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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: March 2003 Archive: WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF PLAGIARIZING AN ESSAY?
By asd;lfkj on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 07:20 am: Edit

What are the consequences of plagiarizing an essay? Out of those thousands of essays, how do admission officers know the difference from one another?

By Ali on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 11:30 am: Edit

Well quite obviously you'd only get in trouble if caught.

However, if you're caught plagerizing an essay, you can pretty much kiss goodbye entrance to ANY colleges.

By MasterPuppet on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 02:39 pm: Edit

There was this guy a few years back in my HS who did just this. Many teachers still talk about him to this day. Basically he had a full scholarship to one of the top Ivies, was accepted into a bunch of other schools as well including yes more Ivies. He had scholarships for this, that, etc..

He played football, was one of the best our school every had apparently. Took difficult courses, had a high grades. He had everything going for him is what I'm saying.

Only prob was he plagiarized his essay, sent the same one to all the schools he applied to. They found out about it, he lost his scholarships, was no longer welcome at any of them.

If you work that hard all through high school, don't cheat on the essay. Why work that hard then lose it all?

Think very carefully about what your doing, if you plagiarize, and are caught! You can't take it back, you destroy your future, and good luck trying to get into any other schools. Plagiarism is like the worst thing you can do in college, consequences are extremely severe for it!

Just remember, "Do you want frys with that" can become your future.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 02:43 pm: Edit

I am very sure that if you manage to get accepted to and to graduate from an Ivy after plagiarizing an admission essay, if the college learns you plagiarized, they will rescind your admission and expunge your records.

By your local mayor on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 05:09 pm: Edit

copying your own work...ya'll call that plaguarizing?! lol, how about multiple submission.

By a;ldskfj on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 09:40 pm: Edit

Any more stories and information?

By dxiw on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 09:51 pm: Edit

wait did he copy someone elses and send it to all the colleges or did he just send his own essay to all the colleges?

By hello on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 09:56 pm: Edit

If one gets caught, do the colleges do all they can to make him/her burn in hell? or do they just simply throw the application away?

By aadsf on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 10:52 pm: Edit


By bumper on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 09:11 am: Edit


By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 10:45 am: Edit

It's perfectly fine to send various colleges the same essay -- as long as you, not someone else, wrote the essay. Typically one will have to do some minor revision to make the same essay appropriate for a variety of colleges.

By lkj on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 01:38 pm: Edit

If you get caught plagerizing, you'll basically be barred from all universities i know of.

By hoover on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 01:43 pm: Edit

if you get caught, how do colleges know what other schools you've applied to?

By lkj on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 02:00 pm: Edit

You must have plagerized something... You're so screwed if they find out.

All you can do is wish you never get caught.

By AdmissionsOfficerFromHell on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 02:09 pm: Edit

I know, they know, we know! You go to bed every night knowing your going to get caught. You have nightmares that your sitting in Calc 101, and all of a sudden your called down for "plagiarizing". You see yourself graduating, getting your diploma, when all of a sudden a loud voice is heard, "he plagiarized his essay", and they burn your diploma.

Every second, every minute, every hour of the day you dread being caught! You sweat so much, a swimming pool follows you whereever you go! The fear os being caught is taking over your mind.

Just remember, we know! You know!

Now whos up for some partay?

By hoover on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 06:10 pm: Edit

The thing is, I think I accidentally sent my friend's essay instead of mine. I was in a big rush that day and I didn't read the paper when I put it in the envelope. I was using his paper for analysis, I had no intention of copying it, just for ideas. And plus, he applied to the same school!! I just found out when he told me, I wouuld withdraw my application, but don't you think it's too late??

By hoover on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 06:11 pm: Edit

what should i do???

By Worrymom (Worrymom) on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 06:31 pm: Edit

I would send in your own essay with a long explanation. If the explanation was a very well-crafted essay, including details on plagiarism, it might help you.

By hoover on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 06:33 pm: Edit

(god, yes im stupid and im so screwed)
should I really do that? or are you just giving me an opinionated tip? Thanks.

By CollegeLife on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 06:49 pm: Edit

hoover I would say your in pretty big trouble. Although theres a good chance your being honest here, admissions officers probably wont buy it.

If you both applied to different schools, and it wasn't published to the net or anything like that. Then you could get away with it! But same school? Just pray the same admissions officer that reads your friends doesnt read yours.

Personally I think your being honest, but countless numbers of students probably plagiarize essays each year. I'm sure "I handed my friends in by accident comes up quite often".

But you have nothing to lose. If they detect plagiarism not only are your chances eliminated at that school. But any other college you want to get into! I dont know of any colleges that would accept a student with plagiarism on there record.

Hope everything works out for you!

By hoover on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 06:54 pm: Edit

Thanks for the positive response Collegelife. I am totally being honest, if someone could enlighten me on how NYU reads application, my stress would be alleviated. Thanks!

By sefd on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 06:58 pm: Edit

which is worse?

plagiarism or lying on apps?

By hoover on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 07:03 pm: Edit

probably plagiarism b/c proving that you lied on appls is kinda far fetched.

By Nyguy (Nyguy) on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 08:03 pm: Edit

just withdraw your app now. also speak to your guidance counselor before doing anything. withdrawal will most likely save your ass as excuses are meaningless in situations such as these

By soccermom on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 08:04 pm: Edit

My advice would be to talk to your guidance counselor. Don't try to handle this yourself.

By Ali on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 08:10 pm: Edit

That excuse is probably used a lot, but it's probably not used often BEFORE they say anything to you. Ask your guidance counselor but HURRY-- make sure YOU tell THEM what happened before THEY find OUT!

By yeah on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 08:56 pm: Edit

Your guidence counselor can REALLY back you up. He can call in and help explain things for you and probably could set things straight.

If you explain BEFORE they read your essay or whatever, then they'll understand, because you would be telling the truth. But atleast try to fix things before you screw your friend too.

By dotmom on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 09:52 pm: Edit

yeah makes a good point. It's not just your future, but your friend's that's on the line. It's my impression that most admissions office read files by school - so it almost certainly will be detected. I don't think the way to go is to simply withdraw. I think you should work through your guidance counselor, and submit your own essay (perhaps one that you submitted to other schools if appropriate) along with a note of clarification. If your guidance counselor isn't cooperative for any reason, I'd do it myself. Make sure you're very clear about what happened. I'm personally confused as to how your friend helped you to realize that you sent in the wrong essay. Good luck.

By ztp on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 09:56 pm: Edit

ending up at a TTT

By hoover on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 10:07 pm: Edit

Alright, thank you everyone for your insights. I really don't want to withdraw my application because it's a school i really want to go to, but then again if i call them up now, they'll probably think my story is bogus.

But what if my friend applied to a different within the university? Do colleges view appls. according to the school or as a whole. The school specifically is NYU. Also, my friend applied online, whereas I applied on paper.

By wqe on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 10:11 pm: Edit

what is a TTT?

By CollegeLife on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 10:19 pm: Edit

Hoover I wouldn't name the school you applied to, since you already did there is nothing you can do about it.

Since this is a popular site, college admissions officers probably lurk from time to time. If one happens to be from NYU, he/she could say go through the recent essays submitted and see if any match.

I know the odds of this happening seem slim, but in a situation like this you never know.

By hoover on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 10:25 pm: Edit

If an admissions officer were to see this, he/she would know im telling the truth, and that this situation is very grave.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 10:36 pm: Edit

Call the university and tell them. I agree with with whomever said that students who plagiarize usually cop pleas after -- not before-- they are caught. The college probably will believe you if you contact them now.

Also talk to your GC.

And do remember that your friend's admission and rep is on the line, too. The college could think that your friend copied you. You owe it to your friend to contact the college.

By yeah on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 11:12 pm: Edit

They probably will believe you if you call in before they find out. They WILL find out, as it seems. If you give an excuse AFTER they find out you'll just sound like someone who's trying to run away from their own actions. If you approach them before anything happens it'll seem like you made a REAL and HONEST mistake and is trying to fix things.

Atleast if you screw up say it's all you, bringing your friend down with you is just sad.

By dotmom on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 11:26 pm: Edit

Hoover, unless the schools within NYU have completely separate admissions operations, it's very likely that this situation will be discovered - and the results of that scenario are far worse than anything that might happen if you take care of it now. I know you're nervous about contacting them - but I think you'll sleep better once you have. Assuming they believe you - which I think is a safe assumption - the worst thing that can happen is that they think you're disorganized. Is there something else that's bothering you?

By Helper (Helper) on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 12:58 pm: Edit

1. Talk to your guidance counselor to back you up.
2. Tell the truth.
3. Without knowing NYU's exact process, we can know that it will be very easy for them to find the duplication. From one person reading both essays to an electronic scan for duplicates.
Good luck to you.

By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 10:43 am: Edit

I would think that the great majority of students compose one admissions essay and send it to multiple colleges. This is in the spirit of the Common Application. Some students compose more than on essay---not wishing to put all their eggs into one basket.

This is a vastly different situation from writing one academic paper and submitting it to various classes---a practice which is frowned upon unless you have cleared the way beforehand.

A "student" who steals an admissions essay... is not a student at all. He is wasting his time, reputation, and other people's money in an attempt to go to college---when he hasn't convinced himself that going to college is what he really wants to do.

If academic dishonesty is on your mind, save yourself a lot of grief. Explain your distaste for original academic work to whoever it is that is pressuring you to go to college. Pursue another, happier, path.

By Cru (Cru) on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 09:08 pm: Edit

Well, I"m also in a similar situation
I wrote a essay and set it to college. I did not plagarize. But, after reading "How to get in top Colleges", I found out that my essay looks 70% like the essay in the book. Although, I did not plagarize it looks like I did! I don't know what to do...

By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 07:57 am: Edit

If you saved copies of any early rough drafts you made...that would be good insurance. I would show them immediately to anyone who accuses you.

Don't worry. If you wrote it yourself, your essay has enough phrasing that is unique to your style of writing.

When you do get to college, one thing you have to be wary of is making source notes for EVERYTHING that you read for an assigned paper. What can happen is you read a couple chapters of a book, and then go on to actually use several other books in writing your paper. Weeks later when you are actually writing the paper, your mind remembers a phrase or two from that original book---which you are not citing---and that phrase or idea winds up in your paper: Whoops!

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