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mbaMission’s 2013-2014 Duke Fuqua Essay Analysis

August 19, 2013 by

Last year, the admissions committee at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business radically revamped its essay questions—showing some creativity and flair by asking candidates for a list of 25 random things about themselves. Fuqua seems to have gained the insight it wanted through this approach, because its essay questions remain unchanged this year.

The school’s essay requirements—which consist of three short answers of 50 words each, the aforementioned list of 25 random things and a two-page essay—are not only unconventional, they are also demanding. You will need to share a lot of information about yourself, especially through your 25-item list! As always, we suggest that you brainstorm thoroughly and create a plan of action before putting your hands on your keyboard. Although this is standard advice from us, doing so for your Duke Fuqua essays is particularly important.

Required Short Answer Questions: Answer all 3 questions

For each short answer … Read full post

52 get the boot: Plagiarism on MBA application essays

March 8, 2012 by

Application essays are always a significant and arduous aspect of the business school admissions process.  I remember what it was like for me, and am constantly reminded of the epic task by many of my students who are in the throes of composing essays they can feel great about.

A recent story on reveals an unfortunate and alarming story about fifty-two submitted applications to UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.  Through plagiarism detection software, the admissions committee learned that twelve first round applicants and forty second round applicants had plagiarized some or all of their application essays.  The school has defined a line that cannot be crossed: if 10% or more of the essay is lifted from and unattributed to an outside source, then the application will be thrown out without hesitation.

More than 100 colleges and universities are now using a software program called Turnitin to detect plagiarism on … Read full post

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