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Why Plagiarizing Your College Application Essay Is Not a Good Idea

Posted on May 19, 2018

We get it – it is the season and you are on a high stakes mission to be admitted to the college of your dreams. The college application essay, apart from your Statement of Purpose, is that one shot you have at making your mark and setting yourself apart in the herd of a thousand applications. In plagiarizing content for your essay, you rob yourself of your own chance. An apt graphic representation would be that of the man who chops off the very branch upon which he sits.

“Plagiarism negatively affects not only the plagiarizer, but also the original author of the content”

Let us have a closer look at some important reasons you should not plagiarize your college application essay:

You deny yourself the chance to highlight your own unique voice
As has been said many times before, the college application essay you write is that one shot you have at highlighting your unique voice, ideas and style in a process that is otherwise objective. In shaping the admissions officer’s views about you, the essay puts you in the driving seat for once.

Detecting plagiarism is (extremely) easy
All the admissions officer or faculty at the college has to do to check for plagiarism is this: key in a line from your essay or choose from a vast array of online plagiarism detectors, and lo! You have been caught.

Try it yourself: pick a line from any book/article and paste it into Google search or a similar search engine. Chances are, the top results will return to you the name of that exact book or article.

There are always consequences

All that talk about the integrity of no use to the loose cannon in you? What if we tell you that there are consequences? The embarrassment of being labelled a “human copier” aside, plagiarized applications will also drastically reduce your chances of being admitted to the university. If caught, these applications might also be rejected.

Integrity, character and creativity

Let us assume you have invented the time machine. Now how would you like it if someone comes along, steals your blueprints and claims all credit for it? Bitter much? This is exactly how plagiarism plays out. It works on the death each of the three values of integrity, character and the faculty of creativity.

It’s lazy and definitely not a great way to begin your days at college

A college degree can be tedious in all its intensity. At your Hogwarts of MBAs, you will have to write original theses and papers as a part of your course and starting off with the plagiarizing pen is never a good idea. Consider it a way of preparing yourself for the days of original research and writing to come. Would you want the preparation for the rest of your life to be in the words of another person?

All that said, plagiarism negatively affects not only the plagiarizer, but also the original author of the content. It discredits, relabels and in doing so, hurts the original author. The plagiarizer, on the other hand, will likely be caught, and in that happening, there will be consequences. The sure-fire method of avoiding either of these is to think critically in your unique voice and write originally. In doing this, you have already broken off from the herd and amplified your chances at being successfully admitted to the college of your dreams.

Want help with your application process? Here are some useful links:

Language Tips for Writing Essays
How To Make The Most Of The STAR Approach When Writing MBA Application Essays
What Should A Complete College Application Include?

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