Chapter IV. Writing Ethically

In order to be an ethical writer, you must always give attribution back to those people where your ideas came from. While we all have our own thoughts and ideas that are integrated into the pieces we write, many times we integrate research or specific facts that come from other places. While giving attribution is not only the right thing to do, showing where your information comes from also helps build your own credibility, or ethos. Citing your sources shows you’re not just making those facts up, but they come from credible sources.

In this chapter, we explore the reasons that it’s important to cite, and the importance of citing on the Web, despite it sometimes feeling like the Wild West when it comes to attribution.

In this chapter, we’ll discuss some of the following concepts:

  • Citation – giving attribution back to the original creator of work
  • Copyright – intellectual property law automatically applied to a creative work
  • Fair Use – specific guidelines that allow you to use a copyrighted work without receiving permission from the creator
  • Creative Commons – a modification of the “All Rights Reserved” copyright law into a “Some Rights Reserved”
  • Public Domain – where work that is no longer copyrighted goes



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College Comp II Copyright © 2019 by Jude Miller is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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