Go back to Step 7: Finalize your application
2. Do not plagiarize. You will obviously use the internet to help you complete your subjective side, but never plagiarize. Respect the intellectual property of others. When you take someone's idea to build your own, American schools expect you to acknowledge and credit references. They use automated plagiarizing checkers to verify that you did not steal thought with the intent of trying to sell it as your own. Plagiarized mission statements automatically result in your application going to the bottom of the pile.
Every image we have used on our site was already designated for free use in the public domain. And note that we have acknowledged the owner of the image in a caption. Every quote or thought we have referenced from another source - under generally accepted principles of fair use - provides a link to the original author many times crediting him/her by name.
Plagiarism is an issue in American schools and colleges. High profile plagiarism cases have included such people as US Vice President Joe Biden and the current US Senator from Montana, John Walsh. (In Walsh's case, the college revoked his entire degree because of one plagiarized paper). Obvious consequences are a lowering of their public profiles and a loss of public trust but other direct penalties generally apply.
Plagiarism is not a problem just in the United States. It is an issue in other advanced economies as well. And there's no statue of limitations to plagiarism - that is, simply because the crime occurred many years ago it is not excused. The best example of this occurred on Feb 8, 2013, when the German Minister of Education (look at the irony here!) was stripped of her Ph.D earned 33 years after the fact because she allegedly copied parts of her thesis. And the minister had to resign in disgrace.