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How to Recognize, and Avoid, Plagiarism

For a writer, there is perhaps no worse crime than plagiarism. The “practice of stealing someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own” is unfortunately not uncommon, from high-school students to New York Times bestsellers.

Young writers, though, are especially vulnerable to plagiarism simply given the enormous amount of information freely available on the web. Students may copy and present work that is not their own for a variety of reasons, not all of them nefarious.

Sometimes students simply don’t understand the information and can’t weave it with their own thoughts; they may forget (or not realize they need to) attribute quotes; or they may use copied material as a placeholder and then forget to make it their own.

The Organization for Online Learning offers many resources for understanding, avoiding, and combatting plagiarism. An online resource center for anyone interested in higher learning through the web, The Organization for Online Learning offers a deep exploration and tips for Understanding and Preventing Plagiarism in College.

This page has been widely cited as a good resource for understanding the consequences and pit falls of policing plagiarism and copyright infringement.

From explaining the importance of academic integrity, to outlining how to propery cite sources, The Organization for Online Learning walks readers through the various types of plagiarism, dicsusses how plagiarism differs from copyright infringement, and the consequences of both. They also answer many commonly asked questions about plagiarism, such as “If I find information relevant to my paper and reword it completely, is it considered plagiarism?”

To read the full article, click here.

The Organization for Online Learning (

connects prospective students directly to online colleges and universities. Dedicated to helping people further their education and career goals and as such, they only promote accredited online degree programs. They also set themselves apart by featuring a database containing only not-for-profit schools. This makes them a unique resource for students who are not interested in attending for-profit institutions. Consider the Organization for Online Learning a one-stop shop for everything related to online education.

Visit their website here.