Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Copyright and Plagiarism Guide for Students: Information for Students

A guide to give students an overview of copyright law, fair use, plagiarism, and the importance of attribution (citation).



Common Knowledge: Information that is widely known, easily verified, not readily attributable to a single originator or source and therefore does not need to be cited; however, what may be common knowledge in one culture, nation, academic discipline, or peer group may NOT be common knowledge in another.


Plagiarism: Is knowingly or unknowingly taking another person’s words, language, thoughts, ideas and/or expressions and presenting them as your own original work.


Attribution: Giving credit for writing, art, formula, or other ideas to the originator. (Example: Citing the original author of an idea used in research.)

Research Video

types of plagiarism

Types of Plagiarism

Direct Plagiarism (a.k.a. Copy & Paste) – to copy word for word text from original source material and use it without  attribution.


Mosaic Plagiarism (a.k.a. Scaffolding or Rogeting) – to use phrases and ideas from a source without quotation or attribution often by finding synonyms for the author’s original language while keeping the same format and/or structure found in the original work.


Self Plagiarism – to use one’s own previous work from another class or situation without citing that you used it before.