Common Core Anchor Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.


I’m going to pull in two other important sets of standards this month.

The International Society for Technology in Education has the ISTE Standards S (formerly known as NETS):

Standard 3b

Research and Information Fluency - Students locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills Information Literacy Standard asks students to

Apply a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of information


Digital Citizenship Week is October 19-26, 2014. While Digital Citizenship encompasses many things, we would be remiss if we did not address plagiarism and copyright when we talk to our students about what it means to be a responsible digital citizen. Clearly, teaching students the appropriate and ethical uses of information is key in helping them become responsible Digital Citizens, but how can we do that? Luckily, there are tons of people and organizations out there who are addressing our needs! Below are a variety of resources we can use to help teach our students about the ethical use of information.


Let's start with what we need to teach our students about plagiarism and copyright. We need to teach them when it is appropriate to use other’s information.



Plagiarism, in short, is using someone else's words or ideas without saying where they came from. For whatever reason, this seems to be a very difficult concept for many students. Below are some resources to help you teach your students about plagiarism.



Copyright is a hard to interpret law, one that becomes even harder with consideration given to things like Fair Use and Creative Commons Licensing. Although it is not important that students understand all of the ins and outs of copyright law, it is important that they are aware that it exists, and how it ties in to plagiarism.


Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a relatively new licensing project that was created so that others could share their work with various levels of usage rights.


Music, Video and Images

Written works are not the only information protected by copyright. Image, music, video and any information in a tangible format is covered by copyright laws! Here are a few resources to help you with that!



Teaching kids the proper way to use information is just one step in the battle. We also need to teach them how to cite their sources. We want them to know that they should give credit to those whose work they are borrowing from. The earlier we start teaching citation, the better our students will be equipped to give credit. Luckily, we no longer need them to memorize where to put the periods and commas in their citations. offers some great material on why and how to cite sources.


Citation Generators

There are a multitude of free to use citation generators available to help students and teacher create proper citations for the information they use. Everyone has their personal favorite, but I thought I would provide you with a variety of options so you could pick your own!


All of these tools, resources and tutorials are great, but the number one way we, as educators, can help our students learn about copyright and plagiarism is to model appropriate behavior! Always say where your information comes from (including those study questions you copied and pasted!) and be considerate of the information (including images, videos and worksheets) you provide to students!

Do you have a great tool or resource to share about Copyright, Plagiarism or citations! Be sure to chime in!