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Online Learning Success:
Written by Gayle L. Fornataro, Virtual Valley Student Success Coordinator

home > student resources > Online Learning Success: Plagiarism

Table of Contents:  

1. Welcome
2. Lesson One: What to Expect
3. Lesson Two: Am I Ready for an Online Class
4. Lesson Three: Time Management
5. Lesson Four: Participating in Online Discussions
6. Lesson Five: What is Plagiarism
7. Lesson Six: Ergonomics
8. Glossary

Today's topics include:

  1. What is Plagiarism?
  2. Resources
  3. Keys to Success

What is Plagiarism?

As the LAVC Writing Center defines it, “Plagiarism is the act of using another person's words or ideas and attempting to pass them off as your own." It’s a form of stealing of intellectual property.  It is also a form of cheating, and thus, plagiarism is a serious academic offense.

Plagiarism violates the LAVC  “Standards of Student Conduct” described in the LAVC College Catalogue, and is covered in the policy of "Academic Dishonesty.” There can be significant consequences of committing an act of plagiarism, ranging from a failing grade for the plagiarized assignment, suspension, or even expulsion from school. 

Since plagiarism carries such heavy consequences, you need to know how to avoid it.  In an electronic environment such as an online classes, it can be even easier to accidentally (or intentionally) commit plagiarism.  It also makes plagiarism even easier to catch!

To protect yourself, you need to take careful notes and be careful about “copying” and “pasting” material from a Website or other electronic document without carefully keeping track of where you got the information and which words you took from the source and which words and ideas are yours. 

Bright Idea! When you are doing research for an assignment,
keep a file of your source, being sure to gather all the
information you will need to cite them in a paper. If you copy
and paste any information, put quotation marks around them
and store them in this file.

The Writing Center's document on plagiarism may be found on their website.

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Avoiding plagiarism can be more complicated than it first appears. While you will learn about documenting your sources in your English 101 class, you need to understand plagiarism as soon as you take an online class, which necessarily requires writing. With that in mind, here are some useful resources on avoiding plagiarism:

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Keys to Success

  •  When doing research, keep careful notes about where you found
    information and words you used in your essay.
  • Do not "copy" and "paste" material from a website into your
    homework assignments without putting the borrowed words in
    quotation marks.
  • Take the time to learn how to document your sources and avoid
  •  If you are having trouble completing your assignments, schedule
    an appointment with a couselor or with your instructor.
  • Never resort to cheating, no matter how desperate your situation
    seems. Cheating will only make things worse.

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