Copyright, Plagiarism, and Fair Use


Copyright is a law that gives an individual ownership over the things they create. You must receive permission to use items that are copyrighted. Works that are copyrighted may be marked with the word “Copyright”, or a C surrounded by a circle, followed by the date of when the work was published, and the author of the work.


Plagiarism is taking another person’s work and using it as your own. When you plagiarize you fail to give credit to the original source.

Fair Use

According to Stanford University Libraries (Stim, 2017), fair use is the “copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and ‘transformative’ purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work.” These uses can be done without having to receive the author’s permission to use their work.



Tips for avoiding plagiarism:

  • Paraphrase – Put the information you found in your own words
  • Cite your sources
  • When using exact words from the text be sure to use quotation marks
  • Be sure to cite what you quote
  • Provide a reference page at the end of your research


The following websites are great Internet resources for showing you how to cite and reference your sources when conducting research.




(n.d.). Retrieved July 01, 2017, from


Stim, R., & ="image" / Rich Stim Attorney at law, Nolo Legal Editor, Blogger - Dear Rich: Nolo's Patent, Copyright and Trademark

               Blog, Author, Nolo Press Website Twitter Facebook Google Posts. (2017, April 11). What Is Fair Use? Retrieved July

          01, 2017, from

Ways to Avoid Plagiarism. (n.d.). Retrieved July 01, 2017, from

What is Plagiarism? (n.d.). Retrieved July 01, 2017, from

What is a Copyright? (2017, May 27). Retrieved July 01, 2017, from