Teaching the
Participation in Government Unit

Ethical Use of Information

Competencies Addressed

  1. Student practices ethical behavior in regard to information and information technology
  2. Student knows legal principles and applies them
  3. Student appropriately cites resources using prescribed formats

Ethical Use of Information: Plagiarism Lesson

Ethical Use of Information: Citation Lesson

Students need to be aware that even though it is very easy to cut, paste, copy, and adapt information, it may not be ethical or legal to do so. Very often students are unaware that they are plagiarizing and this lesson should address those instances.

From the earliest age students should be aware that when they use information including pictures, music, and art, they need to give proper attribution. For these lesson the librarian should be aware of the school's policy on intellectual integrity and the style that has been adopted by the school. Working in tandem with the English Department reinforces the importance of the ethical use of information.

Instructional Activities

Students will learn what constitutes ethical use of information and plagiarism. Through a series of online models, they will complete activities that reinforce the ethical use of information. Because attribution is a critical part of the ethical use of information, students will learn what constitutes a proper citation.

  1. The librarian will use a tutorial for covering the aspects of plagiarism and the ethical use of information. There are many online tutorials that address the problem of plagiarism, fair use of information, and the ethical use of intellectual property. They can be accessed or used (with proper attribution, of course) if the librarian is not comfortable writing an original tutorial. The more scenarios that can illustrate fair use of information, the more the students are likely to grasp the content.
  1. Divide students into groups. Give each group a scenario that involves the ethical use of information. Have each group decide what is the ethical use of information in the scenario. Groups will then report back to the class.
  2. Students will complete the online quiz, What is Plagiarism? to asses their knowledge of the issue.
  3. Using the school's style guide or one of the style manuals (MLA, APA, or Chicago), the librarian will review the components of a proper citation. Citations for books, periodicals, eBooks, and web sites should be modeleld.
  4. Librarian will introduce or review online citation makers and model citation creation using one.
  5. Using a document camera, the librarian will proect the title page or citations from articles and ebooks, and a website. Students will format a citation for each resource.
  6. Students will begin creating the Works Cited list using a style manual and an online citation maker.