Plagiarism is to commit
literary theft: present as new and original an idea or product derived from an
existing source ( Merriam Webster, 2018).

According to Section
8.2.4.D of the PSPB Operations Manual, there are 5 levels of plagiarism.

Level 1 is when a full
paper is copied and any name of the original author list is replaced with
another person, or where a large section of the original paper is copied
without quotation marks, credit notice, reference, and bibliography. This case
also includes instances where different portions of a paper are copied without
attribution from a number of papers by other authors, and the sum of plagiarized
material is more 50%. It can also include instances where more than one paper by
the offending author(s) has been found to contain plagiarized content, and all the
percentages of plagiarized material in each of the discovered papers sum to
greater than 50%.

Level 2 is where a
section of the original paper is copied from another paper without quotation
marks, credit notice, reference, and bibliography. This case also includes
instances where different portions of a paper are copied without attribution
from a number of papers by other authors, and the sum of copying results in a large
portion of plagiarized material (up to 50%) in the paper., or instances where
the sum of plagiarized material from the different papers would constitute the equivalent
of a large portion (greater than 20% and up to 50%) of the discovered paper
with the fewest words.

Level 3 is the un-credited
verbatim copying of individual elements (paragraph(s), sentence(s), illustration(s),
etc.) resulting in a significant portion (up to 20%) within a paper. An instance
could be where portions of original paper are used in another paper without
quotation marks, credit notice, reference, and bibliography.

Level 4.Instances of
improper paraphrasing occur when only a few words and phrases have been changed
or when the original sentence order has been rearranged; no credit notice or
reference appears with the text.

Level 5 Credited
Verbatim Copying of a Major Portion of a Paper without Clear Delineation. Instances
could include sections of an original paper copied from another paper; credit notice
is used but absence of quotation marks or offset text does not clearly
reference or identify the specific, copied material.

Having understood what
the different levels of plagiarism, one can avoid them to prevent your work
from being discredited.

Understand what
plagiarism is. The American Heritage dictionary defines plagiarism as:
“the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of
another author and the representation of them as one’s own original
work.”. You should write a piece of text strictly in your own words and
then cite your sources. You can also write a good paraphrase that is not too
close to the original by thinking of the paraphrase more as your interpretation
or reflection on what you read, rather than a re-wording of what you read (
easiest ways to avoid plagiarism,2016)

Be familiar in the area
that you are talking about. By understanding the subject, you are more likely
to write in your own words, rather than use someone else’s definition of this
subject.

Reference your quotes
and sources. You must include a bibliography or works cited in your paper. If
you use a direct quote from another author’s work, then you must quote it and
cite it properly.

When in doubt, give
credit. There are a lot of ways to do this in order to avoid plagiarism.

Understand some basics
about copyright. Plagiarism can be more than a bad academic practice, it can be
a violation of the law if you break copyright. Here is what you need to
understand to stay legal:

Understand what doesn’t
need to be cited. Not every single thing in academic research needs to be cited,
or else research would be too painful for people to undertake. The following
things don’t need to be cited in your research and final papers: Common sense
observations, folklore, urban legends, and well known historical events, such
as the date of the Pearl Harbor Attacks,  
your own videos, presentations, music, and other media created and
originated by you,your own experiences, insights, creations, and musings.
However, if you used these same experiences, insights, creations, musings,
same
videos, presentations, music, or other media created and originated by you in a
previous assignment that you submitted academically, or got published, you would
need to first obtain your instructor’s permission to re-use the material and,
if you receive permission, include a self-citation.