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Cutting and pasting essays

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Intern
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Cutting and pasting essays [#permalink] New post 18 Nov 2005, 05:18
Hjort,
How are u doing?

I am starting my third application and am having issues with my essays.

Many schools and even this forum say that if you can cut and paste essays for different schools then your essays are not good.

But these schools have the same damn questions... example:
1) what is your greatest professional accomplishment. How were you able to add value to your organization?
2) what is your most significant accomplishement?
3)We believe one of the keys to effective leadership is the ability to transform ideas into action through people. Please describe a professional leadership accomplishment in which you transformed an idea into action. How did your leadership impact your organization?

Sure they are all worded different.... but they are essentially asking the same thing? Now unless i have done something amazing in the course of writing these essays (less than 4 weeks) or my writing style has drastically changed.. i dont see why i should not cut and paste and make some small modifications to these questions.

Am i on a path to doom if i do that or do i really have to be that creative and think of 3 different most significant accomplishments?

I know a lot of schools imply that they are unique and their questions are unique, but at the same time i see a lot of similarities between all these schools as wel.

In short... if the questions are similar is there any harm in cutting and pasting and then editing?

Jeez.. after writing all these essays, i have become long-winded. :twisted:
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Nov 2005, 12:37
I agree with spirit of your question- if two essays ask essentially the same thing it is reasonable to use your answer on one essay to inform your answer on the other.

There a few reasons why I discourage literally cutting and pasting

1) The essays might vary in length (what works for a 750 word essay might not work for a 400 word essay)

2) The personal theme your are emphasizing might differ from school to school

3) The context might differ- what you include in a 6 essay application might differ from what you include on an app with only a few essays

4) Cutting and pasting risks legacy errors (if there are errors in your template you might end up repeating them on your other essays)
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2005, 15:57
Hello Hjort,

Thanks for replying to my earlier question. I now have another question, this one is more generic in nature.

Is it advisable for a candidate to apply to two schools that have some kind of exchange program?

In my case I am applying to Haas and Columbia and they have some kind of domestic exchange program.

The reason I ask is that I am concerned that if i will not be admitted in one, it is likely that I will not get admitted in the other as well. I get this impression because they might to be looking for candidates of a similar caliber or characteristic.

Is my line of reasoning valid and should I just apply to one or is it not really a cause for concern?
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2005, 19:32
Interesting theory but I would not alter my behavior based on it. Consider the two clusters these schools belong to and why they might have an exchange program.
  [#permalink] 24 Nov 2005, 19:32
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