The Citadel

The Military College of South Carolina


Plagiarism Quiz

Now that you have learned about the different types of plagiarism, test your knowledge by taking the following quiz which was adapted from Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences Writing Program.

Plagiarizing sounds obvious, but can be a subtle issue. Take this quick test to see how well you recognize plagiarism. In each case, determine if the student is plagiarizing:

  1. A student has failed the first three papers. Frustrated, he buys a paper from a student in another section.

  2. A student is having problems with her paper so she asks a friend to help her out. The friend makes several revisions, changing sentences and even a paragraph that needed work.

  3. A student is having problems with the language of an essay because the sentences are so complex. So, to set-up a quotation he's using, he uses sentences from the essay without using quotation marks.

  4. A student is working on her paper with other students from her class. They fix a number of her errors as well as making some comments on paragraphs that need to be fixed.

  5. English is the second language for a student. As part of his education, he has learned a technique called "pasting," where he builds his sentences using phrases from the author of the essay.

  6. In class group-work, one student gets a great idea for an argument from another student. They each write papers with the same argument, though they each phrase it differently.
  7. A student is working with a tutor on her paper. She's using her own ideas, but the tutor is giving her words to use to express those ideas. The work is the student's, but the language is the tutor's.






All of the above examples are plagiarism except for 4 and 6. In all of the other cases, the work is not the student's—it belongs to the author of the essay, or to the friend who wrote those sentences, or to the tutor who supplied those words, or to the person who wrote the whole paper. And while the first case is rather obvious, the difference between the second and fourth case is a lot less obvious.

In each case, the student is just trying to get some help. And in each case, the person/people helping the student makes changes to the paper, so what's the difference between the two? It has to do with boundaries.

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