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Author Topic: Anyone willing to look over my honors violation addendum?  (Read 1388 times)

moonlitesana

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Anyone willing to look over my honors violation addendum?
« on: February 04, 2009, 01:14:24 PM »
Hi everyone,
I am in a panic over this issue. Below is my addendum on my honors violation. Any suggestions for improvement would be highly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

This addendum explains the circumstances behind an honor code violation from my freshman year in college. My roommate and I were accused of assisting one another on the final exam for PSCI 3754. Despite the professor’s instructions that students were to prepare their original work for the final exam, my roommate and I worked together to prepare our answers. As expected, our responses on the actual exam were nearly identical. We were found guilty of the charge and received a double-weighted zero on the final exam, which resulted in an “F” for the course. This severely hurt my GPA but taught me a valuable lesson. From that day onwards, I never made any errors in following the honor code or my professors’ instructions. I was assigned 50 hours of voluntary service to the university which I successfully completed by working at the Graduate Life Center building. I learned a lot from this mistake and I understand the seriousness of an honor code violation. I sincerely apologize for my behavior. However, I would like for the Admissions Committee to consider that my academic and judicial records indicate that I have not repeated this mistake since its first occurrence and I guarantee that it will never recur in the future. Furthermore, the “F” is certainly not reflective of my grades throughout college. I hope that the Admissions Committee will agree that I have grown from this incident and I request that they place more emphasis on my strengths and not this violation when making their decision. I thank you for your time and for giving me this opportunity to offer an explanation.

Stole Your Nose!

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Re: Anyone willing to look over my honors violation addendum?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2009, 07:55:07 PM »
Given the circumstances, I think it's about as good as you can do.  It was refreshing that you just owned it rather than trying to come up with some convoluted reason for why you shouldn't have been found guilty and really deserved an A. Law schools take honor code violations very seriously, but I am sure you know that and will be applying to as many schools as possible.

Also, it's not really "voluntary" service if they're making you do it.  I'd go with "community service."

You should also plan on being in the top 25% on both measures for your safety schools, and you should have more than one. 

aldiinfo

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Re: Anyone willing to look over my honors violation addendum?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2009, 09:38:15 AM »
First off, I want to say just about everyone has cheated before.  And I imagine that this wasn't your first time nor your last.  I don't think that is a big deal, but what I do think is a big deal is that you live with integrity in that you be true to yourself.  Don't say you are some thing you are not.  Don't say you want to help the poor and never do.  Don't say you want to help others but never do.  Those are much bigger integrity issues and yet I am sure almost every personal statement says something about that. 

I would have a first paragraph that just explains what you learned... for instance, this is what i just quickly came up with... this is just my opinion...   

This addendum explains the circumstances behind inappropriate behavaior I was involved with as a college freshman.  This behavior ultimately led me to learn the most important lesson of my life, that integrity is the most important attribute to my character.  I made a serious lapse in judgment, but I have learned from my mistakes and am determined to never again place my character in question.     

Integrity can be defined as doing the right thing, even when no one is looking.  During my freshman year of college, final exams were quicly approaching.  With the stress of wanting to do a good job, my roommate and I worked together to prepare for a final exam test, despite the instructors explicit instructions not to.  As expected, our responses on the actual exam were nearly identical. We were found guilty of cheating and received a double-weighted zero on the final exam, which resulted in a failure for the course. This severely hurt my GPA and forced me to work even harder throughout my time as a student.  I was punished for my mistakes and given 50 hours of community service. 

I am very lucky that these lessons came early in life and in particular as a freshman.  I was able to overcome this failure, learn from my mistakes, and build my character as I met future challenges with the utmost integrity.  In addition to going through these experiences, I was mentored by a school counselor who helped me see the potential I had within me to make a difference in peoples lives. 

While I regret cheating, I am thankful for being caught.  The lessons I have learned will forever guide my integrity and who I am as a person.  I thank you for your time and for giving me this opportunity to offer an explanation.

Let me know if you have any questions... Nick

Stole Your Nose!

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Re: Anyone willing to look over my honors violation addendum?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2009, 11:29:18 AM »
I kind of like his short, sweet and to-the-point addendum.  You don't really want to spend more time on the negative by repeating cliches.

Also, not everyone cheats. Even if you don't personally think it's a big deal, academic honor code violations are taken very, very seriously in law school. OP clearly knows it's a big deal. I think admissions officers will be willing to give him a chance if his numbers are much better than other applicants, but if you're looking at two kids with the same numbers you take the one who wasn't caught cheating. 

AlisaGreenstein

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Re: Anyone willing to look over my honors violation addendum?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2009, 11:58:11 AM »
I think Nick's recommendations were excellent.  You definitely want to accentuate the positive as much as possible in this instance, rather than the negative, and the best way to do that is to show how you have learned from the experience and it has made you a better person.  And, if you really enjoyed the community service, or got something else out of that, you can also highlight the positive there.  You also want to keep it as short as possible so you don't give the committee that much material with which it can find fault.  You did the best your could with this situation and I hope it works out for you in the end.  Good luck!

Alisa Greenstein | Veritas Prep Admissions Consultant | www.VeritasPrep.com/law

Stole Your Nose!

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Re: Anyone willing to look over my honors violation addendum?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2009, 11:59:11 AM »
Alisa, go away.

Why in the world would your "professional" advice be for the poor OP to spout off crappy cliches like "Integrity can be defined as doing the right thing, even when no one is looking," "I was able to overcome this failure, learn from my mistakes, and build my character as I met future challenges with the utmost integrity," "In addition to going through these experiences, I was mentored by a school counselor who helped me see the potential I had within me to make a difference in peoples lives," "While I regret cheating, I am thankful for being caught."

OP would sound like Miss South Carolina if he wrote that crap.  And this is just weird: "I thank you for your time and for giving me this opportunity to offer an explanation." OP's explanation is professional, succinct, and takes ownership and responsibility for his actions. Please don't take the "I once was lost, but now I see!" tactic that I think trivializes the incident. You did it, you admit it, you make amends and take your licks, you explain it, and you move on and hope for the best.


aldiinfo

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Re: Anyone willing to look over my honors violation addendum?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2009, 01:01:17 PM »
haha... I agree that there were too many cliches in my first post.  I kind of like some of them too though.... 

Good luck in whatever way you go Moonlitesana!  :)

PS> Stole Your Nose, I agree that not everyone cheats... and that it is a big deal!

Stole Your Nose!

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Re: Anyone willing to look over my honors violation addendum?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2009, 07:19:37 PM »
I actually do like the "While I regret cheating, I'm thankful I got caught" idea.  I think you could rephrase the sentiment and include it in the addendum as a one-liner.