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06/17/2020 at 08:43PM
Admissions Advice

Should I be worried about plagiarism on Collegevine streams/essay reviews?

I want to use the essay review tools/submit my essay for review on the stream tonight, but someone brought up potential plagiarism—should I be worried/not submit my essays to these platforms? I come from a rural town with little access to college prep otherwise, but I don’t want to jeopardize my admissions if they can’t tell who wrote what, etc.

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4 answers

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09/03/2020 at 09:16PM[edited]

Hi @AllyG and @CameronBameron,

@AllyG, we understand your concerns, as submitting your original work online always carries some risk! We wanted to share the measures we take to prevent plagiarism in our peer essay review tool.

@CameronBameron, thank you for sharing your concerns and experience! We wanted to follow up on this thread after completing the investigation from your initial report.

We allow students to submit the same essay multiple times. If the re-submission happened near one another, our system might show the same essay twice to students for a review, which is what happened with your original report, @CameronBameron. We'll look into how we can stop this from happening, so students who are submitting multiple times can be ensured they'll get responses from varied perspectives!

College essays are meant to be a personal narrative, so the risk of someone stealing work is definitely lower than your typical persuasive or argumentative essays from school assignments. Despite this, we know some students will plagiarize and pass off someone else's stories and ideas as their own.

Here's what we have in our system to prevent plagiarism: (1) we assign a unique fingerprint to all submitted essays. We use this to verify the original author and track down potential bad actors. (2) we remove all access to the essay once a review is complete. Only the submitter will continue to have access. (3) we have an automated system in place to permanently ban any bad actors from using the essay review if we catch any suspicious or flagged activities.

Even with these measures in place, we know that cheaters will find ways to cheat. And we know this has big consequences in admissions for both the original author and the student who plagiarized another's work. If we suspect plagiarism, we have measures in place to work with the students and universities to ensure we can protect our students and their hard work.

We hope this clears things up a bit, and please let use know if you have further questions!

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06/18/2020 at 01:08AM[edited]

I've reviewed about 10 essays so far and I've seen one of them copy and pasted by 2 other Rising Seniors and resubmitted for a 2nd review.. This is alarming.

This means that people are going on the Essay Review agreeing to read the essay and if they like it, they copy and paste it onto their devices. Then they re-submit the essay back through College Vine as if it's their own essay and use the tips and critique to improve the said essay. So they are cheating twice. I'm trying to keep ahead of this by reporting the essays to college vine but I know that at some top colleges they are going to be a few of the exact essays with minor modifications. Do kids have no scruples or limits to their desperation to get into a top college? I'm disappointed in whoever is doing this. If it continues I'm sure college vine will assess the risk to their reputation and shut down the whole thing. So think about it.

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06/17/2020 at 09:38PM

Are you worried about someone else stealing your work? I think, in general, the risk of that is small college essays are generally pretty personal, and it's unlikely that someone would steal from a draft of yours that's in the process of being reviewed. If you don't have many college prep resources otherwise, I would definitely go through with submitting your essay and getting feedback, but if you're worried about that, you could try for more local sources of feedback like a trusted teacher or counselor.

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06/17/2020 at 11:51PM

I sometimes review essays so far done around 20 and as Denton says all of them are personal stories and I would not be able to use them. It may give the reviewer tips on writing but unless you have a near identical expierence it’s useless.

It is more or less asking someone to take a look and they say sure.

However by no means should you take the essay view as the Bible as I have heard from a essay poster that they once got a note depth review and once an author posted like 5 copies so she could get 5 independent reviews.

Hope this helps

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