Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

Let’s give a scenario…

ThinkstockPhotos-466604177A student, let’s call her Emmie, has been working long and hard on a paper for her ENG 111 class. In her opinion, it may be the best paper she has ever written! She turns it in feeling very satisfied, and then proceeds to take a short vacation to the beach. When she gets home, she checks Blackboard expecting to see an ‘A’. But in fact, she has received an email from her instructor discussing the Academic Dishonesty policy.

What?!?! Dishonest! Emmie is anything but dishonest!

But in fact, after reading her instructor’s comments she finds that she has (unknowingly) committed plagiarism. According to NOVA’s Student Handbook, plagiarism is “the act of appropriating passages from the work of another individual, either word for word or in substance, and representing them as one’s own work. This includes any submission of written work other than one’s own (Section VI, No. 4 pg. 73)”

Emmie looks at her paper and realizes that in fact she did commit plagiarism! She took ideas from books and papers that she had read, and put them in her own words. But when she did this, she didn’t give credit to the original author. She also put some direct quotes in her paper, but forgot to put a citation at the end of each quote.

Fortunately, Emmie’s instructor gave her the opportunity to correct her mistakes and resubmit her paper for a lower grade. However, the situation could have been much worse. She could have received an ‘F’ on the paper, or worse, an ‘F’ in the class.

So how can you avoid Emmie’s frustration?

Anytime you use a quote, a picture, a graph or even an idea from another work, make sure you cite where you got your information. Professors have access to a lot of tools that can help them identify plagiarism in your paper, and not knowing about plagiarism isn’t an excuse.

One of the best resources on plagiarism is the Purdue Online Writing Lab’s Avoiding Plagiarism. Check this website out to see other ways you can avoid the frustration that Emmie went through.

This week at NOVA Online

NOVA Offices are closed today, Monday, January 18 in observation of Martin Luther King, Jr Day. Join NOVA for the seventh annual NOVA SERVES: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Sign up to volunteer!516356269How is your first week going? Remember online courses at NOVA Online require firm assignment due dates, so make sure you are sticking with your weekly schedule so you are not administratively withdrawn from your course. Know your Critical Enrollment Dates, including your First Assignment Due Date!

Still looking to add a spring course? NOVA Online offers several later starting sessions. Enroll today! Once you enroll, tuition is due by 5pm the following business day. Schedule a virtual appointment with an NOVA Online Counselor with any academic advising questions.

First time in college? Participate in a New Student Orientation Webinar – This one hour webinar is required for new-to-college students aged 17-24. New Student Orientation will focus on academic and career goals, reading degree plans, and registering for classes. Use your VCCS username/password to register and email NOVA with any questions. All are welcome.

Are you enrolled in a MTT course this spring? If this is your first time taking an online MTT Course with NOVA Online, you may be feeling a bit anxious about what to expect in this course. In this Recorded Webinar, NOVA Online Success Coaches provide you with tips to success in your course. You will learn what an MTT course is, how the course is formatted, and what resources are available to you throughout the course. Request a copy today!

While enrolled in courses, you may want to register for NOVA Alert to get emergency related messages, including closures due to inclement weather. Campus closures will affect all campus offices, including the testing centers, tutoring centers, and campus libraries. What a snow day means for your NOVA Online courses? Find out in this previous blog post.

Plan Ahead: Join the NOVA Online Librarians for the Beyond Google Webinar! Have you ever been assigned a paper or project and don’t know where to start? Do you feel like you need extra practice for your assignments? Are you curious what library resources are available to you without going to a campus library? This 45 minute webinar will give you a brief introduction to what library resources are available to you as an online learner. There might be more than you expect! Register today!


This week at NOVA Online

October is Transfer Month at NOVA Online! Check the NOVA Online Webinar page and blog for webinars and virtual transfer fairs to speak with transfer representatives from several colleges and universities.

Transfer Planning: Alumni Transfer Panel: Are you interested in transferring to a Bachelor’s degree program after NOVA? It’s never too early to begin your planning. This one-hour webinar will host a panel of NOVA/NOVA Online alumni students who have transferred to 4-year institutions. Register for a live webinar on Tuesday, October 27, 6:00pm – 7:30pm!

Join the NOVA Online Librarians for a webinar on Wednesday, October 28, 6:30-7:15pm to explore – Beyond Google – Basic Library Skills for Online Learners: Have you ever been assigned a paper or project and don’t know where to start? This 45 minute webinar will give you a brief introduction to what library resources are available to you as an online learner. There might be more than you expect!

Plan ahead for Spring Registration! Advising Week and Spring Registration will be here soon! Look for upcoming webinars to help you plan and register for your spring semester. Follow this tutorial to find your priority registration date.516356269

Have a great week!

NOVA Online Library: Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week (Sept 27- Oct 3, 2015):

It’s the start of a new academic year and teachers are sending out their lists of required readings and parents are beginning to gather books. You may be some of those parents!  In some cases, classics like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “The Catcher in the Rye,” and “To Kill a Mocking Bird,” may not be included school libraries due to challenges made by parents or administrators.

The most challenged and/or restricted reading materials have been books for children.  However, challenges are not simply an expression of a point of view; on the contrary, they are an attempt to remove materials from public use, thereby restricting the access of others. Even if the motivation to ban or challenge a book is well intentioned, the outcome is detrimental. Censorship denies our freedom as individuals to choose and think for ourselves.

American libraries are the cornerstones of our democracy. Libraries are for everyone, everywhere. Because libraries provide free access to a world of information, they bring opportunity to all people. Now, more than ever, celebrate the freedom to read @ your library! Read an old favorite or a new banned book this week.

Have you read any of these banned books?  Click on the title to access the eBook or audiobook with your myNOVA login and password (unless otherwise noted).

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain (Download free via Project Gutenberg)

The Awakening, by Kate Chopin

The Call of the Wild, by Jack London (Download free via Project Gutenberg)

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift (Download free via Project Gutenberg)

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

Written by Heather Blicher, NOVA Online Librarian

The Top Five Things You Need to Know About the NOVA Online Library

Whether you are looking for a scholarly journal article, a clip to spice up your presentation or an e-book for leisure reading, the NOVA Online Librarians are here to help you! There is no longer a need to try and sift through the maze of resources clicking here and there to try and get started. You are not alone; the NOVA Online Librarians are here for you.

Before you begin your next paper, presentation or research, learn how a NOVA Online Librarian can come to your rescue by viewing their YouTube video

You will gain valuable information as you learn to access and navigate the library website with confidence and ease. In four short minutes, you will learn how to use your personal computer, phone or tablet to:

  • Access books and e-books online
  • Request a book be sent to the campus closest to your home for check-out
  • Research library databases by title or subject
  • Search journals
  • Access the 24/7 ask a librarian chat feature staffed by NOVA librarians and the cooperative network of member libraries
  • Reach out to the NOVA – NOVA Online Librarians for personal one on one assistance getting started on your next research paper or presentation
  • Gain valuable research assistance, subject guides, and useful resources on your topic.

Once you finish the video, you can take a journey through the NOVA Online Library website to explore the plethora of additional resources offered through the library to support your success. Not only will the librarians guide you through the research process, they can also assist with research & writing skills, understanding & avoiding plagiarism, and finding all of the sources you need to be successful in your courses!library post‘Knowledge is Power’ – contact your NOVA Online Librarian today!

Written by Adrienne, NOVA Online Student Success Coach

Summer Wellness Series: Intellectual Wellness

child brain bookThis week we focus on Intellectual wellness. This involves utilizing your surroundings and resources available to engage your curiosity and learn new things. People who stay in tune with their intellectual wellness are more likely to embrace new ideas, think critically and seek out new challenges. Learning does not have to end in a formal classroom. Making learning a life-long priority can help you maintain good cognitive function as you age.

Intellectual wellness can be finding learning opportunities in an educational setting, but also in personal interests or active participation in community activities.

Here are ways you can start cultivating your Intellectual wellness this summer:

Summer Reading– When you are in school, it can sometimes be hard to find time for leisure reading, but reading for the mind can be compared to exercise for the body. It can even help improve your memory and vocabulary!  Here are references to some great leisure  reading material this summer:

17 Awesome New Books You Need To Read This Summer

Goodreads Summer Reading List 2015

Looking to connect and discuss a book with peers? NOVA Online also has a Book Club that you can join! email our NOVA Online Librarians for more information.

Current events – A great way to stimulate your intellectual wellness is staying knowledgeable with what is happening in the world. Digital media has become so prevalent that you can do this from practically anywhere you have internet. Check out these top phone apps to keep up with current events.

Teach yourself something new-Have you always wanted to learn a musical instrument? Thinking about doing some home repairs? learning a new skills is a great way to keep your critical thinking and problem solving skills sharp. Check out one of the many online resources that provide how-to’s for new skills: 100 Amazing How-To Sites to Teach Yourself Anything.

What are something things that you have engaged in outside of the classroom, maybe as a hobby that promotes your intellectual wellness?

Continue this conversation with us in our Virtual Student Union. Connect with peers on this topic and learn more about resources to maintain your intellectual wellness!

This Week at NOVA Online

Open registration for fall classes is currently underway. Check the schedule of classes in NOVA Connect and follow this tutorial to help you search for online classes through NOVA Online. Make sure you change the date to reflect the term you are looking to register for (summer ’15 or fall ’15).

checklistAre you thinking about an online course through NOVA Online, but not sure if it is right for you? Review our Furthering your education with NOVA Online recording to see if online learning is a right fit for your current educational needs. You could also take the Smarter Measure assessment to see how your personal learning styles will work with online courses.

Have you ever been assigned a paper or project and don’t know where to start? Are you curious what library resources are available to you without going to a campus library? Join the NOVA Online Librarians for the Beyond Google – Basic Library Skills for Online Learners webinar on Thursday, June 11 from 6:30-7:15. This 45 minute webinar will give you a brief introduction to what library resources are available to you as an online learner. There might be more than you expect! Register here.

Physical Wellness – This week for Wellness Wednesday, the focus area of Physical Wellness emphasizes maintaining a healthy body. This includes upholding an active lifestyle, mindfulness of your eating habits, sleeping, managing stress, and the importance of preventative medical care.  Maintaining a healthy body is a key component to a long healthy life. Do you use wearable technology to help count your steps? What do you do to stay active? Use #Commit2fit to share your pictures and stories.

What are your summer plans? Have an internship? Traveling? Taking a class? Day Trip? We want to hear about your adventures. Use on Twitter to share pictures and stories.

Research Series: Refining Your Topic

Sometimes when we choose a topic to research, our topic is too broad. For instance, you’re assigned a 5 page research paper. This might seem like a lot, but once you start researching you will need to  narrow your topic to fill those 5 pages. With  a topic that is too broad, you could write an entire book with the amount of research you can find!

To begin, start with your broad topic and add extra elements to it. For example, the ‘Civil Rights Movement’ can be narrowed to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s. To focus it even further you might look at the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s in Washington, D.C.

Picture demonstrating narrowing a topic

See how I’m adding these extra elements to focus my topic? First I add a time period and then I add a place. The extra elements are not limited to time frames and locations; sometimes they are specific people or themes.

Starting with a good topic will make researching a lot easier!  As always, if you need more help with your topic or research please contact the NOVA Online library at NOVA

#NOVA OnlineBookClub

Book and movie posters for "How I live Now" by Meg Rosoff

The NOVA Online Book Club is here! Click this link to join: After you sign up, you will gain access to the book club’s discussion board. All you need is your NOVA e-mail address!

This semester we will read “How I Live Now” by Meg Rosoff. In it, the protagonist “fifteen-year-old Daisy goes to England to stay with her aunt and cousins, with whom she instantly bonds, but soon war breaks out and rips apart the family while devastating the land.” –

In 3 weeks we will have an online book discussion and we will end the book club with a live viewing of the movie adaptation! So, don’t wait and sign up today!

Research Series: Finding Articles in Library Databases

Did you know that NOVA Libraries gives you access to thousands of journal, newspaper, and magazine articles that are housed in over 100 databases? The good news is it’s pretty likely that we have information on the subject you are researching. The bad news? It could be a little overwhelming.

This short 5 minute video will introduce you to library databases and give you some search tips.

NOVA Online-Searching Library Databases

And, as always, if you need help finding information or using any library resources, we’re here to help. E-mail your NOVA Online Library staff at NOVA