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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Finding Resources -> Module 13: Plagiarism -> Quiz

Quiz Answers (check your understanding)

Before you used something owned by someone else (their property), you would probably ask. However, you might not think to ask someone to use their intellectual property. All information resources and technology have been created by someone. Depending upon how you use their property, you might have to ask those authors, developers, publishers, etc., for permission or you might need to state that you used their product. But under what circumstances? Take a look at the situations below and see if you would respond correctly!

1. As you browse through a book dealing with your topic, you come across a sentence that states very clearly a point you would like to make in your term paper. You add the sentence to your paper exactly as you see it and reference the book. Later a friend tells you that you did not have to do that for one meager sentence. You need only reference material when you use a "substantial amount" from a book or article. Is your friend correct?

The answer is NO. You must document the source from which you took a sentence. It will serve to provide your reader with an accurate account of the material you used to develop your conclusion. To not provide information about your sources can invalidate your research. It is plagiarism -- using another person's words or ideas without giving them credit.

2. While surfing the web, you have come across some really nice looking images that you would like to have on your homepage. Is it all right to download any graphics you find on the internet?

The answer is NO. You can not freely copy anything you like from the internet. You should assume that everything on the internet has a copyright holder. The person who holds the copyright has the right to direct how his/her work is used. However, there are many times when you will see notices stating that you can copy material such as software, images, etc., with or without provisions. If it is clearly stated that you can reproduce the material then feel free to do so. If you do not see a clear indication of being able to make a copy, then don't. Ask permission first.

3. After browsing an article in a scholarly journal, you decide that you would like to make a copy of the article to take home and examine more closely for your research. Do you have to get permission from the author or the journal to do so?

The answer is NO. It is perfectly legal for you to make a copy of an article from a magazine, journal, newspaper, etc., without getting permission from the author or publisher as long as you are using it for personal scholarship and/or research.

If you use it in a research paper or report, be sure to give credit for the ideas or specific quotes.

4. You are using word processing software in one of the campus computer labs and you decide that you would like to go home and continue working on your own computer. However, you do not like the word processor on your home computer. So, you copy the word processor from the lab and take it home to load on your machine. Is this OK?

The answer is NO. Word Processors used in the computer labs have been acquired through special licensing agreements that prohibit copying to your personal computer. You must purchase a copy from your favorite software dealer in order to load it on your machine.

Keep in mind that a tremendous amount of time, money, and ingeniuity have been spent in developing a word processor. Like anyone who has a job, those people involved in the development process are working primarily for monetary compensation.

5. Suppose you find a great article in a magazine and want all your friends and acquaintences to read it. Is it fine to make multiple copies (say 20 or 30 copies) and distribute them without the author's or magazine's permission?

The answer is NO. You must get permission from the copyright holder before you make photocopies of materials for anything other than personal scholarship or research.

6. If you find a source saying that the year 2006 is the Year of the Dog in the Chinese zodiac, and then you find another source that verifies this, is it true that you don't have to document it because it is "common knowledge?"

The answer is YES, probably. Some facts are widely known or easy to verify and don't usually need to be documented. However, you need to evaluate the reliability of your sources to insure that the information you get from them is accurate. Also the kinds of things that are properly called "common knowledge" and therefore need not be documented vary in different academic disciplines. It is a good idea to ask your professor about the definition and limits of "common knowledge" in the area you are studying.

Plagiarism Examples
Back to Module 12

If you have comments about the usefulness of this module and/or how it can be improved, please contact Jeanne Brown, Architecture Studies Librarian, at

© James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Modified by Humboldt State University library and used with permission.
© 2000 Humboldt State University Library - Modified and used with permission

Updated 02/10/2008 .