Plagiarism Self-Test

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  • 1.
    • Test Your Proficiency.
    • Take the
    • Plagiarism Challenge!
    • Jackson Library
    • Indiana Wesleyan University
  • 2. Is it Plagiarism? (click for answer)
    • “ George Darwin, the astronomer son of the famous Charles Darwin, discovered that the moon is slowly spiraling away from the earth. The cause of this effect is the tidal interaction of the earth and moon…. Fixing the modern rate and extrapolating the theory into the past, we find that the moon would have been in contact with the earth as recently as 1.3 billion years ago, about one third the supposed age of the earth-moon system. About a billion years ago the moon would have been so close to the earth to cause monstrously high tides.”
    • Ashton, J. F. (Ed.). (2002). In six days: why fifty scientists choose to believe in creation . Green Forest, AR: Master Books.
    • George Darwin, the astronomer son of Charles Darwin, observed that the moon is slowly moving away from the earth. Applying the current rate and theory to the past, we discover that the earth and moon would have been in contact about 1.3 billion years ago, only one third the theorized age of the earth and moon system (Ashton, 2002, p 272-3).
    • Ashton, J. F. (Ed.). (2002). In six days: why fifty scientists choose to believe in creation . Green Forest, AR: Master Books.
    Original Text Student’s Paper Yes, this is plagiarism. Why?
  • 3. Is it Plagiarism? (click for answers)
    • “ George Darwin, the astronomer son of the famous Charles Darwin, discovered that the moon is slowly spiraling away from the earth. The cause of this effect is the tidal interaction of the earth and moon…. Fixing the modern rate and extrapolating the theory into the past, we find that the moon would have been in contact with the earth as recently as 1.3 billion years ago, about one third the supposed age of the earth-moon system. About a billion years ago the moon would have been so close to the earth to cause monstrously high tides.”
    • Ashton, J. F. (Ed.). (2002). In six days: why fifty scientists choose to believe in creation . Green Forest, AR: Master Books.
    • George Darwin, the astronomer son of Charles Darwin, observed that the moon is slowly moving away from the earth. Applying the current rate and theory to the past, we discover that the earth and moon would have been in contact about 1.3 billion years ago, only one third the theorized age of the earth and moon system (Ashton, 2002).
    • Ashton, J. F. (Ed.). (2002). In six days: why fifty scientists choose to believe in creation . Green Forest, AR: Master Books.
    Original Text Student’s Paper Yes, this is plagiarism. Why? Although the student correctly cites and documents the source, the student’s paraphrase is too similar to the author’s word choice and sentence structure.
  • 4. Is it Plagiarism?
    • “ Many of the planets of the solar system have strong magnetic fields. These fields are caused by electrical currents that decay with time. We can even measure this decay of the earth’s magnetic field: it gets weaker and weaker every year. If the planets were really billions of years old (as evolutionists believe), then their magnetic fields should be extremely weak by now. Yet they are not. The outer planets of the solar system, in particular, have quite strong magnetic fields.”
    • Lisle, J. (2010, March 4). Does the Bible say anything about astronomy? . Retrieved from http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab2/bible-say-anything-astronomy
    • According to the web site, Answers in Genesis, the strength of the magnetic fields surrounding our solar system’s planets is evidence that the earth is not billions of years old. These magnetic fields have been deteriorating at a yearly rate that astronomers are able to measure, and their strength has not deteriorated enough to indicate billions of years of existence.
    Original Text Student’s Paper Yes, this is plagiarism. Why?
  • 5. Is it Plagiarism?
    • “ Many of the planets of the solar system have strong magnetic fields. These fields are caused by electrical currents that decay with time. We can even measure this decay of the earth’s magnetic field: it gets weaker and weaker every year. If the planets were really billions of years old (as evolutionists believe), then their magnetic fields should be extremely weak by now. Yet they are not. The outer planets of the solar system, in particular, have quite strong magnetic fields.”
    • Lisle, J. (2010, March 4). Does the Bible say anything about astronomy? . Retrieved from http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab2/bible-say-anything-astronomy
    • According to the web site, Answers in Genesis, the strength of the magnetic fields surrounding our solar system’s planets is evidence that the earth is not billions of years old. These magnetic fields have been deteriorating at a yearly rate that astronomers are able to measure, and their strength has not deteriorated enough to indicate billions of years of existence. (No citation)
    • (No reference)
    • Although the student acknowledges that he found this information on a web site, he does not give a proper parenthetical citation or a reference for the information.
    Original Text Student’s Paper Yes, this is plagiarism. Why?
  • 6. Is it Plagiarism?
    • “ Ever since men were able to think they have been wondering what this universe really is and how it came to be there. And, very roughly, two views have been held. First, there is what is called the materialistic view. People who take that view think that matter and space just happen to exist…. By one chance in a thousand, something hit our sun and made it produce the planets; and by another thousandth chance, the chemicals necessary for life, and the right temperature, occurred on one of these planets, and so some of the matter on this earth came alive; and then, by a very long series of chances, the living creatures developed into things like us.”
    • Lewis, C. S. (2001). Mere Christianity . San Francisco: HarperCollins.
    • One of the greatest Christian thinkers of the 20 th Century, C. S. Lewis, describes in Mere Christianity a “materialistic view” of creation with elements of the modern day Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution. He characterizes this view as a fluke, in which “by one chance in a thousand,” the planets were created and “by another thousandth chance,” the necessary elements for life on earth occurred, and “by a very long series of chances,” thinking beings developed (Lewis, 2001, p 22).
    • Lewis, C. S. (2001). Mere Christianity . San Francisco: HarperCollins.
    Original Text Student’s Paper No, this is not plagiarism. Why not?
  • 7. Is it Plagiarism? “ Ever since men were able to think they have been wondering what this universe really is and how it came to be there. And, very roughly, two views have been held. First, there is what is called the materialistic view. People who take that view think that matter and space just happen to exist…. By one chance in a thousand, something hit our sun and made it produce the planets; and by another thousandth chance, the chemicals necessary for life, and the right temperature, occurred on one of these planets, and so some of the matter on this earth came alive; and then, by a very long series of chances, the living creatures developed into things like us.” Lewis, C. S. (2001). Mere Christianity . San Francisco: HarperCollins. One of the greatest Christian thinkers of the 20 th Century, C. S. Lewis, describes in Mere Christianity a “materialistic view” of creation with elements of the modern day Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution. He characterizes this view as a fluke, in which “by one chance in a thousand,” the planets were created and “by another thousandth chance,” the necessary elements for life on earth occurred, and “by a very long series of chances,” thinking beings developed (Lewis, 2001, p 22). Lewis, C. S. (2001). Mere Christianity . San Francisco: HarperCollins. Original Text Student’s Paper No, this is not plagiarism. Why not? The original source is well paraphrased, with quotation marks indicating word-for-word phrases or terms used by Lewis. The page number for the quotation is also given in the citation.
  • 8. Is it Plagiarism? Original Information Student’s PowerPoint Yes, this is plagiarism. Why? NASA/WMAP Science Team. (2010). Timeline of the universe [Graphic]. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved from http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/media/060915/index.html Timeline of the Universe A model titled “Timeline of the Universe” from NASA’s WMAP Science Team dates the Big Bang Expansion, or age of the universe, at 13.7 billion years.
  • 9. Is it Plagiarism? Original Information Student’s PowerPoint Yes, this is plagiarism. Why? The student notes the designers of the model but does not properly cite and reference a source where he or she found the image. Borrowed images, like text, must be fully referenced in a paper or presentation, even when found on the open Internet. NASA/WMAP Science Team. (2010). Timeline of the universe [Graphic]. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved from http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/media/060915/index.html Timeline of the Universe A model titled “Timeline of the Universe” from NASA’s WMAP Science Team dates the Big Bang Expansion, or age of the universe, at 13.7 billion years. (No citation) No Reference
  • 10. Is it Plagiarism?
    • “ In cosmology, one question that confronts us is why certain natural quantities take on the values that they do. For instance, why do the mass and charge of an electron have the values that they do? Why do the forces of gravity and electricity have the strengths that they do?… This question is made more compelling by the recent discovery that if the values of these constants had been different, sometimes even by astoundingly small amounts, the universe would not be stable and it would be impossible for life to exist. The most intuitive explanation for this incredible string of coincidences is, of course, design….”
    • Dembski, W. A., & Kushiner, J. M. (Eds.). (2001). Signs of intelligence: understanding intelligent design . Grand Rapids MI: Brazos Press.
    • One question that confronts us is why certain natural quantities take on the values that they do. If the values of these constants had been different, sometimes even by astoundingly small amounts, the universe would not be stable and it would be impossible for life to exist. Dr. Bruce Gordon, a physics professor at Baylor University, concludes that the explanation for these coincidences is intelligent design (Dembski & Kushiner (Eds.), 2001).
    • Dembski, W. A., & Kushiner, J. M. (Eds.). (2001). Signs of intelligence: understanding intelligent design . Grand Rapids MI: Brazos Press.
    Original Text Student’s Paper Yes, this is plagiarism. Why?
  • 11. Is it Plagiarism?
    • “ In cosmology, one question that confronts us is why certain natural quantities take on the values that they do . For instance, why do the mass and charge of an electron have the values that they do? Why do the forces of gravity and electricity have the strengths that they do?… This question is made more compelling by the recent discovery that if the values of these constants had been different, sometimes even by astoundingly small amounts, the universe would not be stable and it would be impossible for life to exist. The most intuitive explanation for this incredible string of coincidences is, of course, design….”
    • Dembski, W. A., & Kushiner, J. M. (Eds.). (2001). Signs of intelligence: understanding intelligent design . Grand Rapids MI: Brazos Press.
    • One question that confronts us is why certain natural quantities take on the values that they do. If the values of these constants had been different, sometimes even by astoundingly small amounts, the universe would not be stable and it would be impossible for life to exist. Dr. Bruce Gordon, a physics professor at Baylor University, concludes that the explanation for these coincidences is intelligent design (Dembski & Kushiner (Eds.), 2001).
    • Dembski, W. A., & Kushiner, J. M. (Eds.). (2001). Signs of intelligence: understanding intelligent design . Grand Rapids MI: Brazos Press.
    • The student uses direct quotes in the first two sentences but does not use quotation marks. It appears as though the student has written those sentences herself.
    Original Text Student’s Paper Yes, this is plagiarism. Why?
  • 12. Is it Plagiarism?
    • “ For organic life to exist… the constants of physics—the speed of light, the gravitational constant, the strength of the weak and strong nuclear forces—must all have values that together fall into an extremely narrow range. The probability of this perfect calibration happening by chance is so tiny as to be statistically negligible…. Stephen Hawking concludes: ‘The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous. I think there are clearly religious implications.’ Elsewhere he says, ‘It would be very difficult to explain why the universe would have begun in just this way except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.’ 7
    • 7 Quoted in Francis Collins’ The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Free Press, 2006), p. 75”
    • Keller, T. (2008). The reason for God: belief in an age of skepticism. New York: Dutton.
    • One of the most recognized physicists in the world, Stephen Hawking, is quoted in Francis Collins’ The Language of God: a Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief assigning “religious implications” to the Big Bang Theory. Hawking states, “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe would have begun in just this way except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us” (as cited in Keller, 2008, p 130).
    • Keller, T. (2008). The reason for God: belief in an age of skepticism. New York: Dutton.
    Original Text Student’s Paper No, this is not plagiarism. Why not?
  • 13. Is it Plagiarism?
    • “ For organic life to exist… the constants of physics—the speed of light, the gravitational constant, the strength of the weak and strong nuclear forces—must all have values that together fall into an extremely narrow range. The probability of this perfect calibration happening by chance is so tiny as to be statistically negligible…. Stephen Hawking concludes: ‘The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous. I think there are clearly religious implications.’ Elsewhere he says, ‘It would be very difficult to explain why the universe would have begun in just this way except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.’ 7
    • 7 Quoted in Francis Collins’ The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Free Press, 2006), p. 75”
    • Keller, T. (2008). The reason for God: belief in an age of skepticism. New York: Dutton.
    • One of the most recognized physicists in the world, Stephen Hawking, is quoted in Francis Collins’ The Language of God: a Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief assigning “religious implications” to the Big Bang Theory. Hawking states, “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe would have begun in just this way except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us” (as cited in Keller, 2008, p 130) .
    • Keller, T. (2008). The reason for God: belief in an age of skepticism. New York: Dutton.
    Original Text Student’s Paper No, this is not plagiarism. Why not? The student uses quotation marks correctly and cites his source, as well as the earlier-written source referenced by that author. It would have been best, however, to read the information in context in the primary source and cite that source directly.
  • 14. Is it Plagiarism?
    • “… if extremely small changes are made in almost any of the strengths of forces used in physics theories, the consequences are devastating…. The universe seems to be made in such a precise way that humans can exist, suggesting that creation is dependent on an anthropic (human-making) principle. This is a very different way of thinking from the barren belief in pure purposeless chance.”
    • Burge, T. (2005). Science and the Bible: evidence-based Christian belief. Retrieved from http://www.netlibrary.com
    • The universal physical constants on earth and in our galaxy must be precise or nearly exactly what they are in order for human life to exist. The existence of this exact set of conditions seems as though it could only be part of an “anthropic principle” set in place by a creator in order to invite humankind into an hospitable environment (Burge, 2005, p 66-7).
    • Burge, T. (2005). Science and the Bible: evidence-based Christian belief. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press.
    Original Text Student’s Paper Yes, this is a lesser version of plagiarism. Why?
  • 15. Is it Plagiarism?
    • “… if extremely small changes are made in almost any of the strengths of forces used in physics theories, the consequences are devastating…. The universe seems to be made in such a precise way that humans can exist, suggesting that creation is dependent on an anthropic (human-making) principle. This is a very different way of thinking from the barren belief in pure purposeless chance.”
    • Burge, T. (2005). Science and the Bible: evidence-based Christian belief. Retrieved from http://www.netlibrary.com
    • The universal physical constants on earth and in our galaxy must be precise or nearly exactly what they are in order for human life to exist. The existence of this exact set of conditions seems as though it could only be part of an “anthropic principle” set in place by a creator in order to invite humankind into an hospitable environment (Burge, 2005, p 66-7).
    • Burge, T. (2005). Science and the Bible: evidence-based Christian belief. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press.
    • The student isn’t correctly identifying the source, using a format for a print book, instead of electronic. It is important to always be accurate with your references so the reader can locate the source, if needed. Also, it may appear that you are making up sources or attempting to disguise how sources were used if the references aren’t accurate.
    Original Text Student’s Paper Yes, this is a lesser version of plagiarism. Why?
  • 16. Is it Plagiarism?
    • “ Consider the difficulty of generating just two lines of Shakespeare's play ‘Hamlet’ by dropping Scrabble letters onto a tabletop. Then consider that the specific genetic instructions required to build the proteins in even the simplest one-celled organism would fill hundreds of pages of printed text.”
    • Public Broadcasting System. (Producer). (2005, June 10) Teaching Evolution Controversy. [Video podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week841/cover.html#
    • “ Random changes scramble information. They don't increase it or produce it. If you have a word on the Scrabble board, and you take the letters and scramble them, you don't get a better word. You get no word at all; you get nonsense. I see every reason to think that that's what happens with mutations in the cellular machinery.”
    • Defending Intelligent Design. (2007, October). NOVA Online . Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/beta/evolution/defense-intelligent-design.html
    • “ Undirected natural causes can place Scrabble pieces on a board, but cannot arrange the pieces as meaningful words and sentences. To obtain a meaningful arrangement requires an intelligent cause.”
    • Harris, W. S. & Calvert, J. H. (2003, Autumn). Intelligent design: the scientific alternative to evolution. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly. 531-561. Retrieved from http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/NCBQ3_3HarrisCalvert.pdf
    • A common analogy invoked by intelligent design proponents to illustrate the probability of life evolving into its present state of complexity is the idea that Scrabble tiles, if tossed from a cup onto the board, do not automatically arrange themselves into words, and certainly not into complex sentences, which could be considered comparable to life-giving DNA sequences.
    Original Text Student’s Paper Yes, this is plagiarism. Why?
  • 17. Is it Plagiarism?
    • “ Consider the difficulty of generating just two lines of Shakespeare's play ‘Hamlet’ by dropping Scrabble letters onto a tabletop. Then consider that the specific genetic instructions required to build the proteins in even the simplest one-celled organism would fill hundreds of pages of printed text.”
    • Public Broadcasting System. (Producer). (2005, June 10) Teaching Evolution Controversy. [Video podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week841/cover.html#
    • “ Random changes scramble information. They don't increase it or produce it. If you have a word on the Scrabble board, and you take the letters and scramble them, you don't get a better word. You get no word at all; you get nonsense. I see every reason to think that that's what happens with mutations in the cellular machinery.”
    • Defending Intelligent Design. (2007, October). NOVA Online . Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/beta/evolution/defense-intelligent-design.html
    • “ Undirected natural causes can place Scrabble pieces on a board, but cannot arrange the pieces as meaningful words and sentences. To obtain a meaningful arrangement requires an intelligent cause.”
    • Harris, W. S. & Calvert, J. H. (2003, Autumn). Intelligent design: the scientific alternative to evolution. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly. 531-561. Retrieved from http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/NCBQ3_3HarrisCalvert.pdf
    • A common analogy invoked by intelligent design proponents to illustrate the probability of life evolving into its present state of complexity is the idea that Scrabble tiles, if tossed from a cup onto the board, do not automatically arrange themselves into words, and certainly not into complex sentences, which could be considered comparable to life-giving DNA sequences. (No citation)
    • No Reference
    • Although the student found a Scrabble analogy in several sources, they were not the same, nor do they represent common knowledge. Each source should be credited so the reader can refer to it for more information..
    Original Text Student’s Paper Yes, this is plagiarism. Why?