“Just Don’t Do It”
Too often we come across applicants who really, really, want to want to engage in admission essay plagiarism. If you read through this website and take the time to put together a good game plan, you’ll quickly realize that, even if you could be guaranteed of not getting caught, there are far more effective ways of obtaining powerful admission essays than plagiarism.
Ethics, unfortunately, doesn’t always carry enough persuasive power. As a result, we have decided to focus on the reasons more near and dear to those who would be tempted to plagiarize. Ethics notwithstanding, here are our two most powerful arguments against plagiarism:
- You will very likely get caught. The admissions staff read lots and lots of essays. They are also very familiar with the essay examples you will find in the books that feature such ‘example essays.’ The admissions committee will quickly realize that the essay does not “fit” the rest of the personality you are projecting in your application. (They also likely subscribe to turnitin.com, a phenomenal admission essay plagiarism detector!)
- The best written essay in someone else’s application will not help you as much as a pretty well written essay that you do yourself. Remember, each applicant is unique and therefore should be stressing different things in his or her essays and applications. If you spend all your free time working with disadvantaged youth, an essay about your passion for the piano will not fit your “story.”
The Difference Between Recycling and Plagiarism
We are sometimes approached by college applicants who want to know if it is OK to “plagiarize” essays from one application to another. This answer is an unequivocal “yes.” Recycling essays can be effective and efficient. It is also completely ethical.
As long as you yourself wrote the essay, there is no reason why you can’t use it in multiple applications provided the 2 following criteria are met:
- The essays are asking for the same information and insight.
- The schools are similar and what you tell the first school still indicates that you are an appropriate “fit” at the other school.