As educational consultants we often see the stress that comes along with students writing college essays. There is the Common Application essay, the supplemental essays, and the scholarship essays. Students can easily be overwhelmed with the process. Whether it is the difficulty of brainstorming topics, or the writing itself, students often struggle with the essay portion of applications. However, an upward trend in use of the service Turnitin by college admissions offices should serve as a important reminder that the work you submit should always be your own.
Academic dishonesty is a familiar term for those who work in college judicial affairs offices. For years, campus officials have used Turnitin, an anti-plagiarism database service to make sure that college students weren’t recycling papers from other students or other sources. Now, Turnitin has branched out and being used in college admissions.
A number of colleges and universities have adopted this service as way to quickly review essays and compare them to a large database of writing on file and show potentially copied material. While it is mostly being used by graduate programs at this point some undergraduate institutions with applicants are making use of the service. The colleges then can determine whether or not the applicant warrants a rejection based on plagiarism.
So, take our advice, write your own essays.
For more information read the recent LA Times article on the subject.