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plagiarism and its affect on application

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etf

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if it's officially noted somewhere on your transcript, you're toast. otherwise, it won't really matter - just pick up a copy of the apa guide or something.
 

Mayday

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I really have no idea. But whatever else you find out, i would suggest asking if it would be possible for you to put an explination in your school file. It won't change what happened, but anyone who has access to your file would at least have your side of the story.
 

Tired Pigeon

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More details needed. What were the consequences? Was there a disciplinary proceeding? Is there any official university record of this? Hard to say without knowing more.
 

TMP-SMX

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I don't know a lot of professors that try to go out of their way to knock you down for not citing your sources. So unless it was absolutely blatantly obvious where you used your professors research or didn't use any citations at all, there are no grounds for this.

So whatever you did must have been serious.
 

dsh

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Get a copy of your transcript and see if it's on there. Go talk to a counselor and see if it's on your permanent record (some schools ask for a Dean's certification). If it's not, you're probably in the clear.
 

sejin8642

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So about 5 years ago (sophomore year) I was caught for plagiarism. It was complete negligence on my part for not correctly citing and paraphrasing ideas and concepts in my essay.

You can explain it in personal statement.
 

FizbanZymogen

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I would never mention something like that in my personal statement. The personal statement is not the place to explain things like that.
 

Karina 07

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I don't know a lot of professors that try to go out of their way to knock you down for not citing your sources. So unless it was absolutely blatantly obvious where you used your professors research or didn't use any citations at all, there are no grounds for this.

So whatever you did must have been serious.

That's not necessarily true. My undergrad uni wouldn't care. But my graduate uni totally would take you down for not citing something. At my undergrad uni, I'd never, ever hear of a case that got treated like that. At my graduate uni, I'd never hear of a case that *didn't* get treated like that. So it probably depends where he went and what his prof was like.

P.S. I knew one girl, personally, who when she printed out her essay, it printed out funny and the footnotes got caught off. You'd think they'd have figured this out, but no, and they didn't believe her, and her computer died so she couldn't prove it immediately. She was about to be suspended when she got her computer data extracted by someone and sent directly to the admin. Craziest story ever.
 

rushrules1

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OP sounds bogus 'cause he/she's not divulging pertinent info....PhantomMD is that you again :laugh:
 
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sirus_virus

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Op just apply. If they accept you fine, if they dont, then go try something else. With your skills, Journalism comes to mind.
 

ItOnlyTakesOne

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sorry I am not familiar with that acronym (apa)?

okay, maybe you don't know about the APA guidelines for citing sources (the most common source especially for social science). But you must have used one of the others:
MLA
AMA
Chicago 'style'
Turabian
if you didn't know before, at least you know now!

Good luck!
 

physicsnerd42

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Honestly, I would bring it up on your application for two reasons: 1. It's the ethical thing to do. 2. If you end up getting accepted without disclosing the plagiarism citation (especially if there is an AMCAS or secondary question that asks about disciplinary action taken against you) and you matriculate at a med school and that med school finds out at a later date that you did not disclose the plagiarism citation, you can be kicked out of med school. Heck, technically you can be stripped of your MD if they find out after you finish your degree (although I'm guessing this is an unlikely outcome). Basically, if you come clean and get accepted you don't have to worry about your med school ever finding out about a very important fact your left out of your application and taking disciplinary action about you. Also, telling the truth about this shows that you have grown and matured since the one stupid mistake you made in sophomore year. Honestly, I don't know if this would go in your PS, but if there's an AMCAS question that asks about disciplinary action, explain it there. If there is no such question on AMCAS (and I don't remember since I filled out AMCAS a year and a half ago) then maybe you should consider bringing this up in your PS so that you can address the citation and talk about how you've changed.

I hope this helps. Good luck!
 
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Dr. Josh

then next time dont bother posting at all because smart *** comments are not appreciated.

wtf, I was trying to be nice to you and i was totally sincere. go back and read that I supported saying i didn't know AMA or whatever either; I said you wanted more info than the other poster answered and i apologized for not being able to help you. i sincerely cared. your response now was uncalled for.
 
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Dr. Josh

oops, that was not directed toward you.. sorry for the confusion it was directed against "sirus_virus," I got everyone mixed up in my head.

ok, apology accepted. You quoted me when you responded; that's why I was so shocked and didn't think it could have been a mistake. It was actually sirus_virus that I responded to to say he didn't answer your question; and yes I saw the sarcasm.
 

OwnageMobile

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There is an "academic action" seciton in AMCAS where you can describe the issue. It may help to understand what "academic action" is (suspension? grade deduction? Committee meeting? etc.) and whether or not you were subject to "academic action."

Good luck.
 

sirus_virus

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real funny:thumbdown:

I thought you were a troll. This is what I will do

1) Be honest , if the question comes up.

2) Be up close and personal in advance with the schools you are applying to, ie, explain the situation to the appropriate people before they even look at it. A lot of people know how easy it is to get that plagiarism crap slapped on you for forgetting 1 citation. I know 3 people personally that have fallen into the trap.
 

MonkeyNuts!

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At one point after graduation, I was told that my disciplinary action file had been destroyed. But doctors are expected to uphold qualities of honesty and integrity, so I feel compelled to divulge this information in my med school apps especially since they ask for it. However, because I have this "red flag" on my application, I feel it will totally ruin my chances of getting into medical school, or at least make it exteremly difficult.
You were told or you know for sure? I would find out if I were you. Don't go through the app process (whther u divulge in your app or not) thinking you don't have this file and then have someone pop up in an interview asking about it.
 

chad5871

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I knew one girl, personally, who when she printed out her essay, it printed out funny and the footnotes got caught off. You'd think they'd have figured this out, but no, and they didn't believe her, and her computer died so she couldn't prove it immediately. She was about to be suspended when she got her computer data extracted by someone and sent directly to the admin. Craziest story ever.

That's her fault for not noticing that the footnotes were gone. I'm not saying that she should have been prosecuted for plagiarism, but it does help to double check something before you turn it in.
 
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DrBowtie

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Some of your teachers seem whacky. If I forgot the citatations/footnotes/etc. that were required, I'd fail the paper for not following directions not given academic dishonesty. It's obvious that you didn't pull 12 pages of original thought on a topic you'd need research for so why whould they think you were trying to say it was your own?
 

DrBowtie

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The general advice is:
1) Check to see that its noted on your transcript.
2) Act accordingly.
 

cagey

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Without reading other replies, I would say:

Do NOT bring up if you don't feel it is necessary. If someone asks, be honest. But there is no point in highlighting that unless it helped you turn yourself around or something.
 

vmc303

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I love how everyone who gets busted for plagiarism, from the lowliest undergrads all the way up to Doris Kearns Goodwin and Steven Ambrose, claim it was all entirely just a matter of forgetting to cite properly. Though I've got to give Kaavya Viswanathan credit for originality.
 

riceman04

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thanks for the constructive criticism... real mature for a future doctor of america

that phrase has become so cliche!!! Gee...and it has not had much impact in preventing those immature people from becoming doctors...tells you something about the system doesn't it?...:rolleyes:
 

Nickelpennykid

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Honestly, I would bring it up on your application for two reasons: 1. It's the ethical thing to do. 2. If you end up getting accepted without disclosing the plagiarism citation (especially if there is an AMCAS or secondary question that asks about disciplinary action taken against you) and you matriculate at a med school and that med school finds out at a later date that you did not disclose the plagiarism citation, you can be kicked out of med school. Heck, technically you can be stripped of your MD if they find out after you finish your degree (although I'm guessing this is an unlikely outcome). Basically, if you come clean and get accepted you don't have to worry about your med school ever finding out about a very important fact your left out of your application and taking disciplinary action about you. Also, telling the truth about this shows that you have grown and matured since the one stupid mistake you made in sophomore year. Honestly, I don't know if this would go in your PS, but if there's an AMCAS question that asks about disciplinary action, explain it there. If there is no such question on AMCAS (and I don't remember since I filled out AMCAS a year and a half ago) then maybe you should consider bringing this up in your PS so that you can address the citation and talk about how you've changed.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

This is horrible advice if there is no record of the incident (the op said it was "destroyed") Some schools have disciplinary forgivness for things like alcohol and the OP's situation. If there is no record then the incident does not exist...why run the risk of getting rejected for somthing that is no longer an issue.
 

MadHopsMD

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This is horrible advice if there is no record of the incident (the op said it was "destroyed") Some schools have disciplinary forgivness for things like alcohol and the OP's situation. If there is no record then the incident does not exist...why run the risk of getting rejected for somthing that is no longer an issue.

i agree...dont say anything...if you are 100% sure it will not come up on 1) on your transcripts 2) committee letter

if your gpa and mcat are mediocre you are already fighting an uphill battle. Having this in your profile would be fighting the uphill battle with weights behind your back :laugh:
 

Quix

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I don't know a lot of professors that try to go out of their way to knock you down for not citing your sources. So unless it was absolutely blatantly obvious where you used your professors research or didn't use any citations at all, there are no grounds for this.

So whatever you did must have been serious.

Hi, Professor Quix. Pleased to meet you.

Like the rest, I'd also like to hear more details before commenting. One thing I've come across is that when people plagiarize, it is rarely because they didn't cite things correctly or other technical quibbles. The students I've taught have been absolutely fearful of incorrectly citing things, and those who plagiarize usually do it in grand fashion, but then understate it (e.g., saying that copying and pasting from the internet = failing to cite or paraphrase properly). I tell my students I have no compunction reporting them for academic misconduct; at a bare minimum they will fail my class, in addition to whatever the dean elects to do.

Now, before people think I'm a horrific hardass about this, I also go out of my way to help students who are having a hard time - I will meet with them, review early drafts, provide them with examples of how to structure their papers and how to cite sources (examples from all media), etc. If they half-ass it and try to get one by me, I have no problems reporting them.
 

LizzyM

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You must report "institutional action" on your AMCAS. Being on probation is an institutional action. Explain on the AMCAS. Give your side of the story.

Good luck. You are going to need it.
 

PugMD

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then next time dont bother posting at all because smart a** comments are not appreciated.

I rather enjoy them.. Nothing better than OPs flipping out because of the responses they've elicited
 

newton740

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First off, I would like to say that I do not really know the best route since I am not in this boat. But if I were you, I would first make SURE that it was off my record/transcript and that there was no way of tracing it ever (ie go to the dean and request a copy of ALL institutional records). If no documentation exists, you should not have to report it (despite how the AMCAS question is phrased). Without documentation, what can you defend? Your vague/biased recollection of events that happened five+ years ago? Two reasons to avoid brutal honesty in this situation are 1.) Like Nix (I think) said, rarely do students get in trouble for not citing correctly, it is usually serious cheating (I am sure admissions committees know this). So they will already have in the back of their mind that this kid was guilty of CHEATING (regardless of how compelling your explanation is), and not some minor MLA offenses. With out any record with the dean, the committee will have no way of knowing whether your side of the story is true or if you were blatantly cheating. 2.) You will either be denied or accepted somewhere far beneath where you qualify. In this day and time, people do not want to take chances and give someone the benefit of the doubt. If a student has anything on their record, adcoms can find someone else (with equal qualifications) who has a clean record and thereby avoid a potential scandal. Personally, I believe you have integrity because you are painfully deciding what to do in this situation. But adcoms have been burned by giving students the benefit of the doubt and would probably not make the same mistake again. If no record exists, do not put it and view it as if you have a clean slate. Best wishes. Let us know how it works out.
 

AnEyeLikeMars

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This is what AMCAS says:

"Were you ever the recipient of any institutional action by any college or medical school for unacceptable academic performance or conduct violation, even though such action may not have interrupted your enrollment or required you to withdraw? Select "Help" at the top of this screen for important instructions on answering this question."

Seems to be like your answer to that question would be Yes, whether or not there is documentation. I think failure to cite sources as a sophomore could be considered an honest mistake, especially if you come clean about it and explain it. It's not like you were caught cheating on an exam (which would be the kiss of death). However, I wonder how the adcomm would be able to verify that you "failed to cite sources" rather than outright copied someone else's work...that might be an important distinction that an adcomm might not want to bother with.
 

LizzyM

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This is what AMCAS says:

"Were you ever the recipient of any institutional action by any college or medical school for unacceptable academic performance or conduct violation, even though such action may not have interrupted your enrollment or required you to withdraw? Select "Help" at the top of this screen for important instructions on answering this question."


The OP states that s/he was on probation until graduation for this offense. So, the options are to answer "yes" (truthful) or answer "no" because no record exists and no one will ever know (about the lie). It's a test of character, isn't it?
 
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