Detecting plagiarism is no rocket science for admissions officials and professors. When the style of writing or tone or quality of an essay changes through an essay, and seems superior to the student’s known academic standard as evident from his/her academic transcript or history, then things are obvious to them: the applicant or student is guilty.
However, admission officials are always pressured for time, and many may not go through every essay with a fine-tooth comb unless there is a really bright red flag: for example, if a student with low testing and academic grades submits an essay on James Joyce.
Many see their action as a warning to students to always maintain academic integrity.
They may, on occasion, overlook inadvertent errors such as failure to provide citations for one or two points in an essay, if on the whole, the work reflects honest effort.
They see the same clever phrases in hundreds of essays sourced from essay-writing agencies.
Successful Columbia Business School Essays - Essay On Plagiarism
Often, the essays that are bought have no proper in-text citation or bibliography.
Admission-essay evaluators are blessed with an almost preternatural talent to identify passages where the applicant’s writing style deviates from the rest of the essay and points to plagiarism.
Their eyes only have the skim the first few words for them to make out that an entire sentence or paragraph is a lift from another source.
Turnitin, for example, compares essays with a massive online database that contains not just the works of well-known authors and other good writers but also student essays already submitted.
The software highlights repeated content and puts out a similarity report.