Loading icon



The legal and ethical issues surrounding the use of information goes beyond properly citing sources and avoiding plagiarismResearchers should be knowledgeable about issues related to privacy and security, censorship and freedom of speech, as well as have an understanding of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use.


Explore related topics on the ethical use of information:


Turnitin.com helps educators check students’ work for proper citation or possible plagiarism by comparing it against three continually updated content bases: billions of pages of web content, plus hundreds of millions of pages of proprietary content from subscription-based publications, and over 80 million student papers previously submitted to Turnitin.com. Easy-to-read Originality Reports help teach students about proper citation and ensure their academic integrity.

As a Monmouth College student, you may be asked by your instructors to submit papers to the Turnitin.com service. To do so, your instructor will need to give you a class I.D. number and an enrollment password. Talk to your professor about the service.

Contact Hewes Library


Information 309-457-2190

Academic Honesty: What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the use of sources without providing correct acknowledgements. When you use ideas or words created by another person and do not give proper credit, you are claiming the words or ideas are your own. In essence, you are stealing from the original writer.

Plagiarism may take many forms: cheating, copying information directly without providing quotation marks, failing to cite sources, or citing sources incorrectly. It does not matter whether you intended to plagiarize or whether the plagiarism occurred unintentionally; it still constitutes academic dishonesty. Ignorance of the rules of correct citation is not an acceptable excuse for plagiarism.

Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty can subject a student to both academic discipline and disciplinary action.  Please see the Monmouth College Student Handbook's section on Academic Honesty.

 Academic Integrity: What it is and why it matters: a video by Columbia College Library (Vancouver)

Avoid Plagiarism

To avoid plagiarizing someone else words or ideas, make sure you:

  • Paraphrase the original text into your own words. Be sure you are not just rearranging phrases or replacing a couple of words.
  • Use quotation marks around text that has been taken directly from the original source.
  • Cite every source of information you use to write your paper, unless it is common knowledge. Common knowledge is generally accepted facts that can be verified in several sources. (example: George Washington was the first U.S. president.)
  • When in doubt, cite it!
  • Read more about avoiding plagiarism from Purdue University's OWL (Online Writing Lab) website

Real World Examples

Think plagiarism is just an issue for college students writing research papers. Think again!  Check out these real world examples of celebrities being accused of plagiarizing.


Even if you paraphrase or put something into your own words, you still need to cite the original source.

Contact Hewes Library


Information 309-457-2190

What is Citation?

When referencing the work of others in your own research, it is necessary to give credit to the original source.

The major citation styles (below) provide a structure to citing sources when writing in a discipline.

  • APA Style (American Psychological Association) is commonly used in the Social Sciences.
  • MLA Style (Modern Languages Association) is utilized in Fine Arts and Humanities.
  • Chicago Manual of Style is used by select Humanities and Social Science disciplines like Art History and History.

Most citation styles utilize two elements:

  • Notation within your text that indicates to the reader what specific source you are referencing (also called in-text citation) 
  • A full bibliographic citation in a bibliography or references page


  • Choose one style and be consistent throughout your paper.
  • Consult with your syllabus or ask your professor which style guide is appropriate.
  • Visit the research desk in Hewes Library with specific citation questions.
  • Additional citation assistance, in-text citation examples, academic honesty information, and plagiarism avoidance tips can be found on the Library Research Process: Legal/Ethical webpage.


The following are examples of bibliographic entries in MLA and APA citation style for a variety of common sources. These examples should not be considered exhaustive.  If you are unsure how to cite a particular source, refer to a citation style guide or consult with your instructor or a reference librarian

Bedford Handbook

Bedford Handbook (10th ed)

Call Number: Reference PE1408.H277 2017


MLA Handbook (8th ed)

Call Number: Reference PE1408.M64 2016

Publish Manual

(APA) Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition)

Call Number: Reference PE1408 .A46 2010


The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed)

Call Number: Reference PE1408 .U69 2017

Chicago Manual of Style Quick Guide

Online Citation Guides

Formatting the Bibliography

The bibliography (sometimes called "Works Cited") list provides references including complete bibliographic information for the sources you used, thereby allowing your reader to identify and locate those materials. To format the page:

  • begin the list on a new page at the end of your paper
  • use 1" margins
  • continue the page numbers of the text (i.e., if your paper ends with page 15, the list should start at page 16) and place in the upper right-hand corner a 1/2" from the top and flush with the right margin
  • center the Works Cited title
  • double space within and between entries
  • if an entry is longer than one line, indent the subsequent line 1/2" (hanging indent)
  • arrange the list alphabetically

In-Text Citation

In-text citations in the body of your paper point the reader to specific sources listed on your bibliography. They usually include the author’s last name or title (if no author is given) and the relevant page numbers (if given). See examples below. For more information on in-text citations, refer to the appropriate citation style manual on the page.

In-text citation example, MLA Style

Author's name in text
has expressed this concern (118-21).

Author's name in parenthetical reference
This concern has been expressed (Author 118-21).

Chicago Manual of Style has two methods of citation: Notes/Bibliography (NB) and Author/Date (AD).

Student paper example using Notes/Bibliography (courtesy of Purdue OWL)

Student paper example using Author/Date (courtesy of Purdue OWL)

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations (the bibliography) followed by a descriptive summary and evaluation of the source (the annotation). The annotation should inform the reader with a brief summary of the item, an evaluation of the information, and finally, a reflection on it's usefulness to your research project.


See Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) website for examples as well as the example below:

Gayton, J.T. (2008). Academic libraries: "social" or "communal?" The nature and future of academic libraries. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 34(1), 60-66. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2007.11.001

Gayton (2008), a true advocate for quiet, communal study space in libraries, argues that the trend in creating social spaces (non-quiet, group activity) is seriously endangering libraries. He shares data of decreasing circulation and reference transactions, counterbalanced against rising gate counts that he suggests are due to patrons wishing to study alone. This idea is somewhat "the old becoming new again", but is refreshing in its candor. The commons movement caught on quickly, perhaps too quickly, and at the expense of those who value traditional, quiet study. It is likely that a balance that respects all learning and collaboration styles is necessary for a successful and welcoming 21st century library's physical space.


 This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license. Published August 2014. NCSU Libraries Credits


Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free tool to help collectorganize, and cite research sources. With the click of a mouse, save citations and documents from websites, library catalogs, and research databases. Use Zotero to store citations and format bibliographies in MLA, APA, and Chicago citation styles!

Learn how to use: https://library.monmouthcollege.edu/zotero

Copyright Basics

The United States copyright laws are designed to prevent people from copying and distributing other people's work without permission. This includes both paper copies (i.e., photocopies, typewritten copies, etc.) and electronic copies (scanned or uploaded).

In an academic setting there is a fair use exception to the permission requirement, but it is only available if you meet the guidelines. If you do not meet the guidelines, permission must be sought.

Fair Use

Fair Use is a doctrine of the United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted works without seeking permission typically for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. In determining whether or not use of a copyrighted work is fair the following factors should be considered:

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work;
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;
  • and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Photocopying Guidelines

These guidelines provide a minimum standard of educational fair use. The guidelines represent three standards: brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect.

I. Single Copy
A single copy of the following may be made for an individual's own scholarly research or in preparation for a class:

  • a chapter from a book;
  • an article from a periodical or newspaper;
  • a short essay, story, or poem;
  • a chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper.

II. Multiple Copies for Classroom Use
Multiple copies may be made for classroom use as long as the copies do not exceed more than one copy per person, each copy includes a notice of copyright (e.g., Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).), and the copying meets the definitions of brevity, spontaneity and cumulative effect as listed below.


  • Poetry: a complete poem of less than 250 words or from a longer poem, an excerpt of not more than 250 words.
  • Prose: a complete article, story or essay of less than 2,500 words or an excerpt from a prose work of not more than 1,000 words or 10 percent of the work (whichever is less).
  • Illustration: one chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture per book or per periodical issue.


  • The copying is of the inspiration of the individual instructor, and the decision to copy the work and the time of its use for teaching are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for copyright permission.

Cumulative Effect

  • The copying is for only one course in the school in which the copies are made.
  • Only one short poem, article, or essay or two excerpts may be copied from the same author. No more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume during one class term.
  • There should not be more than nine instances of such multiple copying for one course during one class term.

Note: Limitations stated above do not apply to current news periodicals, newspapers, and current news sections of other periodicals.

III. Other Restrictions

  • Copying should not be for the purpose of creating or substituting collective works or anthologies. For example, if an instructor cannot find a suitable textbook to serve course objectives, he/she cannot place a variety of articles on Library Reserve unless permission is obtained for the articles. Such action constitutes the creation of an anthology.
  • Copying of "consumable" works is prohibited (i.e. workbooks, exercises, standardized tests, answer sheets, etc.).
  • Copying should not be for the purpose of substituting the purchase of books or periodicals. For example, an instructor may find several chapters of a textbook extremely useful, but the cost of the text is too exuberant for his/her students. Making copies of those chapters to distribute or place on reserve for his/her students violates fair use because such actions would effect the market for the text.
  • Copying should not be directed by a department chair, dean or other higher authority. Copying must be the inspiration of the individual instructor.
  • Copying should not reoccur with regard to the same material by the same teacher from term to term.
  • Students should not be charged for the copies.

IV. Additional Guidelines

  • Copied material MAY NOT be posted on a website or in a public folder. Because the University needs to keep track of the repeated uses of the same material and because there are issues with restricting access to just the students in a particular class, at this time such "public" postings are prohibited. However, providing links to the material from the website or the public folder is permissible.
  • A reasonable number of copies for Library Reserves in most instances will be no more than two, but factors such as the length or difficulty of the assignment, the number of enrolled students, and the length of time allowed for completion of the assignment may permit more than two in unusual circumstances.

Getting Permission

If you cannot meet the photocopying guidelines, then you must get permission to copy and distribute the work. Requests should be sent on letterhead, together with a self-addressed return envelope, to the Permissions department of the publisher or proprietor in question. Include in the request:

  • A complete description of the material to be used including author, title, editor, compiler, translator, and edition.
  • The exact portion of the material, pages, and a photocopy if possible
  • A description of how it will be used, including how many times, the number of people it will be distributed to, under what conditions (i.e. on or off campus, online course...)
  • How the material will be reproduced (photocopy, off-set, digitized, etc.)
  • A place for the recipient to sign to indicate that permission has been granted.

The Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) also has the right to grant permission and collect fees for photocopying rights for certain publications. It is often the fastest and most efficient way to obtain permissions.

Contact Hewes Library


Information 309-457-2190


Book by one author

MLA (8th edition):

Collard, Sneed B. The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America's Lost Grasslands. Houghton Mifflin, 2005.

APA (6th edition):

Collard, S. B. (2005). The prairie builders: Reconstructing America's lost grasslands. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.

Book with two or three authors

MLA (8th edition):

Vise, David, and Mark Malseed. The Google Story. Random House of Canada, 2005.

APA (6th edition):

Vise, D., & Malseed, M. (2005). The Google story. Random House of Canada.


Scholarly Journal Article

MLA (8th edition):

Sörlin, Sverker. "The Contemporaneity of Environmental History: Negotiating Scholarship, Useful History, and the New

         Human Condition." Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 46 no. 3, 2011, pp. 610-630. 

APA (6th edition):

Junco, R., Heiberger, G., & Loken, E. (2011). The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades. Journal of Computer

          Assisted Learning, 27(2), 119-132. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2010.00387.x

Newspaper Article

MLA (8th edition):

Jackson, Candace. "Greeting from My Own Private Island." Wall Street Journal, 09 Jul 2011, Eastern: p. D1-D2.

APA (6th edition):

Jackson, C. (2011, July 9). Greeting from my own private island. Wall Street Journal, pp. D1-D2.

Magazine Article (Non-Scholarly Periodical)

MLA (8th edition):

Tanzer, Andrew. "America's Resilient Stock Market." Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Jul. 2011, pp. 29-32.

APA (6th edition):

Tanzer, A. (2011, July). America's resilient stock market. Kiplinger's Personal Finance65(7), 29-32.

Electronic Resources

Article Retrieved from a Database, such as Academic Search Complete

MLA (8th edition):

McDonald, Heath, and Emma Sherry. "Evaluating Sport Club Board Performance: A

         Customer Perspective." Journal of Sport Management, vol. 24, no. 5, 2010, pp. 524-543. Academic Search Complete

         http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=53985936. Accessed 21 Feb. 2017.

APA (6th edition):

McDonald, H., & Sherry, E. (2010). Evaluating sport club board performance: a customer

         perspective. Journal of Sport Management, 24(5), Retrieved from http://search.