Skip To Content

Athabasca University

Basic Documentation Quiz for Both MLA and APA

Before taking this quiz, you may want to read the material on pages 1-4 of Basics of Documentation under these headings:

  1. Why should I cite material?
  2. When should I cite material?
  3. When should I quote directly?
  4. Whom should I cite?
  5. What should I cite?
  6. Where should documentation appear?

You will note that the questions below follow the same order. Try not to look back to Basics of Documentation for answers so that you can test your knowledge.

For each question, note the number of the question and the letter of the answer you have chosen. The answers (including responses to each possible answer) are available in Answers for Basic Documentation Questions.

  1. Which of the following is not a good reason to provide references for sources you have used in your writing?
    1. Your ideas are not worth much on their own.
    2. It is the ethical thing to do.
    3. It will increase your credibility as a writer and researcher.
    4. If you don’t, you could evoke serious academic consequences.
    5. All the above are good reasons.
  2. Which of the following sentences is common knowledge and does not need to be supported?
    1. Hockey is considered Canada’s national pastime, while its official national sport is lacrosse.
    2. The new NHL rules make hockey more exciting to watch.
    3. Hockey rules were first published in 1877 in the Montreal Gazette.
    4. The new rules for lacrosse simplify the game for spectators.
  3. Which of the following sentences is common knowledge and does not need to be supported with documentation?
    1. Secondhand smoke is more dangerous than smoking.
    2. There are more smoking-related fatalities than alcohol-related ones.
    3. Nicotine is more addictive than heroin.
    4. Breathing smoke can be harmful to one’s health.
  4. Which of the following sentences is not common knowledge and needs to be cited?
    1. In general, women have longer lifespans than men.
    2. Alberta became a province of Canada in 1905.
    3. In the 1930s, the immigrant population of Calgary was mostly made up of Europeans.
    4. Canada is involved in peacekeeping missions in various parts of the world.
  5. You should quote directly in which of the following situations:
    1. You need to provide evidence from a primary text.
    2. You want to emphasize the authority of the speaker.
    3. The idea in the quotation is very well expressed.
    4. Paraphrasing the quotation would be difficult or create a statement less clear than the original.
    5. All of the above.
  6. Of the following sources, which is least likely to be appropriate to use as a scholarly source?
    1. Eye-witness accounts and other forms of first person testimony.
    2. Experts recognized as such in their field (and who are writing in their area of expertise in the source you want to use).
    3. Magazine articles.
    4. Peer-reviewed journals.
    5. Books published by university presses.
  7. Which of the following is a sign that an Internet site may be a credible source?
    1. It has commercial pop-ups
    2. You can win prizes by signing up for its newsletter.
    3. You can reach the site’s author through an email address only.
    4. The site has been around for a long time and hasn’t been updated for over a year.
    5. The site is maintained by an educational institution.
  8. Which is a sign that an Internet site should not be used for research?
    1. The author has provided a postal address and phone number.
    2. The site has a “dot com” address.
    3. You don’t agree with the arguments made.
    4. There is only a board responsible for the material, not an individual author.
    5. The site is linked to other sources.
  9. Which of the following should not be cited?
    1. Personal interviews.
    2. Visual images.
    3. Letters.
    4. Books.
    5. All of the above should be cited if used as a source.
  10. Whether you use MLA or APA style, your documentation should appear
    1. In footnotes or endnotes.
    2. In parenthetical in-text citations giving the full material.
    3. Short references in parenthetical in-text citations with full information on a separate page at the end of the paper.
    4. Only at the end of your paper.
    5. In footnotes or endnotes, with full information at the end of the paper

Check your answers on the page Answers for Basic Documentation Questions.

Updated September 10 2014 by Student & Academic Services

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.