Media Center Handbook

Policies - Plagiarism

Intellectual Freedom

The media center staff espouses the American Library Association's definition of Intellectual Freedom, which is "...the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored." Click to view more on Intellectual Freedom.

MCPS Selection Policies

The media center staff is charged with providing appropriate instructional materials to support the curriculum and the individual needs of our students. Materials are selected in accordance with the MCPS Evaluation and Selection Policy.
Click to view the MCPS Evaluation and Selection Policy

Avoiding Plagiarism

What is plagiarism?
It is “the act of presenting someone else’s ideas as your own” (Sebranek 256).

Note-Taking Tip:
While taking notes, put quotation marks around direct quotes and identify the source on the same page.

Avoid plagiarism by documenting the works of others when:
“ use someone else's words” (Harris). Use quotation marks around direct quotes to give the writer or speaker credit.
“… you revise or paraphrase the words of someone else or just use their ideas” (Harris). When paraphrasing, give credit in note form.
“ use information gained through interviewing another person” (OWL).
“ reprint any diagrams, illustrations, charts, and pictures” (OWL).
“ use ideas that others have given you in conversations or over email” (OWL).

You do not have to document when:
“ are writing your own experiences, your own observations, your own insights, your own thoughts, your own conclusions about a subject” (OWL).
“ are using ‘common knowledge’ — folklore, common sense observations, shared information within your field of study or cultural group” (OWL).
“ are compiling generally accepted facts” (OWL).
“ are writing up your own experimental results” (OWL).

For further information on plagarism, see Perdue Owl and University of Texas.

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