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    In my opinion, it is very wrong. I can see that she must be under a lot of pressure but I don't think that the benefits will outweigh the possible consequences of submitting a statement written by somebody else.
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    Yes it's very wrong.
    And it doesn't take that long to write. A couple of hours for the first draft and then just keep it in mind and add finishing touches now and again when you think of something.
    Mine was buzzing around my head for a while but I only took a couple of hours to write it at about 2 in the morning.
    So tell her to just take an hour and do it.
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    (Original post by mrnightcat)
    Hey,

    Currently my girlfriend is an international student applying from outside the EU to a UK university. She is under an enormous amount of pressure to do all her application whilst doing her full-time job (she will be an MA student).

    She told me she wants to use an agency service to write her MA personal statement for her - she sends them relevant documents and information, and they send her back a sparkling postgraduate personal statement based on what she told them.

    I calmly voiced my displeasure - I know she's stressed as hell, but I worry about the statement quality, relevance to her real experiences, stuff she might trip up on during interviews, etc..and the moral question of having someone else completely do your statement. She tells me this service is trusted by many successful international students, and was referred to it by a friend. I think it's risky.

    My question: is using an agency right or wrong? Does it present a risk to one's application? Surely if a university found out, they'd regard it as a fake document - right or wrong?

    I don't think she should do this and pay for it. I think a personal statement should only be written by oneself BUT - I've seen services like this advertised in the UK, so obviously it happens.

    Is it okay to do? Legal? Will a university reject such a document if they somehow found out? I'm tilted towards no, but I'm finding it so hard to find information to back up or refute my argument. Please someone shed light on this for me and my girlfriend.

    Thanks so much
    Ignore the undergraduates (or those who have not even started university) who cannot read. I think most universities are quite realistic about this problem and, more often than not, will include a section on the application where students can declare whether or not they have had help with their application from an agent or agency. In addition, I think some universities actually give money to these people/companies to help recruit students; that is, any international student who goes through company x will get a small percentage of the tuition fees from the university. As a result, the system perpetuates itself as certain companies are good are getting students in particular universities, thus more students are attracted by their services, and so on and so on.

    Having said that, you can (re)write a good statement over the space of two days so I am not sure why she would want to use these services unless the programme she was applying to was really competitive. :confused:
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    If she can't write a personal statement because of stress then how will she cope with writing essays and dissertations in stressful conditions?

    I think anyone who gets an agency to write their statement should be rejected.
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    Lib: depends where she's doing the master's, surely? I did mine in Oxford and found it stressful...and believe me, ordinarily I don't "do" stress.
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    I would never trust someone else to write something like that for me, agency or otherwise.
    if it's better than she could write it, though, and she can get away with it... any moral qualms wouldn't be significant enough to stop me
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    Its wrong. All the people above talking about parents/tutors editing personal statements beyond recognition. Does this really happen? My tutor went over mine and removed two commas and an exclamation mark.

    I call unfair.
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    (Original post by mrnightcat)
    My question: is using an agency right or wrong?
    Wrong, of course.
    Does it present a risk to one's application?
    I'd say yes. Not so much the risk of being found out as the risk that she'd end up submitting something which is actually worse than what she might have written herself. Probably the most important part of postgraduate statements is talking about your research interests within your own subject area, and surely your girlfriend will be much better qualified for that than someone who probably lacks the relevant subject knowledge and is just trying to extrapolate from a few things which she has told him?
    Surely if a university found out, they'd regard it as a fake document - right or wrong?
    They'd probably bin the application, yes.
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    Make sure it's someone you can trust. :ninja:
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    Writing a personal statement is not difficult and doesn't take very long.

    If you can't do it, or don't want to do it (why????) than you aren't suited to study at the university you are applying for.

    This isn't rocket science people.

    Answer me this. IS she not ABLE to write a personal statement (like everyone else)??

    Or can she not be bothered? If she can't be bothered to do that, why will she be bothered to complete the course.

    If your question simply relates to whether or not she will get away with it you are on the wrong forum. This is a serious website for serious students.

    Jesus. Who are you?
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    It's far easier (and cheaper) for your girlfriend to write a personal statement herself. If she's unsure of how to write one, there are examples of postgrad statements on TSR, for instance. They're not hard to write.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    If she's doing an MA, probably quite easily.
    :/ MA is much more work than BA... None of that 8 hours per week crap at postgrad...
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    Once again guys, a HUGE thanks for all your responses They've been more than helpful, especially in getting an overall perspective.

    I understand where most of you are coming at. I can safely say I'm keeping to me feeling of it being more wrong, with too much risk vs. the potential benefits. Of course, I know exactly where you're coming from with regards to the personal work ethic too, etc, it's more-or-less how I feel; that it should be one's own work. Biased or not is fine, my interest was really trying to get an overall view, since I couldn't quite convince myself enough to make a firm decision in my mind whether it's entirely wrong or not.

    Thanks for the replies, especially the detailed ones too. Indeed, only you yourself can truly convey your thoughts and interests, and an agency's example will probably fall short.

    Guys who are questioning or poking at her ability, I haven't written details so I understand why you're saying it. But just to say anyway, the amount of pressure she's under is related to more than work and the application process. It's not stuff I'll be writing here since I'm respectful to her privacy and it's not fair to do so. She's extremely studious and very capable. I'm understanding of her - I don't agree with the agency and will ask her not to, but I understand she's only trying to get a load off right now.

    killer whale, to answer your last question, briefly I'm a British undergrad in China. Not sure the rudeness was called for though.

    Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate all this.
 
 
 

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