribute copies of your work;
- perform your work publicly (such as for plays, film, dances or music);
- display your work publicly (such as for artwork, or stills from audiovisual works, or any material used on the Internet or television); and
- make “derivative works” (including making modifications, adaptations or other new uses of a work, or translating the work to another media).
It’s considered illegal for anyone to do any of the things listed above without your permission. Copyright law protects you and your work.
For more information about copyright, please visit the United States Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about copyright can be found at http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/
Copyright Basics can be found at http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf
Free, copyright-friendly images for student projects can be found at: http://www.pics4learning.com/
What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is when you take someone else's ideas and present them as your own. Plagiarism includes taking any idea or statement from a book, magazine, tv show, or website and passing it off as your own. Any ideas, judgments, and inferences of someone else must be credited to the original author. Plagiarism of any kind is cheating.
Here’s how to NOT Plagiarize:
- Identify and evaluate your sources of information as you gather them; give credit to each source used.
- Analyze and think about the information you read.
- Have organized note-taking. Read, think; then, write.
- Remember, the whole point of doing research is to understand the information that you found and then formulate your own ideas about that information.
- Your teacher wants to see your ideas and knowledge, not a reprinting of someone else's.
- Always use quotation marks for any exact statements. Attribute paraphrased statements to their original author.
- Even patchwork cut and paste is a form of Plagirism. We call it ePlagiarism, and yes, it's still cheating!
- Committing plagiarism is being dishonest. Don’t do it. Let your own ideas shine!
Critical Evaluation of Information
With so much information available on the Internet, how do we identify what's real from what's fake? One of the most important information literacy skills for students is learning how to critically evaluate information found on the Web. This site includes forms for teaching the process, articles for learning about the aspect of literacy, and a list of bogus sites to use to showcase that all things on the Web are not real.
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