University of Guelph The Learning Commons
University of Guelph The Learning Commons
Understanding Plagiarism

Academic Integrity at the University of Guelph


Test Your Understanding of Citation and Referencing

Test Your Understanding of Citation and Referencing

This quiz tests your knowledge of the rules of referencing. Knowing these rules helps you avoid plagiarism. Good luck.

After you have read the question and chosen the answer you think is correct, click on the word "select" beside your answer. A response will pop up, telling you whether you were right or wrong and explaining why.

  1. You're doing a paper on death and dying and in the course of your research you have talked to a family friend whose child recently died. You want to include something she said to you, although it is not a quotation. Do you have to reference this, and if so, how would you do it?

    1. Put a parenthetical note (if in APA style, which is suitable for the social sciences) as follows: (J. Doe, personal communication, April 1, 2004), but do not put it into the reference list. [select]

    2. Since no one could check on this, and you are really putting it into your own words, it is not necessary to cite it at all. [select]

    3. It is sufficient to mention in your text that a friend had experienced this situation. [select]



  2. You like the examples or illustrations several authors have used to prove a point and you want to pull them all together and use them in your own paper in a list. What ought you to do?

    1. Examples used to prove a point are managed a little differently than opinions, ideas, or facts. These are treated the same way we would treat common knowledge, and not referenced.  [select]

    2. Include a citation after each separate example to indicate where you found them. [select]

    3. Include them in one parenthetical citation or endnote after you have finished listing them. [select]



  3. You’ve found an article on the Web in a foreign language, and you’ve either translated some passages from it yourself or used an on-line language translator such as Babelfish to translate it into English. By the time you whip it into good academic English no one would be able to trace it. What do you do?

    1. It’s the same as any other article and you have to cite it. [select]

    2. No one would ever be able to find out where you found your ideas. Forget about citing it. [select]



  4. Last week your professor talked about her theory of the best method for electoral reform in a lecture. Since she knows all about it, do you need to reference this?

    1. Since you are writing the paper for your professor, it is understood that all that has been said in the lectures are part of the common knowledge of the course. [select]

    2. You need to cite it in the body of your paper but not in the reference list. [select]

    3. You need to cite it in the body of your paper and in the reference list. [select]


  5. You had a brilliant brainwave about the short story you are writing an essay about. But when reading an article about the short story, you see that the same idea is mentioned. It was your own idea too, so do you need to reference it?

    1. Yes. Great minds think alike, but even if you did think of the idea on your own you still need to reference the published source. Otherwise, readers will accuse you of plagiarism. You can use this source to support your argument, and you can try to show how your idea differs from the other author’s, but you still have to cite the other source. [select]

    2. No. If you come up with an idea on your own, you don’t have to cite the other source. [select]



  6. What do you think is wrong, if anything, in the following passage from a student paper?

    In 1904 Matisse came under the influence of Signac's use of separated colours in his paintings. This was called "divisionism." As Spurling says: "Divisionism provided logical grounds for separating the ultimate goal of painting - order, harmony, emotional stability achieved through rhythmic compositions of form and colour from its traditional dependence on the subject. This was an important idea for Matisse.

    1. I don’t see anything wrong. The student used appropriate citation. [select]

    2. Although we can see where the student began to use information from another source, we have no idea when the student’s own thinking begins again. [select]



  7. The benefits of using citation and the appropriate style are:

    1. You are providing hard evidence or expert witnesses to support your argument. [select]

    2. You let your reader know that you are working within the academic tradition. [select]

    3. You avoid charges of plagiarism. [select]

    4. All of the above. [select]



  8. Do you think that the following passage from a student paper is suspicious? If so, why? If not, why not?

    Landscapes are made up of things that work together to make them look good or bad. We have to think about them to understand landscapes. Depending on how we see these objects - our distance from them, for example, we can treat them as one of four basic elements - a point, a line, a plane or a volume. These relate to the dimensions found in Euclidean geometry. As such they can be regarded as simplifications of the real world, which tends to display a rather more complex type of geometry called 'fractal' geometry. An example is when we see things in the distance we think of them as points, especially when there is nothing else in the landscape.

    1. It looks logical, so it must be fine. In any case, how would we know if the student had plagiarized part of it? [select]

    2. The writing style varies enough from sentence to sentence to make me suspect that the student has plagiarized some of the words. [select]



  9. Is the following example from a student paper a good illustration of how to use a quote?

    Gergely Nagy, in his article "Saving the Myths: The Re-creation of Mythology in Plato and Tolkien" talks about light and vision imagery as being a common thread in both authors' works, and suggests that they lead to "opportunity" (93) for many uses.

    1. It is not a good illustration because the student’s choice of text for quotation is not an appropriate one. [select]

    2. It is fine, since it is correctly cited. [select]



  10. Which referencing style is more appropriate for a difficult argument in a Philosophy paper?

    1. A parenthetical citation style? [select]

    2. A footnoting or endnoting style with superscripts? [select]



You're finished. Congratulations. For more information see the links at the end of this module.

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