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You can find a better version of my blog at http://www.adammarkus.com/blog/.

Be sure to read my Key Posts on the admissions process. Topics include essay analysis, resumes, recommendations, rankings, and more.

July 20, 2007

Ghostwriting and MBA Applications

Below are my public comments regarding ghostwritten applications.
Disclaimer: My comments, "For further information about the views of Adam Markus," are my own and do not represent the views of any organization I have been affiliated with.

I made the following comments:
I appreciate really having had the opportunity to present my views regarding graduate admissions counseling to the readers of JAPAN INC. I think the problem of ghostwriting really extends far beyond Japan and, in fact, is a worldwide problem. It connects more generally into larger problems such as the stealing of intellectual property, academic plagiarism, and the misrepresentation of credentials. This is not to say that these are new problems, but actually the internet is both an enabler of and defender against such practices. It is both easier to cheat and easier to detect cheating as result of the rise of the internet.

People will no doubt continue to ghostwrite applications, but I think given the scope of the problem, such behavior is likely to result only in admission to lower tier schools. I think the days of effectively using templates, recycling your friend's (in Japan, your Sempai's) essays, or otherwise getting around the act of doing hard work to obtain admission to top schools is likely to end as a result of (1) the utilization of google-like technologies to find recycled content (2) the use of content analysis software to compare submitted essays with the GMAT AWA or other standardized test written essays and (3) greater scrutiny on the part of admissions committee's as a result of pressure from faculty and other interested parties who will demand the applications become as scrutinized as student's class essays. This will not eliminate ghostwritten applications, but it will no doubt reduce their effectiveness.

-Adam Markus
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