Academic Awareness Week!

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It’s the first week of February, and welcome to Academic Awareness Week!

While taking classes here at Medicine Hat College, there is an important step to each class you take that you may not even realize you’re doing. It’s in each paper you write, each lecture you attend, and also in each assignment you do. It’s called Academic Awareness, and can sometimes be known as Academic Integrity. It’s the art of knowing how we feel, how we act, and how we respect the knowledge that is being shared within the classes that your professors are teaching. It sounds fairly simple, right? However, there are often small ways that students can be breaking the code of Academic Integrity, which can lead to things such as failed assignments, suspensions, and even legal action. Through the rest of this blog post, I will be going through one of the most important examples of following Academic Awareness: not plagiarizing. I’ll include a few of the key words, phrases, and examples of Academic Awareness, as well as resources for you to go and check out if you’re more interested in the subject!

Academic Awareness is being keenly aware of your honesty and honor when working or engaging in a learning environment. This can range from citations/references of correct sources, crediting others for their work in a group project, and in general, being responsible for your own work and learning adventure. Being an academic learner within MHC is a way for you to create and express your own ideas and engage in discussions to further your learning, but it all needs to be done honestly. That means that you need to reference where referencing is required, follow copyright laws, and most certainly, never cheat on a test or exam, regardless of the scenario. Academic Awareness effects every student, not just the ones that do not follow it. Academic Dishonesty–the opposite of Academic Awareness–not only cheats the person who commits it from learning in an honest and healthy environment, but the other students in the classroom. Sometimes, a student may not even know that they are committing Academic Dishonesty, so it is important to have a good understanding of what you should do so you don’t accidentally do what you shouldn’t.

Plagiarism is one of the biggest problems that we have to face in regards to Academic Dishonesty. Plagiarism can be defined in many different ways, but some of them include the following examples:

  • taking someone else’s words, work, contributions or materials and using them as your own
  • using someone else’s words, work, contributions, or materials and not properly crediting/citing/referencing the author(s)
  • stealing or tweaking someone’s else’s words, work, contributions or materials and using them as your own
  • creating an idea or piece of work that is based off of someone else’s words or work that already exists

Plagiarism is the same as fraud: it is purposefully stealing someone else’s words or work, pretending that it is your own, and once you’ve handed in your assignment or paper, lying about the fact that you were the one that created it. Plagiarism is not just limited to words, books, or ideas; it also includes media, such as music, pictures, movies, etc., which can make assuring that you are not committing plagiarism very challenging at times.

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Luckily, we here in the Library have many amazing resources for Academic Awareness! We have APA, MLA, and Chicago citation guides, located at https://mhc.ab.libguides.com/citation for you to use whenever you may be writing a paper. These guides are to help you understand what sort of information you need to be citing–basically any ideas or phrases that you did not come up with yourself.

We also have our lovely Info Service Staff, who are always able to lend a helping hand for all your referencing needs. Right now, you can find them at the front desk of the Library or through the "Chat" function on our website, http://www.mhc.ab.ca/library, and can be reached Monday-Friday from 8am to 4pm. If you’re writing late at night, and need to send an email before you forget to, you can also reach them at mhclibrary@mhc.ab.ca. If you are specifically concerned with a piece of music, a picture, or any sort of media related item and whether or not it is copyrighted, we also have a Copyright Specialist who will be able to help with that, as well as a copyright guide, found at https://mhc.ab.libguides.com/c.php?g=715484.

We also have a few books available for you to place a hold on. You can find the titles, authors, and call numbers below:

My Word!: Plagiarism and College Culture by Susan D. Blume — PN 167 B48 2009

Doing Honest Work in College: How to Prepare Citations, Avoid Plagiarism, and Achieve Real Academic Success by Charles Lipson — PN 171 F56 L56 2008

Cite It Right: the SourceAid Guide to Citation, Research, and Avoiding Plagiarism by Tom Fox, Julia Johns, and Sarah Keller — PN 171 F56 F69 2007

Don’t Steal Copyrighted Stuff!: Avoiding Plagiarism and Illegal Internet Downloading by Ann Gaines — PN 167 G35 2008

Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide by James D. Lester — LB 2369 .L4 2015

Copyright Infringement by Roman Espejo — KF 3080 C66 2009

Intellectual Property Law: Copyright, Patents, Trade-marks by D. Vaver — KE 2779 .V38 2011

A Research Agenda for Academic Integrity by Tracey Bretag (eBook–search for the title using the search bar on our website!)

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You can find more fun Academic Awareness Week events at the Student’s Association page, found at https://samhc.ca/events/

If you ever have any questions, you can reach us at any of the above chat functions or email addresses, as well as at mhclibrary@mhc.ab.ca. We will do our best to assist!

Happy reading!

Additional Resources:

https://www.plagiarism.org/

https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/h_wr02281.html

It’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Week!

Having sex? Not having sex? It’s February, the Looooooove month, so lets talk about IT! (; Sexual and Reproductive Health!

We all have to worry about it, and the time to learn more is just around the corner! February 10-14, just in time for Valentine’s Day. We know that when it comes to coitus some people get queasy and some people get giggly. Nevertheless, sex is an important topic. Luckily for you, the SA can help you out!

Let’s talk about sex. [Online Image]. Retrieved from https://www.awarenessdays.com/awareness-days-calendar/sexual-health-week-2020/

What do we mean when we say sexual health? We mean a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality- with yourself and/or with others. Let’s be serious for a minute. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences. Free of coercion, discrimination and violence. I mean –> CONSENT <– here, people!! Want it simpler? Watch this Tea consent  or this Cycling through Consent. Yea, they’re pretty obvious and to the point eh? Good. You get it now.

Did you know- thanks to over 30 different bacteria, viruses and parasites- more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired EVERY DAY? STIs can have serious reproductive health consequences beyond the immediate impact of the infection itself (e.g., infertility or mother-to-child transmission). So, if you’re not going to sack it, go home and whack it!

Paterson, Jennifer. (2014, December 2). Thinking about sex [Online Image]. Retrieved from https://radssite.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/thinking-about-sex/

Even if you are not sexually active be sure to still join us in talking about sexual and reproductive health! Learn information on how to ensure you stay healthy in the meantime and once you become sexually active! Sexual health involves more than sexual behaviour. We will have whiteboards placed around the college starting today, February 10th, where you can answer questions and read statistics. Make sure you also check out our sexual health fair on Wednesday February 12th, and you do not want to miss our Naughty Banger Bingo on Thursday February 13th for a chance to win some awesome XXX prizes!

And remember – no glove, no love.

Fall Reading Break’s Top 3 Tips

Wahooooo – it’s Fall Reading Break! I don’t know about y’all, but if you’re anywhere near as tired as we are, then this break couldn’t come at a better time. In fact, did you know that the SAMHC advocated for this break for 5 WHOLE YEARS to get it into the MHC calendar? It was hard work but so worth it – and we’re just as thrilled to be reaping the rewards with everyone else 😀

While everyone is off campus getting some needed rest and relaxation, we figured it might be good to give 3 of our top ways to beat procrastination and de-stress over break to help make the most of it!

  • Exercise – Exercise is not only proven to help lift your mood but it’s also a great way to help boost your ability to get back to work when you’re struggling with a paper or study guide. Best of all, if you’re in town still, the gym at MHC is free to students – all you need to show is your campus ID!
  • Connect – Connection is one of the major keys to happiness. Take time over the break if you’re home to reconnect with family and friends or if you’re still in the Hat, get out and get into our vibrant community. Whether it’s for a coffee or even a short walk, connecting in some way will make you ready to tackle those assignments with a fresh brain!
  • Treat Yo’ Self – As famously stated on Parks And Recreation, you gotta treat yo’ self every so often! Channel your inner Donna and Tom and go do something you LOVE! Even if it’s just taking the time to watch your favorite movie or read a few chapters of your favorite book, a little treat will go a long way to helping you de-stress and that’s really what this break is designed for!

Now get out there and enjoy the break – we’re packed and ready for a little R&R ourselves ;D