FAQs on Plagiarism

It is considered plagiarism when a student submits the work of another as their own.  This could involve copying and pasting from the internet, paraphrasing but not giving credit or even handing in someone else’s art work. So let’s be specific…

Q: I’m having trouble drawing a face, a hand, a design.  Can my friend or someone else help me draw it, and I’ll colour it in?

A: NO. Nobody should be drawing or painting work for a friend. Completing someone else’s work on an assignment, whether it is art, an essay or quiz is considered plagiarism.  I would rather see a less-polished effort than have someone dishonestly hand in work that they haven’t done themselves. This is the only way to grow in ability and confidence. Alternatively, a friend may show you how something is done or demonstrate for you. When in doubt, please ask me. Occasionally, I will give permission for one student to assist another when there is a true need.  You may only help with my permission, so that I know who is doing what work.

Q: Do you mind if my friend gives me ideas for a project?

A: Not at all. Brainstorming is an important part of the process!  Also, if your friend wants to give you feedback, eg. this colour could be darker, or you could use more texture, etc. that is also welcome. At times, I will even ask for peer feedback. You can also demonstrate how to do a technique, eg. shade something, on another piece of paper. However, do not draw or paint on someone else’s work.

Q: I know that I shouldn’t copy and paste off the internet but what about using a picture as inspiration?

A: There are actually good reasons to copy pictures. Students have been studying the techniques of other artists almost as long as people have been creating art. Copying art can be a good way to study how artists use colour, style and technique. However it is best for you to modify the existing work in some way – either the subject, colours, etc. – to create your own unique representation. 

Q: If I recreate a work of art, can I display it in a show, enter it in a contest or sell it?

A: Most shows and contests will not permit you to display or enter a copy.  As well, if you sell a copy, you must be honest about what you are selling or the purchaser will expect original art.

Q: If I am writing about art history, can I use internet sources?

A: Sure, as long as you cite the source properly.  Please use the handout given by the school.

Q: Can I do work at home?

A: Only with permission and the circumstances must be very special. You may finish work that has been started and mostly completed in class. Why? I need to see how you approach a project and to assist you if I see any difficulties. Also, I can’t tell who is actually doing the work. I don’t want to accuse anyone of not doing their own work but actually working in class will help resolve any misunderstandings of this nature

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