Preventing Visual and Spatial Plagiarism

The definition of plagiarism in the visual and spatial arts is identical to what is typically thought of as plagiarism in written materials. That is, plagiarism is “the use in whole or in part of the work of others without crediting the source of the work through appropriate documentation” (University of Manitoba, 2010, p. 12).

Although students are often exposed to examples of plagiarism in written work, they may not understand how this information applies to their non-text based academic work. Thus, it is important to provide students with specific examples and direct teaching of what constitutes plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct in the visual arts.

Many of the suggestions for reducing plagiarism in written assignments can be applied to courses where much of the work is non-text-based, however, academic staff may find it helpful to consult resources specific to the visual and spatial arts.

Visual and Spatial Integrity tutorial

Architecture/Fine Arts Library, The University of Manitoba

UM Copyright Guidelines

College Art Association (CAA)

The Visual Communication Guy

The Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA

Interesting Reading about Visual Plagiarism


University of Manitoba. (2010). Suggested disciplinary actions for academic dishonesty infractions. Retrieved February 10, 2020, from

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