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I recently submitted an application essay for a pre-college program, and was accepted. I'm particularly proud of my essay; I put my best into it.

Now, after the pre-college program, I intend to apply for one of the institute's degree programs.

I've written an essay for the application. Most of it is rewritten, but it does have a lot of similarities (the intro paragraph is nearly identical).

Would it be considered plagiarism for using my own work? If not, is it still frowned upon if there are many similarities, and could impact my chances of getting accepted?

I understand that it is likely that answers are individual to each institute, but I'd like to know what the general answer is.

I've read some sources that claim students applying to multiple schools use very similar essays for all (assuming the prompts are similar), only changing statements specific to each school. So, maybe it is alright that I do such a thing? But then again, this is the same institute I'm applying to.

1 Answer 1

Plagiarism of one's own work is a contradiction in terms. It does not exist. However, duplicate publication is rightfully frowned upon, unless made explicit. Parallel grant application is allowed by some funding bodies and disallowed by others. Even if disallowed, the same application materials may be reused later. Parallel job or stipend applications are taken for granted, and it is perfectly acceptable to reuse the application materials. Whether it is also prudent is another matter. Applications are much more likely to succeed if they are tailored to the position.