College Rescind Cancellation

I see. I definitely do not want to put my sister in jeopardy. Is using a collaborative paper in my PIQ plagiarism?

OP I asked this above and you gave an imprecise response. I am not trying to be judgmental but it is impossible to advise you without that context.

Did you use the same words or citations as your sister?


I’m beginning to think we have to ask this even more basically: did the poster use the same words in the same order with the same punctuation as their sister.

It’s pretty clear they don’t quite grasp the meaning of “citation” - or “referred”, for that matter.

If they did quote from the co-authored article directly, that’s very sad.


Yes I used the same words for some parts of the essay

Thank you for your candor and sorry you are going through this.

I strongly suspect the automated system flagged that content and it was likely reviewed manually before the email was sent to you. Unfortunately the duplication must have been significant enough to trigger the plagiarism flag.

If the duplication was a citation of prior work and came specifically from an article you coauthored and referenced but didn’t mention the dual authorship you will be challenged to explain it but it is possible. You will need to work with your sister to explain that you worked in tandem and that both provided content and editing making the work product truly a team effort that makes either of your contributions impossible to separate out.

If it was just incorporated into an essay as part of an essay I think it will be very hard to justify the combination of lack of citation and/or sole authorship. In other words if you cut and pasted elements of your sisters application regarding interests or activities that you worked on with your sister without modifying, customizing and or personalizing that is plagiarism and will be hard to counter.

If you are comfortable sharing (no obligation) which scenario best describes your application?



The UC Statement of Application Integrity, to which both you and your sister agreed, says

The personal insight responses should reflect the student’s own ideas and be written by him or her alone. Students may receive advice on content and editing but the work must be their own. Students must not plagiarize/copy from sources in print or online nor use any other person’s words or published works.

Students found to have falsified application information will be subject to penalties up to and including denial of admission, withdrawal of an admission offer, registration cancellation, expulsion, or revocation of a University of California degree.

Submitting a copy of the article from the conference or having a conference officer attest you both wrote it, as some has suggested, means proving to UC that she was ineligible for admission due to violating the Statement of Application Integrity.


It is a bit of both. I didn’t use my sister’s application in the process as she never shared or helped me. We both used the article we co-wrote in our PIQ. We both wrote the same parts. So most of the words were the same.

But I didnt use someone else’s work.

Unless Im missing the point?

Your problem will be (if I am understanding) that you both seemingly used those identical portions without citation of one another or that it was a prior article. They are not your words they are your sister and your words and should have either not been used or cited accordingly.

Look at it from the perspective of the school. The words are the exact same and we’re previously submitted successfully by an applicant.

Your argument is basically trust me these were both of our words that we previously co-wrote as part of an article and coincidentally we choose the same excerpts for our applications. I am sorry I didn’t mention the dual authorship or the prior nature being an article so no citation was made because…

How will you respond? I am presenting it so directly in the hope you can think through how you will respond to the inevitable questions coming your way.


It is your work AND your sister’s work. You signed off that your words were your work alone (as did she). The only way to do that legitimately would have been to cite your sister as a co-author, which you didn’t do.

So this unfortunately is plagiarism and if you try to explain yourself, you are risking discipline action on your sister. I am sorry, I know you didn’t intend to get yourselves in this situation.

I would consult with an attorney if you can. Any chance there are other colleges you would prefer?


I would recommend that you work with one of the essay advisors here, only in a private message, and that you send privately to them your essay, and your sister’s essay. I have an uncomfortable feeling that this could make it pretty clear exactly what happened. Do not post any of your essay - just do it by private message. If you have the article that the two of you wrote together, send that too.

Certainly, academic papers are co-written all the time, and are cited by the several authors as having been their joint work. If it’s a similar situation, and you didn’t copy verbatim your sister’s essay, then it might be explainable, and you might be able to salvage your acceptance.


I don’t believe this is an academic paper. It sounds like something was produced for the organization. It has never been clearly stated what the written material really was.

Getting a lawyer at this stage is probably too early IF cost is an issue. I think the OP needs to outline in their own head what they understand the issues to be; talk with the parents and the sister; get a college counselor to look at everything ASAP and give a recommendation; and then submit the appeal to UC school.

Lawyers are fine, but I would think it would be awfully expensive to have a lawyer do this. If cost isn’t a major concern, I think it would make sense to get a lawyer, particularly an educational lawyer with experience in dealing with the UC system, involved, as this has ramifications for both OP and OP’s sister.

I agree with another poster: I think any further communications on CC or other sites need to be done by PM.

OP: I would strongly urge you to focus on what you believe the issues are. The folks here are incredibly knowledgeable and have great ideas. But it’s taken numerous posts to get CC’ers to understand what the issues are as you see them, telling me you might not be all that clear yourself. You have to have as much clarity as you can and be totally honest with your parents, counselor, lawyer, sister etc. I’m a lawyer myself, and the worst thing a client can do when represented is not tell their lawyer EVERYTHING, holding things back.

Academic plagiarism, if that is what this is, can be a tricky subject. For example, I find it strange that I can be held liable for citing my own previous work without attribution if is not copyrighted. Accordingly, don’t take anything for granted and make sure you cover all the possible issues.

I TRULY wish you the best of luck. Be focused, work hard the next few days, get your advisors lined up, make sure you and your parents/sister understand all the ramifications, and then submit your appeal.

Take care!


Many of your responses in this thread are to slightly different questions than asked that shade your actions in a more benign light and making it difficult, as @mynameiswhatever noted, to get clarity on what happened.

In the end I think it boils down to this. UC says “The personal insight responses should reflect the student’s own ideas and be written by him or her alone.” You’ve conceded several times this is not true, the passages you submitted were not written by you alone. I don’t see how you can dispute this with UC by showing them your words came from an article jointly written with your sister.


What do you suggest as a winning strategy?

The question should not be about adopting a winning strategy. It should be about being truthful and transparent.

If the OP was naïve about the ramifications of citing a coauthored work without citation, then the OP should own that. I don’t know how such an admission will affect the sister though. The instructions given in the UC application material seem clear.


I’m not sure there is a winning strategy.

  • If substantial portions of your PIQ are the same as or very similar to your sister’s past PIQ, then the AO will assume you copied and resubmitted portions of her PIQ, which is a violation of the UC application rules.
  • Even if you convince the AO that you weren’t borrowing from your sister’s PIQ, and that, rather, you both borrowed from a previously co-written article, then it is still a violation of the UC policy, only you would have implicated your sister for the same violation.

I suppose you could try to convince them that neither of you knew any better, and beg them to give you both a break and ignore the policy violation, but the risk in pursuing such a strategy is that you would potentially be putting your sister’s standing at the school in jeopardy.


I concur. The OP should consider moving onto other applications despite any economic advantages of UC admissions. The sister’s situation could well be jeopardized.


I am reluctant to give definitive advice without actually knowing all the specifics. The fact pattern as described doesn’t sound good honestly.

As others suggested consulting with either a counselor or lawyer who can review the similarities of the applications and full context is your best course of action.

In general terms I think @mtmind has pretty much offered views similar to mine given the limited amount you have revealed.

Again very sorry you are on this position.