thecatwithnohat
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#1
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I forwarded my application last week to my referee which was easy and yeah... it felt good to finally get the ps stress off my shoulders. However, after seeing the amount of newbie TSRians who accidentally post their personal statements and PS helpers telling them that their content probably got detected by the UCAS plagarism software made me really curious.

So I decided to type in the first line of my personal statement (out of curiosity, I haven't published it online) AND A RESULT CAME UP. There was a sentence in the website which has 5 words which are literally identical to the five words I have in my personal statement. And what's worse - I've never looked online for sample ps statements or anything but the 5 words that are identical to mine in my personal statement is in some way connected to the sort of degree that I'm applying for.

HELP?! Would having 5 words (through no fault of my own) be flagged up to UCAS and make them go ER THIS GIRL COPIED A SOURCE WHICH IS CLOSELY RELATED TO HER DESIRED COURSE and penalise me? Panic, panic, PANIC.
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PQ
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(Original post by thecatwithnohat)
I forwarded my application last week to my referee which was easy and yeah... it felt good to finally get the ps stress off my shoulders. However, after seeing the amount of newbie TSRians who accidentally post their personal statements and PS helpers telling them that their content probably got detected by the UCAS plagarism software made me really curious.

So I decided to type in the first line of my personal statement (out of curiosity, I haven't published it online) AND A RESULT CAME UP. There was a sentence in the website which has 5 words which are literally identical to the five words I have in my personal statement. And what's worse - I've never looked online for sample ps statements or anything but the 5 words that are identical to mine in my personal statement is in some way connected to the sort of degree that I'm applying for.

HELP?! Would having 5 words (through no fault of my own) be flagged up to UCAS and make them go ER THIS GIRL COPIED A SOURCE WHICH IS CLOSELY RELATED TO HER DESIRED COURSE and penalise me? Panic, panic, PANIC.
2 sentences flagged for similarly is the level that trips the UCAS software.

It sounds like your opening sentence is a bit generic - regardless of the plagiarism factor it's probably worth removing it. Don't reword it - it'll still flag as similar (and unoriginal). Take it out completely. Often PSs benefit from taking off the opening sentence in my experience - you're not alone in using something quite clichéd. It feels like a safe thing to do to open with something generic or cliche. Usually the interesting and personal/unique stuff comes in the following sentences which makes for a better opening.
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thecatwithnohat
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(Original post by PQ)
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Okay maybe I was slightly over-exaggerating about it being the first line of my personal statement; it is perhaps there a few sentences into my first paragraph (but it was in the opening of my first couple of drafts) . Then again, what I said was normal, it was like me saying "I love cake with all my life" and someone else coincidentally writing the same thing waaaay before me. Do you reckon I should still flag this up to my tutor and take it out?
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PQ
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(Original post by thecatwithnohat)
Okay maybe I was slightly over-exaggerating about it being the first line of my personal statement; it is perhaps there a few sentences into my first paragraph (but it was in the opening of my first couple of drafts) . Then again, what I said was normal, it was like me saying "I love cake with all my life" and someone else coincidentally writing the same thing waaaay before me. Do you reckon I should still flag this up to my tutor and take it out?
I'd take it out. If other people have said similar things even if it doesn't trip the plagiarism detector it isn't very personal or adding anything of value to your statement.

If you find something similar online then believe me there will be dozens/hundreds/thousands more that an admissions tutor has read.
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JackFletch
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UCAS mainly pickup if you have over 10% of your personal statement as someone else so you should be fine. Change it if it reassures you though, but in all probabilty it'll be fine
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thecatwithnohat
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(Original post by PQ)
I'd take it out. If other people have said similar things even if it doesn't trip the plagiarism detector it isn't very personal or adding anything of value to your statement.

If you find something similar online then believe me there will be dozens/hundreds/thousands more that an admissions tutor has read.
(Original post by JackFletch)
UCAS mainly pickup if you have over 10% of your personal statement as someone else so you should be fine. Change it if it reassures you though, but in all probabilty it'll be fine
Thanks guys!
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PQ
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(Original post by JackFletch)
UCAS mainly pickup if you have over 10% of your personal statement as someone else so you should be fine. Change it if it reassures you though, but in all probabilty it'll be fine
The UCAS threshold is 2 sentences with similarly to other content.
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ubisoft
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I copied most of my ps and just changed some words mid sentences. Got all offers.

It's nowhere near as strict as people make it out to be.
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thecatwithnohat
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(Original post by ubisoft)
I copied most of my ps and just changed some words mid sentences. Got all offers.

It's nowhere near as strict as people make it out to be.
You copied some stuff?! tut tut.

Knowing me, if I gave in to copying I'd probably copy it all and only leave out like 2 words. :lol:
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Ladymusiclover
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This is scary. I emailed my personal statement to friends who are at uni and teachers. Getting paranoid now.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Ladymusiclover)
This is scary. I emailed my personal statement to friends who are at uni and teachers. Getting paranoid now.
If you know they are not applicants, and assuming they are not stupid enough to mail it on to anyone who is, then you have no problem.
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Ladymusiclover
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
If you know they are not applicants, and assuming they are not stupid enough to mail it on to anyone who is, then you have no problem.
Thanks for the reassurance.
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thecatwithnohat
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(Original post by Ladymusiclover)
This is scary. I emailed my personal statement to friends who are at uni and teachers. Getting paranoid now.
I doubt UCAS will be able to look into your inbox to try and dig out that personal statement as the poster above said, as long as it's not shared and/or the person doesn't print it out and accidentally forget it somewhere, you'll be fine!
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econam
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You will be fine. If it's just a generic sentence and is detected is won't matter at all. There are so many personal statements, people are bound to say the same thing


Posted from TSR Mobile
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thecatwithnohat
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(Original post by econam)
You will be fine. If it's just a generic sentence and is detected is won't matter at all. There are so many personal statements, people are bound to say the same thing


Posted from TSR Mobile
Thanks for the reassurance! I think I'm getting a bit panicky over little things now haha
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Ladymusiclover
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(Original post by thecatwithnohat)
i doubt ucas will be able to look into your inbox to try and dig out that personal statement :h as the poster above said, as long as it's not shared and/or the person doesn't print it out and accidentally forget it somewhere, you'll be fine! :h
thank you!!
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coolgamer
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Were the 5 words In the sentence connected together the way you did? Or just scattered?
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coolgamer
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(Original post by PQ)
2 sentences flagged for similarly is the level that trips the UCAS software.

It sounds like your opening sentence is a bit generic - regardless of the plagiarism factor it's probably worth removing it. Don't reword it - it'll still flag as similar (and unoriginal). Take it out completely. Often PSs benefit from taking off the opening sentence in my experience - you're not alone in using something quite clichéd. It feels like a safe thing to do to open with something generic or cliche. Usually the interesting and personal/unique stuff comes in the following sentences which makes for a better opening.
When I copy and paste into google I just get results where the words I used are just scattered so is this ok?
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PQ
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(Original post by coolgamer)
When I copy and paste into google I just get results where the words I used are just scattered so is this ok?
Search with the phrase in speech marks
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Fleming1928
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I was just going to make a thread on this! After a lot of hard work I've finished my personal statement. Looking through the UCAS forum section made me very paranoid of plagiarism, so I googled some of my sentences and found a lot of similarities between statements which are nowhere near linked to my subject such as economics, primary teaching, literature etc.
I want to apply for History and Russian. A lot of history statements are similarly structured as it is required that we talk about stuff such as reading, analysing sources, attending conferences etc. Writing about why you want to learn a new language is also practically the same. I'm really worried now, especially after reading some forums where people got 47% flagged for plagiarism even though they said that they haven't plagiarised anything. I feel like I will be in the same position
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