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Counseling: In Class

Learning Outcomes

After this Library instruction session, students will be able to...

  • Articulate what plagiarism is, and how and why to avoid it
  • Use critical thinking to evaluate whether a website is appropriate for a source in college-level research

A Definition of Plagiarism

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to plagiarize is "to use the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own words or ideas."

You can avoid plagiarism by being clear and honest about the sources you used in your work, paraphrasing well, and learning to use citations and references. These are fundamental skills you will be learning in college, and they take practice and time. You can find help in your English classes, at the Writing Center, in the Library's "Cite Sources" online guide, and in many of the Library databases.

Most of your classes will include in the syllabus a statement about the LAVC Policy on Academic Dishonesty. As a student at LAVC, you are required to follow this policy.

Is This Plagiarism?

The librarian will pass out a handout that has sample passages from the Wikipedia page for How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a LifeThe Wikipedia page lists several authors who Kaavya Viswanathan was inspired by and, allegedly, plaigiarized from. (If you'd like to view the handout online, you can download it below.)

Alone or with the people around you, look at the passages the librarian assigns you on the handout. For each one, consider this question: "Do you think Kaavya Viswanathan plagiarized?"

In a few minutes, we will discuss your answers as a class.


What Good Researchers Understand about Google

Google is not the Internet.
Google is one way (the most popular way) to find information on the Internet. There are parts of the Internet that Google can't reach, such as the research databases on the Library website.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary...

  • to Google means to use the Google search engine to obtain information about [something or someone] on the World Wide Web.
  • search engines are computer programs that are used to look for information on the Internet.
  • the World Wide Web is the part of the Internet that can be looked at with a special program (called a browser) and that is made up of many documents which are linked together.
  • the Internet is an electronic communications network that connects computer networks and organizational computer facilities around the world.

With Online Sources, Trust Your Gut

Let's all take a look at this article: HPV and Hepatitis B vaccines do not prevent cervical cancer and liver disease

Is this article appropriate to use as a source in a college-level research paper? What does your gut tell you?

One-Minute Paper (for the end of class)

What did you learn today? Please do this one-minute paper and let us know.

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