"Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Intellectual integrity requires that any use of the work of others be acknowledged and properly documented. Handling source material properly is an important part of scholarship, and there are warnings against plagiarism in the current JSU undergraduate and graduate catalogs.
At the Richard Wright Center for the Written Word, we encourage you to develop confidence in yourself. We are confident that you have something to say. We want to hear from you. Your professors want to hear from you. So give yourself credit for having something worth saying. Use research material to help you form, develop, refine—and yes—perhaps even modify your position on a particular topic, but give yourself credit for having something to say, and give your sources credit by handling them ethically and citing them properly.
If you are unsure about how to handle source material, come to the Richard Wright Center to discuss how to integrate sources. You can also go to Purdue OWL for help online, and search for "Avoiding Plagiarism."
For details about citing and documenting sources, consult the relevant style manual and any guidelines provided by your professor.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance," Emerson: Essays and Lectures, ed. Joel Porte ( New York: Literary Classics of the United States, 1983) 261.