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

November 20, 2015

Yes, you really should write your own MBA admissions essays!

As an MBA admissions consultant, I help clients with their B-school applications. I advise on essays. I sometimes edit essays. I don’t write essays. I believe in helping applicants use their own own voice. I always thought this was the right thing to do and that ghostwritten essays were not only unethical, but highly risky to submit.  The technology for detecting ghostwritten and plagiarized is getting better and better as a recent article, “Cheating MBA applicants: Trick shots,“ in The Economist discusses:

“But while the proportion of people trying to cheat the system may have stayed the same, the number of schools keen to avoid being hoodwinked has increased. Where Smeal was the first to use Turnitin to sift through admissions essays, now there are around 40 big business schools making use of anti-cheating software. This is good in itself. But it may also make economic sense. Investigating academic fraud once classes are underway can be difficult and expensive. Ms Marcinkevage estimates that, by rooting out potential cheats before it gets that far, the anti-plagiarism software has paid for itself. And most importantly of all, it allows harried admissions staff to concentrate on students' essays, rather than fear their work is falsified.”

So, yes. Write your own essays and beware of anyone who gives you completely set phrases and entire paragraphs to insert. Be yourself. Represent yourself. If you need help, get it from someone who will assist you, not do the writing for you.

-Adam Markus
I am a graduate admissions consultant who works with clients worldwide. If you would like to arrange an initial consultation, please complete my intake form. Please don't email me any essays, other admissions consultant's intake forms, your life story, or any long email asking for a written profile assessment. The only profiles I assess are those with people who I offer initial consultations to. Please note that initial consultations are not offered when I have reached full capacity or when I determine that I am not a good fit with an applicant.
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