Admissions guide on plagiarism of personal statements

1. Definition

“Plagiarism” can be defined as:

‘the submission of material (written, visual or oral) originally produced by another person or persons, without correct acknowledgement, in such a way that the work could be assumed to be the student’s own.’

1.2 Plagiarism may involve the unattributed use of another person’s work, ideas, opinions, theory, statistics, graphs, models, paintings, performance, computer code, drawings, quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words, or paraphrases of another person’s spoken or written words.

2. The UCAS Similarity Detection Service

2.1 The UCAS Similarity Detection Service reviews all personal statements within incoming applications. These are checked against a library of all personal statements previously submitted to UCAS and sample statements collected from a variety of web sites and other sources including paper publications.

2.2 Each personal statement received at UCAS is added to the library of statements after it has been processed.

2.3 If a personal statement shows 60% or more of plagiarised matter, the application will be considered by Admissions but the applicant will be informed of the detected plagiarism and the seriousness of this offence. Applicants will be advised to ensure that they understand what plagiarism is and how to consult sources of information when they become students.

2.4 In cases where the statement contains over 80% of plagiarised matter, it may lead to a rejection decision.

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