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Information Literacy: Module 4: Using Information

Using Information

Using Information

Once you have found the information that fits your need (homework, papers, etc.), it's time to use that information.  In regard to information literacy, using information is not only how you weave together the information you've found into your own writing, but also the ethical and legal issues involved in using someone else's information for your school work. 

WCCC's Policy on Academic Conduct

The following is part of the Student Rights, Responsibilities and Academic Conduct policy at WCCC:


Students have an obligation to conduct their academic activities honestly and conscientiously. They should give appropriate recognition by name for their contributions to published material. Each course syllabus will contain the institutional policy on plagiarism.

In addition, they shall not:

  • Present as their own academic work ideas or work of another person without proper acknowledgment of sources.

Violation of these rules can lead to a failure for a course and/or expulsion from the College.


Whoa!  What are we talking about here?

(The following is respectfully borrowed from


According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
  • to use (another's production) without crediting the source

  • to commit literary theft

  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.


But can words and ideas really be stolen?

According to U.S. law, the answer is yes. The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are recorded in some way (such as a book or a computer file).



Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source is usually enough to prevent plagiarism


Plagiarism by Shmoop

5 Important Facts about Plagiarism

What's Next



Continue to Module 5: Citations

Warren County Community College
Haytaian & Maier Library
475 Route 57 West
Washington, New Jersey 07882