Same essay, different sources.

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by d.mcknight, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. d.mcknight

    d.mcknight Member

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    Does anyone think it would be an issue if I used the same essay for both my Representative and one of my Senators?
     
  2. AKH

    AKH Member

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    No, I did. Just as long as the prompt is the same.
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Depends on what the question is. If it is the same, or very similar, you can use the same one -- no problem. However, don't try to force the square peg into the round hole. If the question is different, consider either modifying your current essay to address the question asked or write an entirely new one.

    I guarantee you that, if your essay looks like it was written for another question, the committee will realize it. They read a LOT of essays. You don't want it to appear that you weren't willing to take the time to answer the question/prompt that they selected.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I have many pet peeves, and this is one of them.

    Yes, you can reuse another essay, but ask yourself a question before you do it.

    I am asking for a nomination to one of the most selective schools in the nation, and what I posted here was to say can I be lazy? In essence, that is exactly what you are saying...I don't feel like writing another one. Even the most benign prompt...life changing time... can be written from a different position.

    The MOC's are not asking for a thesis. They are asking for a 1 page essay.

    Life at an SA will be hard, they will force you into time management, and you won't be able to re-use essays.

    I know that sounds harsh, but to me that is the truth. We didn't allow our children to re-use any essay, be it for a nom, or a college. We expected them to see it as hw at school. It was an integrity issue, and issue to prove to us they wanted it bad enough to sit up to 1 a.m. writing essay after essay.

    People will flame me for being hard on this aspect, but if I sat on an MOC board and felt it was tweaked from a re-used essay, I would have no problems asking the candidate in the interview to defend the essay.

    JMHPO.
     
  5. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    If the topic is something like: Why do you want to attend the SA? By all means, why not use the same essay? Each nominating source asked my son that essay, so he printed it 3 times. As I recall, they each had a second essay topic that was not related, so obviously there was no re-using. I believe in working smarter, not harder. Good luck.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Mom,

    That is a good point. None of our MOCs had asked the question of why an SA. It would be very hard to re-work that essay 3 different times. In essence, it would be changing a sentence from "I grew up wanting" to " since I was a young child".

    I still believe the life changing essay can be re-worked to give different aspects. For example, our DD would say being bitten by a copperhead snake changed her life. It changed it in multiple ways...one was how she learned how close the AF leadership is with their members. As she was rolled in ER via an ambulance gurney Bullet's Commander was there waiting to receive them. Two, how she learned the community and school were her family too. Three, how she 2 weeks later in class, on crutches had to deal with kids screaming that a snake was in the room, only for her to say, what are you all freaking out about, I am the one who got bit by a snake and now stuck in a desk!

    Each one of those essays would be a 30 minute, 1 hour essay. Each one would show how her life changed from 1 thing in her life.

    If you belong to CC, you see kids state they just re-use essays for one college to another and tweak them. That is their personal choice. I get it, but, I have to say it feels kind of like cheating the system to me.

    If you want that nom badly, I think you should give your whole heart and soul. Our DS only had 1 interview out of 3 MOCs (only 1 MOC interviewed), but the flip side is we to this day don't know if they had members who served on more than one of his 3 committees. MOCs not interviewing does not mean that they don't review everything.

    To me this maybe risky from a general standpoint. What if an MOC has a member who sits on 2 committees and they only ask for the general question why an SA? The candidate might have a committee member who says, this is a reused essay.

    That being said, I will state many candidates who have reused their essays and got the MOC nom. It is just my personal belief, that I think applicants should work harder. Working harder doesn't mean they weren't working smarter. It means they worked harder.

    This pet peeve is not an SA or MOC issue, it is from being a teacher. As a teacher, I asked you to write an essay for me, regardless if another teacher asked the same question, you would not submit the same paper. MOC1 is one teacher, MOC2 is another. In the educational system, teachers plan together, so when the History teacher is teaching the roaring 20's, the English teacher is reading Gatsby. We work together. A smart student could re-use the same essay with some tweaking. You could also follow this theory for a student in a Sociology class and the Catcher in the Rye for English. I could go on, but I think you get my point.

    I do think we are on the same page, sometimes you can't re-write an essay because the question is too generic, but the OP did not inform the forum what the question was and to just say do it, could be harmful. Did the MOC have a second follow up question.
     
  7. d.mcknight

    d.mcknight Member

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    I don't quite see how it is lazy. When my AP English class was doing a college unit at the end of last year, I wrote that essay when we were doing admission essays. So it was for a grade, and I rewrote the essay at least half a dozen times. If the essay works for two purposes, why not kill two birds with one stone? I know the academies require time management. Trust me, I understand time management. I'm typically at school from 7 am to 5 pm. AND I have a hour long bus ride each way. On weekends I'm normally working, doing community service, or at some activity for my JROTC unit. So if I can save a few hours here and there, I like to do so.

    Now just to double check, one essay prompt is "why I want to attend an academy" and the other is "why I am seeking a nomination." Anyone think those are too different?
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    JMHO, but yes your essay will have to be rewritten, One is asking why an SA, you need to address the specific prompt that needs to be answered in the opening and closing paragraph. The other is asking why you are seeking a nom. The body of the essay (defense would be the same...attending an SA), however, opening and closing should be different.

    The rule is the opening statement should reiterate the question.

    I am seeking a nom so I can attend an SA, is not the say as I want to attend an SA so I can be XYZ.

    No offense, but my son (DS2) leaves at 6:30 a.m (school starts at 7:21). and gets home at 6 M-F, his butt is at school for a lot more time than you M-F. What exactly is your point regardin the fact that you have an hour long bis ride? Additionally 2 nights a week he does not get home until 10 p.m. at the earliest since he is on the field for games on top of the fact he has to Saturday a.m. game review.

    Our DS1 who went down this route left at 6 a.m.for the bus ran in the house at 2:45 to change into his swim suit to guard until 9:30 p.m so he was at work at 4. He worked 20 hrs a week for 2 yrs and 40 all summer long. On top of that he had to do at least 20 hrs per month volunteer for NHS, plus his required certification hours as a sr lifeguard. He also was a state and national TKD Olympic/National and State Champ while he carried all Honors and AP classes along with Life Guarding.

    DS1 DID NOT HAND IN A DUPLICATE. Not only for MOC's, but he also did not re-use one essay for another college ap for plan B. YES. he was in AP Eng. He actually took 2 AP Eng., Lit and Eng. on top of Jump start, where he carried 9 college credits at the CC while he went to hs.

    I am a hard arse MOM. I will not except an easy path. I demand from my children if you want it PROVE IT. If you fail to put effort in, I am okay with it. I am just not going to accept you give lame excuses as a defense. Sorry, but I do not accept WOAH is me. I want the best candidate. 6 to 6 for an SA applicant is not rare.

    You seem to want a GET HOW HARD MY LIFE IS for your defense. I am trying to say to you, the same thing I said to my son, NOMS are competitive..... EVERYONE CAN MAKE EXCUSES! You need to make sure if this is what you want you give 150% ! You need to put everything in. and that includes not asking should I re-use an essay.

    If you have to ask than you have your own doubts...don't get mad when posters agree with your fear.

    As I stated, some prompts are so generic there is no other way to write it. Re-use it because you can't make it any better. However...
    What you just stated in this post was I WROTE THAT ESSAY...in other words, you are not only re-using an essay for the MOCs, but re-using one from a class assignment.

    SA life is not easy, I bet every candidate looking back over their SA career will say the appointment was the easiest.


    In the end this statement was the most troublesome


    Without a doubt you are a young candidate, and you want to attend an SA, I hope you get it. However, again, you just said to posters, this was a laziness issue since, you said "IF I CAN SAVE A FEW HOURS HERE AND THERE.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010
  9. d.mcknight

    d.mcknight Member

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    First, I'm not trying to gain sympathy. My point as far as the bus, is that I'm not home for 12 hours out of the day, so it gives me less time to be able to work on things. I'm not trying to one-up your sons or anything, so relax. I may not do as much as someone else, but I also live 25 miles from my school and my family doesn't have the money to provide the transportation to and from different things. But with what I can do, I put in every single ounce of effort I can.

    As far as the asking means you have doubts statement.....isn't that the entire point of this board?

    I did not just reuse a class assignment. Our teacher asked us to pick two admissions essays to write. And she asked us to pick places we wanted to go. So one of them was the USNA essay and one of them was the essay for my Representative. I turned them in, she gave her feedback, I rewrote it, she gave her feedback again, so on and so forth until I was completely satisfied with my essay. Please tell me what is wrong with this.

    I know SA life is not easy. No I'm not saying I'm an expert on it. But I've been to USAFA twice, once was during the academic year when I got the chance to talk to multiple cadets about life there. Plus, I have three friends that are in their freshman years at the academies. I've been able to talk to them about what they have struggled with so far. So I understand it will not be easy.

    And what do you mean by young candidate? Aren't most of us young?

    Finally, I still fail to see how that is lazy. It would be one thing if I used the time I saved to sit around and eat while watching tv. But I don't. If I have any free time, it is normally filled with working on other college applications, helping my younger brother with his school work, helping my grandparents out with whatever they need done, or things like that.
     
  10. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    d.mcknight:
    The bottom line is, it's your life. You asked our opinions. Many of us have given them. Pick the one you like best and go with it. Life is full of choices; this is your choice to make. Sometimes it's not a matter of right or wrong; sometimes it's just a choice. :argue1:
     
  11. McCoy

    McCoy Member

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    If the questions happen to ask the same thing. You should definatly use the same essay tweaked for the person your writing to. If you have 2 different ones, than on is probably better than the other, in which you should use the better one for both, and if you wrote another to have two different ones to "not be lazy" you'd get the same thing, one would be better again and then you should use it for both. Just my opinion though.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Please understand I am not implying you are LAzy...I am trying to tell you how competitive it is,

    You are stating and defending your position. I am just saying 7-5 isn't going to make it as a defense.. when you say I have an 1 hr bus ride and thus my school day is ...

    You were a jr in hs, correct? Last time I checked your BGO and ALO should be the advice you need. since they are a part of the WCS equation. I really don't want to get into a peeing contest. If you feel I am out the door wrong IMPO opinion please ignore me.

    It is my opinion, if you feel great with your decision go for it.

    I wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart
     
  13. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    PIMA brings up a very good point: you never know who sits on two committees. I had not considered that before.

    My son reused essays, and it frankly never crossed our minds on whether it was right or wrong. Some were tweaked, others were printed twice, depending on the question. The bottom line is, you are going to have to do what works for you. These committees receive plenty of essays; I would venture to guess that most of them sound pretty much the same (i.e. I want to attend USXA because I want to serve my country...yada yada yada). Unless you've done something pretty amazing to stand out (recruited athlete, etc) your essay is all you've got to separate you from the rest of the applicants. Make it amazing! Good luck.:thumb:
     

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