Question about plagiarism IA. I appreciate your help

Dec 24, 2020
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Hello,

so I am a sophomore premed. Biochem major. 3.87 GPA. Will take MCAT in a few years and working on ECs

back in my freshman year, however, I made a mistake. In the spring 2020 semester, my professor gave us an assignment which we had to complete short answer type questions online using our notes or outside sources. It did, however, have to be in our own words, which I thought was not a problem because I had assumed my notes were in my own words. That was an awful assumption to make, as I realized once I got my grade back that I had been taking my notes from the class textbook.

I was given a written reprimand, or warning from the university, and a 0 on the assignment. I know I will report it anyways, but it is not on my transcript.

I was very embarrassed by this happening. Obviously it showed very poor judgment on my part. It’s also frustrating because I’ve been able to complete a number of essays, lab reports, research papers, etc. both before and after this incident without any issues, since I do know how to write in my own words and how to avoid plagiarism.

since this mistake I’ve taken all of the steps necessary to ensure that this won’t happen again, which required reforming my study habits, PARTICULARLY note taking. I’ve been able to study more effectively, and also there’s no chance I will ever compromise my integrity.

so, with all of this being said, I’ve seen other forums about IAs, but I know that every case is different. I would appreciate feedback from any adcoms about this. Although I’m a sophomore, if I need to find another career and major, I suppose ASAP would be the best time to do so. However if I don’t need to switch careers or anything like that, if there’s any advice on improving my app for the future (I’ll apply around 2023-2024) I’d really appreciate it
 
D

deleted1066534

I had a similar situation and I have already received 7 IIs, as long as you demonstrate how much you've grown from it and that it was completely inadvertent then schools will be able to look past it.
 
Dec 24, 2020
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I had a similar situation and I have already received 7 IIs, as long as you demonstrate how much you've grown from it and that it was completely inadvertent then schools will be able to look past it.
Thank you for your reply. What does II mean? Secondaries? Acceptances? Lol, just to make sure. Also, do you have suggestions as to how I can demonstrate growth, outside of just not doing it again in the first place?

for example, I signed up to start a peer-led learning/tutoring service at my school as a volunteer, maybe this is a good place to start?

EDIT: Just looked up II and saw it was interview invitation
 
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Thank you for your reply. What does II mean? Secondaries? Acceptances? Lol, just to make sure. Also, do you have suggestions as to how I can demonstrate growth, outside of just not doing it again in the first place?

for example, I signed up to start a peer-led learning/tutoring service at my school as a volunteer, maybe this is a good place to start?
II is an interview invitation.
 
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Thank you for the clarification.
No problem! I wish I had insight to shed on your larger question. My understanding, based purely on my read of other posts, is that it is important to demonstrate ownership of the actions, understanding of the error, and clear signs/steps that you’ve moved beyond it, learned from it, etc.
 
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Goro

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Hello,

so I am a sophomore premed. Biochem major. 3.87 GPA. Will take MCAT in a few years and working on ECs

back in my freshman year, however, I made a mistake. In the spring 2020 semester, my professor gave us an assignment which we had to complete short answer type questions online using our notes or outside sources. It did, however, have to be in our own words, which I thought was not a problem because I had assumed my notes were in my own words. That was an awful assumption to make, as I realized once I got my grade back that I had been taking my notes from the class textbook.

I was given a written reprimand, or warning from the university, and a 0 on the assignment. I know I will report it anyways, but it is not on my transcript.

I was very embarrassed by this happening. Obviously it showed very poor judgment on my part. It’s also frustrating because I’ve been able to complete a number of essays, lab reports, research papers, etc. both before and after this incident without any issues, since I do know how to write in my own words and how to avoid plagiarism.

since this mistake I’ve taken all of the steps necessary to ensure that this won’t happen again, which required reforming my study habits, PARTICULARLY note taking. I’ve been able to study more effectively, and also there’s no chance I will ever compromise my integrity.

so, with all of this being said, I’ve seen other forums about IAs, but I know that every case is different. I would appreciate feedback from any adcoms about this. Although I’m a sophomore, if I need to find another career and major, I suppose ASAP would be the best time to do so. However if I don’t need to switch careers or anything like that, if there’s any advice on improving my app for the future (I’ll apply around 2023-2024) I’d really appreciate it
You were young. It's not the type of IA that would give any concern as long as you don't screw up any more.
 
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Dec 24, 2020
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No problem! I wish I had insight to shed on your larger question. My understanding, based purely on my read of other posts, is that it is important to demonstrate ownership of the actions, understanding of the error, and clear signs/steps that you’ve moved beyond it, learned from it, etc.
Thank you for your reply. Based on other posts I’ve seen, it’s been sort of mixed. By that I mean between what you just said and, essentially, “you have to wait years and years after you graduate”. I’m also aware that details vary case by case. Thanks again for your time, I really appreciate it
 
Dec 24, 2020
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You were young. It's not the type of IA that would give any concern as long as you don't screw up any more.
Absolutely, I will never again screw up, and this was all a huge wake up call. I know you work in faculty/admissions and you’ve likely dealt with all sorts of cases, so I value your response and I thank you for your time.
 
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deleted1066534

They’re most likely willing to look past it because you’re a high-stats URM. A plagiarism IA would kill most applicants’ chances.
lmao what part of my reply suggested that? check your own biases and attitudes about URM students before you become a physician thank you
 
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LindaAccepted

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Hello,

so I am a sophomore premed. Biochem major. 3.87 GPA. Will take MCAT in a few years and working on ECs

back in my freshman year, however, I made a mistake. In the spring 2020 semester, my professor gave us an assignment which we had to complete short answer type questions online using our notes or outside sources. It did, however, have to be in our own words, which I thought was not a problem because I had assumed my notes were in my own words. That was an awful assumption to make, as I realized once I got my grade back that I had been taking my notes from the class textbook.

I was given a written reprimand, or warning from the university, and a 0 on the assignment. I know I will report it anyways, but it is not on my transcript.

I was very embarrassed by this happening. Obviously it showed very poor judgment on my part. It’s also frustrating because I’ve been able to complete a number of essays, lab reports, research papers, etc. both before and after this incident without any issues, since I do know how to write in my own words and how to avoid plagiarism.

since this mistake I’ve taken all of the steps necessary to ensure that this won’t happen again, which required reforming my study habits, PARTICULARLY note taking. I’ve been able to study more effectively, and also there’s no chance I will ever compromise my integrity.

so, with all of this being said, I’ve seen other forums about IAs, but I know that every case is different. I would appreciate feedback from any adcoms about this. Although I’m a sophomore, if I need to find another career and major, I suppose ASAP would be the best time to do so. However if I don’t need to switch careers or anything like that, if there’s any advice on improving my app for the future (I’ll apply around 2023-2024) I’d really appreciate it

You're taking responsibility and expressing remorse and regret. You have also improved your note-taking so you've learned from the experience.

In a nutshell, you're taking the right steps so that this incident shouldn't prevent your acceptance. If you want to take it one step further, look into what Dr. Herman Gordon, former chair of the admissions committee at University of Arizona Tucson's medical school calls "redemptive action." By that he means going beyond the steps you've already taken to actually educate others to avoid your mistake. That could be serving on the school's honors or ethics committee or lecturing on plagiarism and how to avoid it. Something along those lines.

Best,
Linda
 
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Had an IA from first semester freshman year but have received IIs at 15 of us news top 20-25 medical schools. Just make sure it doesn’t happen again.
 
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I'm a little confused. What kind of IA did you receive from your school? In my alma mater, we have deferred probation, which is something you DON'T HAVE TO DISCLOSE to your employer/medical school/etc. If it's something similar, just don't mention it on your application.
 
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Dec 24, 2020
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Had an IA from first semester freshman year but have received IIs at 15 of us news top 20-25 medical schools. Just make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Thank you for your reply and your encouragement. I know IAs don’t have to be related to academic issues only, and sometimes they could arise from poor conduct. Was your IA academic related?
 
Dec 24, 2020
15
6
I'm a little confused. What kind of IA did you receive from your school? In my alma mater, we have deferred probation, which is something you DON'T HAVE TO DISCLOSE to your employer/medical school/etc. If it's something similar, just don't mention it on your application.
Well at my school the IA was a written reprimand, which thankfully was the lightest sanction of them all. I still had to sign a document though so that the school keeps an internal record of the warning.

I guess it differs by school
 
Dec 24, 2020
15
6
You're taking responsibility and expressing remorse and regret. You have also improved your note-taking so you've learned from the experience.

In a nutshell, you're taking the right steps so that this incident shouldn't prevent your acceptance. If you want to take it one step further, look into what Dr. Herman Gordon, former chair of the admissions committee at University of Arizona Tucson's medical school calls "redemptive action." By that he means going beyond the steps you've already taken to actually educate others to avoid your mistake. That could be serving on the school's honors or ethics committee or lecturing on plagiarism and how to avoid it. Something along those lines.

Best,
Linda
That’s a really good idea. I will look too see if my school has these opportunities. Thanks so much for contributing.
 
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LizzyM

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The situation I see here was an error in a write-up rather than a deliberate attempt to cheat and be graded for work you did not do. There is a difference. We can be merciful in the case of the former but just in bringing the hammer down on the latter.
 
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Yes , mine was academic. Shared my homework assignment with a classmate when it was against the rules to do so.
As LizzyM says, there is cheating, then there is CHEATING. Mine falls into the former, so does yours.
 
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The situation I see here was an error in a write-up rather than a deliberate attempt to cheat and be graded for work you did not do. There is a difference. We can be merciful in the case of the former but just in bringing the hammer down on the latter.
Thank you for the clarification, and hopefully most if not all adcoms share your point of view. Seeing that you are one as well, however, I really value and appreciate your feedback.

thank you again
 
Dec 24, 2020
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Yes , mine was academic. Shared my homework assignment with a classmate when it was against the rules to do so.
As LizzyM says, there is cheating, then there is CHEATING. Mine falls into the former, so does yours.
I see, thank you for clarifying. Since you mentioned you are receiving interview invites, I wish you the best on your path.
 
Dec 24, 2020
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@Goro @LizzyM I have another question, I would greatly appreciate if you are willing to answer.

Although you had constructive feedback that actually made me feel better about the situation I am in, I’ve been wondering if I should continue down the undergraduate path that I’m on. By that I mean by my biochemistry major.

Despite my case being different and not on the level of intentional cheating or plagiarism, I know that an IA is still an IA. Having that alone might get me automatically rejected from medical schools that do not want to deal with IA cases. Maybe I’m wrong there, if I am then please correct me.

Going back to my question, would you suggest majoring in something practical, something that will get me a solid career out of college, just in case I cannot get into a medical school? Some backups I thought of included accounting, computer science, nursing, and even actuarial science. Then I could take the prerequisite courses and apply, but still pursue a different career immediately in case medicine did not work out. I chose biochemistry with the goal of learning fundamental sciences that will translate into healthcare.

I really appreciate your time, as well as everyone else that has responded to this thread so far. Thank you
 
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I know you didn’t direct this question towards me but wouldn’t hurt to learn computer science (or engineering). Good $ and if interested in science can use the knowledge you gain as a bioinformaticist, who are always in high demands.
 
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Goro

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@Goro @LizzyM I have another question, I would greatly appreciate if you are willing to answer.

Although you had constructive feedback that actually made me feel better about the situation I am in, I’ve been wondering if I should continue down the undergraduate path that I’m on. By that I mean by my biochemistry major.

Despite my case being different and not on the level of intentional cheating or plagiarism, I know that an IA is still an IA. Having that alone might get me automatically rejected from medical schools that do not want to deal with IA cases. Maybe I’m wrong there, if I am then please correct me.

Going back to my question, would you suggest majoring in something practical, something that will get me a solid career out of college, just in case I cannot get into a medical school? Some backups I thought of included accounting, computer science, nursing, and even actuarial science. Then I could take the prerequisite courses and apply, but still pursue a different career immediately in case medicine did not work out. I chose biochemistry with the goal of learning fundamental sciences that will translate into healthcare.

I really appreciate your time, as well as everyone else that has responded to this thread so far. Thank you
one should always have a plan B.
 
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I know you didn’t direct this question towards me but wouldn’t hurt to learn computer science (or engineering). Good $ and if interested in science can use the knowledge you gain as a bioinformaticist, who are always in high demands.
I appreciate your reply. I thought of engineering but I took a physics 1 this past semester, I got an A but it was truly a struggle, and I did not find much pleasure in it. I liked math through calculus 2, but math on its own doesn’t have many real world applications for jobs with a bachelors degree. Computer science looks like a huge struggle on the surface level, but maybe that’s because I’ve never actually learned any of it.

my university also has a 1-year accelerated BSN program for people with a bachelors degree, but the prerequisites were kind of weird- like I took general chemistry, but apparently it requires a class called “survey of chemistry” which is not as much in depth. I figured this was something I could try if I couldn’t get into med school, because I think I would fit well in a healthcare setting regardless.
 

LizzyM

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If you really want to be a nurse, do the nursing program. Don't be a pre-med who takes a slot in a nursing program as a stepping stone to medicine. That will not sit well with either group.

Math is always good. You might need an extra year of schooling (MS) in statistics/programming but the jobs are plentiful and pay well for data analysts.
 
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If you really want to be a nurse, do the nursing program. Don't be a pre-med who takes a slot in a nursing program as a stepping stone to medicine. That will not sit well with either group.

Math is always good. You might need an extra year of schooling (MS) in statistics/programming but the jobs are plentiful and pay well for data analysts.
Thank you, I appreciate your two cents on the nursing part.
 
Dec 24, 2020
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@Goro @LizzyM @Mr.Blackdoc.5 @LindaAccepted

One last time, I want to thank the you for your help and input on my particular case. I had been struggling a lot mentally with this, because I had no clue for a long time as to how I should approach this and how it would affect my future. Although I‘ve been told not to worry so much since I’m considered ”young”, I am turning 20 in about a month and wasting time is something I honestly fear. For a while I wasn’t so sure whether this was a “kiss of death”, like what has been said for other posters on SDN, or if it was something that shouldn’t prevent my acceptance as long as I own up to it and describe how it will not be an issue moving forward. You have inspired some confidence in me as to where I am at in life, and that I don’t need to give up the premed track over this. You have also helped me learn to accept what happened, that I make human mistakes like everyone else. (Now I just hope my university’s medical school admissions committee, and those of other schools in my state, think the same as you guys).

(I have probably been overthinking this a ton, but I felt that you all deserved the least I could do, which is tell you how grateful I am.)

Gracias, Cheers
 
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