The College of Arts and Letters encourages integrity in all facets of student work. Any university rests on the joy and stimulation of discourse where everyone involved may participate and share. Every scholar and every artist builds on the accomplishments of those who have gone before, but when a debt is clear, recognition is due.
In academic writing, the author should give explicit credit for original ideas and all quotations by using footnotes or parenthetical citations. Direct quotations are preferable to close paraphrasing. There's no need to cite sources for general information.
Just because something is posted on line doesn't mean it's available to use without attribution; published on the web is no different, in this sense, than published on paper.
Works of art typically don't provide means of acknowledging others--that is, there's no artistic counterpart to the scholar's footnote. In general, artists value originality and discourage full-scale imitation, but it's quite common to borrow fragments, techniques, approaches or values. In other words, simply duplicating Andy Warhol's soup can is no more than copying, while it's worthwhile to use his pop art aesthetic and commentary on commercialism to create something new. There are also occasions when an artist might "quote" another's work openly enough that most understand the reference as an homage.
There's value in original work, and there's value in work that rests visibly on the contributions of others. Certainly, we don't expect every piece of work by every student to be completely original, and much of the work students do for classes involves the presentation of information and ideas found elsewhere, as in a research paper that uses several sources. In any course in this college, the instructor should clarify what s/he expects regarding originality and use of sources, and any student may ask for further information regarding expectations and standards.
Following are several sources that focus on plagiarism; mostly how to recognize it and how to avoid it: