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Information Literacy Framework for Students: Present

Produce and Communicate Ethical Results

It is important to treat information ethically in writing. In school and in the workplace, others will rely on you to accurately and fairly present information. Do your best to present information from articles and books accurately. It can be tempting to cherry pick information in order to support an argument, but readers will suffer when inaccurate information is presented in your writing. When reading and researching, make every effort to fully understand the intent of source authors, and communicate that intent accurately.


Crediting sources is a normal social behavior. We credit sources frequently in normal conversation when we reveal the director of a movie, the lead artist on a music album, or the brand of clothing we are sharing. We credit these sources in order to provide important information to other people. These norms work the same way in writing. We share to inform. Failure to provide adequate credit is known as plagiarism.

The Athens State University Student Code of Conduct defines plagiarism "taking the words or specific substance of another and either copying or paraphrasing the work without giving credit to the source" (2). While plagiarism is often understood as copying ideas word for word, it also includes: "a. Submitting a term paper, examination, or other work created by another person as one’s own work
b. Failure to give credit for ideas, statements of facts, or conclusions derived by another.
c. Failure to use quotation marks when quoting directly from another source, regardless of the length of the quoted
d. Close and extended paraphrasing from another source" (2). 

In order to cite sources adequately, follow one of the style guides below, or visit the Writing Center.

Citation Guides with Examples