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Caught by UCAS for Personal Statement Plagiarism Watch

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    Hi,

    Basically I'm here to get advice for my mate. He got caught for having a plagiarised Personal Statement.

    Basically he got his Dad to check through his personal statement and wordsmith it before submitting to UCAS. But his Dad changed most of it to his brothers one which was used to get him into University the year before. As a result he got got for having a 47% similarity match and so UCAS have informed him that the results will be passed to his chosen Universities.

    I was just wondering if any of you have any advice for him on what he can do or say or know anyone that this has happened to before.

    Thanks a lot,
    Pete
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    Your friend, eh?
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    Unluckyyyy
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    If its not a very competetive uni or course he can try to contact the universities and explain his stituation.Most of the universities will allow him to send a new personal statement.
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    So he got his personal statement edited and sent off without his supervision? Sounds pretty dodgy to me anyway.
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    I'm afraid there's probably not much your friend can do, although I suppose an email couldn't hurt. Did he/his dad really not know that plagiarism wasn't allowed?
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    Well he is applying to plant science at some good Unis like Imperial etc. Obviously he inst just worried that these Unis wont accept him this year but if he has to re-apply again next year then will his new unis know that his personal statement got rejected last year? And yh his Dad didn't realise there was a copycatch system so completely changed his personal statement before sending it off. I guess the one thing he has on his side is that the copied ps was his brothers?
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    and by friend you mean... you?
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    Try informing the uni of the situation.
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    It's his fault - everyone knows you can't copy a previous PS.

    Why did he let his dad just edit it? Plus, it's meant to be your own words!
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    (Original post by Tu Stultus Es)
    Your friend, eh?
    His Dad,eh???

    At the end of the day the application is the student's responsibility - so the plagiarism is his fault.

    You can blame parents for giving you freckles or big ears, you cannot blame them for your PS.
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    (Original post by Pete10)
    Hi,

    Basically I'm here to get advice for my mate. He got caught for having a plagiarised Personal Statement.

    Basically he got his Dad to check through his personal statement and wordsmith it before submitting to UCAS. But his Dad changed most of it to his brothers one which was used to get him into University the year before. As a result he got got for having a 47% similarity match and so UCAS have informed him that the results will be passed to his chosen Universities.

    I was just wondering if any of you have any advice for him on what he can do or say or know anyone that this has happened to before.

    Thanks a lot,
    Pete
    The unis will have been told at the same time as your friend. Some will instantly reject the applicant, and others may be willing to hear him out and might be prepared to accept a revised personal statement.

    The reality is that your friend is personally responsible for the integrity of his application; no-one else is. If his father really did make the changes you describe, these could not have gone through to the application without your friend's knowledge and agreement - he allowed his father to make these changes, whether or not he knew material from his brother's PS was being recycled; he then either uploaded the PS himself, or he gave his father the login details and let him do it. Either way, he is responsible.

    His only hope now is to contact the unis himself and explain what's happened, and offer a new PS that he undertakes to have written entirely by himself. In the not entirely unlikely event that they just say 'get lost', he will be looking at applying through Extra later in the cycle with a new PS going direct to the uni, or reapplying next year with a clean record. If he then ends up paying more in the way of tuition fees, perhaps he should have a conversation with his father about that, but I can't say I would feel very sorry for him. Frankly, how either his father or the applicant can have thought that this was an appropriate or honest thing to do is beyond me.
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    (Original post by Pete10)
    I guess the one thing he has on his side is that the copied ps was his brothers?
    Failing to see how exactly that is on his side.

    Which is more likely to look like a coincidence, matching his brother's personal statement or matching the personal statement of a random 17 year old girl in Bognor Regis?

    Having said that, both are highly suspicious with that percentage copied.
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    It's not the Dad's fault in any way, which your friend is trying to make it sound like. He must have allowed his Dad to make the changes. He should have known better tbh, or you know, written the personal statement himself.
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    (Original post by moonymeen)
    It's not the Dad's fault in any way, which your friend is trying to make it sound like. He should have known better tbh, or you know, written the personal statement himself.
    While I agree the applicant should not have allowed this to happen, the fact that a parent thinks it's OK to rewrite (rather than proof read and make suggestions) their child's PS - and go to the extent of copying across material from someone else's PS - makes the parent at fault too - as he should have known this was out of order. One wonders - if it really was the brother's PS that was raided for material - how much of that the father wrote as well. Not good. A really terrible example to set one's children.
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    'Dad' = you.
    'Mate' = you.

    /thread.
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    (Original post by Pete10)
    Well he is applying to plant science at some good Unis like Imperial etc. Obviously he inst just worried that these Unis wont accept him this year but if he has to re-apply again next year then will his new unis know that his personal statement got rejected last year? And yh his Dad didn't realise there was a copycatch system so completely changed his personal statement before sending it off. I guess the one thing he has on his side is that the copied ps was his brothers?
    It's out of his hands now. The unis will receive the similarity report and make a decision, though at 47% similarity, I don't think we need to speculate too much. Certainly, Imperial will almost definitely reject him- they have no shortage of highly motivated, talented applicants who submitted a genuine application, who are far more deserving of a place at such an incredible uni. His other choices, well it will depend on their applicant pool, but I don't have much hope for your friend.

    Personally I have no sympathy for this individual. The PS is supposed to be your own work, and is supposed to be sincere and truthful... having someone else create is just as bad as plagiarism, so as far as I'm concerned, this is a very fitting turn of events.
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    it's basically his own fault. It does say on the UCAS rules that it has to be completly your own work
    he's lucky he hasn't had his application withdrawn by UCAS tbh i know someone who had that done last year
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    (Original post by Valh)
    Just out of curiosity, how long does it take UCAS to perform their similarity checks and notify candidates and universities? Do they do it straightaway?

    Thanks
    I don't know, but fairly swiftly I believe - as in, I doubt if it takes more than a week. It is all automated, so the plagiarism check is likely to be part of the processing stage which generates your Welcome letter.
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    (Original post by Minerva)
    While I agree the applicant should not have allowed this to happen, the fact that a parent thinks it's OK to rewrite (rather than proof read and make suggestions) their child's PS - and go to the extent of copying across material from someone else's PS - makes the parent at fault too - as he should have known this was out of order. One wonders - if it really was the brother's PS that was raided for material - how much of that the father wrote as well. Not good. A really terrible example to set one's children.
    I was thinking the Dad may have believed the personal statement was terrible, but I guess that still doesn't make it right for him to copy the brother's PS for his son's benefit. Can't really fault what you have said here though.
 
 
 
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