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Listed below are some resources to use as a starting point for research and filming assistance.

Tip: Try contacting local organizations, interviewing peers, and doing some field research to help create unique public service announcements.

Public Service Announcement Web sites:

Other Online Resources:

Film Program Tutorials:

  • Final Cut Pro, iMovie, and other film-editing programs should have tutorials and manuals, usually available in local libraries.
  • Mac stores also offer free in-store tutorials.

Key Terms

The acknowledgement that something came from another source. The following sentence properly attributes an idea to its original author:

Jack Bauer, in his article “Twenty-Four Reasons Not to Plagiarize,” maintains that cases of plagiarists being expelled by academic institutions have risen dramatically in recent years due to an increasing awareness on the part of educators.


A short, formal indication of the source of information or quoted material.
The act of quoting material or the material quoted.

Common Knowledge

Information that is readily available from a number of sources, or so well-known that its sources do not have to be cited. The fact that carrots are a source of Vitamin A is common knowledge, and you could include this information in your work without attributing it to a source. However, any information regarding the effects of Vitamin A on the human body is likely to be the product of original research and would have to be cited.


A law protecting the intellectual property of individuals, giving them exclusive rights over the distribution and reproduction of that material.

Fair Use

The guidelines for deciding whether the use of a source is permissible or constitutes a copyright infringement. The criteria for deciding whether information you have used falls under fair use include the nature of your use, the amount you’ve used, and the effect of the use on the source.

Intellectual Property

A product of the intellect, such as an expressed idea or concept, that has commercial value.


The use of a person’s name or likeness for commercial purposes without consent is misappropriation. The law protects an individual from being exploited by others for their exclusive benefit. A person’s entire name need not be used. If the person could reasonably be identified, the misappropriation claim probably will be valid.


  • Not derived from anything else, new and unique
  • Markedly departing from previous practice
  • The first, preceding all others in time
  • The source from which copies are made


A restatement of a text or passage in other words.
It is extremely important to note that changing a few words from an original source does NOT qualify as paraphrasing. A paraphrase must make significant changes in the style and voice of the original while retaining the essential ideas. If you change the ideas, then you are not paraphrasing—you are misrepresenting the ideas of the original, which could lead to serious trouble.


The reproduction or appropriation of someone else’s work without proper attribution; passing off as one’s own the work of someone else.

Public Domain

The absence of copyright protection; belonging to the public so that anyone may copy or borrow from it. Works that are no longer protected by copyright, or never have been, are considered “public domain.” This means that you may freely borrow material from these works without fear of plagiarism, provided you make proper attributions.

How do I know if something is public domain or not?

The terms and conditions under which works enter the public domain are a bit complicated. In general, anything published more than 75 years ago is now in the public domain. Works published after 1978 are protected for the lifetime of the author plus 70 years. The laws governing works published fewer than 75 years ago but before 1978 are more complicated, although generally copyright protection extended 28 years after publication plus 47 more years if the copyright was renewed, totaling 75 years from the publication date. If you are uncertain about whether or not a work is in the public domain, it is probably best to contact a lawyer or act under the assumption that it is still protected by copyright laws.

Works Cited

This definition of misappropriation is from The First Amendment Handbook at: rcfp.org

The rest of this information is from: plagiarism.org