Many professors have a strong opinion about using undergraduate work for grad school assignments. Many professors argue that this is not the best idea because the assignment will be too easy to complete, or they might not learn anything new from it.
Some say that it is good because you can tell how well students could synthesize information and use their knowledge as an undergrad.
Undergrad work for grad school assignments is not a bad idea because it can be very helpful in showing how much the student has learned and whether or not they would be able to complete similar tasks as an advanced graduate student.
However, if students are given too easy of an assignment, they might not learn anything new from it. It also depends on the student and what they are good at learning. Some students might complete a grad school assignment without too much extra work. At the same time, it would take other students more time because of their strengths in different areas.
It’s hard to know what professors think about using undergrad work for grad school assignments. But you probably want to ask about it before you write the paper.
Especially if it’s a course for your primary or if there are any requirements in the course description that say, “you will be expected to write at least one essay. You will be expected to get at least a B-.”
If there are no course requirements for this particular class, you can ask the professor if you can write one of your undergrad papers for the grad school class even though it was assigned earlier.
You’ll need to explain why you did the assignment already.
If there is some requirement that says you have to write an essay, it would be inappropriate for you to do the same paper as the grad school class assignment.
That is unless the professor knows that you are applying to grad school. If the professor doesn’t know that you’re applying to grad school, I’d say it’s okay to do the assignment for their class, even if it was assigned in an earlier course.
You should only do the grad school assignment if you have a strong reason for getting an A in the grad school class. For example, maybe this is your first time applying to grad school, and you don’t want to write a B+.
Or perhaps you want to work on a specific part of the paper that you didn’t spend time on in your undergrad class.
The most important thing is to have some excellent reasons for doing an assignment for an undergrad course over one for a grad school class.
if you’re not sure about the assignment, consult with your professor before you do it. Or if it’s not possible, then don’t do the assignment. Don’t go around telling other students that they can get an A if they rewrite their papers for your grad school class.
Below are some examples in which it would be okay or not okay to rewrite an assignment for a grad school class over one you did in one of your undergrad classes.
-A requirement says you have to include two sources. You don’t have two sources for the paper you did for the undergrad class, so it’s not appropriate to rewrite your paper for the grad school class.
-You had something else planned where you wanted to use this paper as an example, so rewriting it doesn’t work out. – The professor assigns a specific topic and asks you to write your paper based on your knowledge or opinions.
You don’t personally know enough about the topic to write about it for the grad school class, so you can’t rewrite your paper.
- Your professor asks you to do something like explain a historical event, and you explain it very well in the original assignment. Or your professor asks you to write an essay and asks what part of the essay is most important.
You don’t know enough about the paper’s topic to rewrite it for your graduate class, so you can’t do this assignment.
- Your professor asks you to write an analysis of a complex literature piece. You didn’t find anything in the literature piece that stands out, so you can’t rewrite your analysis of the literature piece for the grad class.
You might worry that some professors say it’s okay to write papers for other courses over and over again. I’ve worked with some students who used the same paper for their undergrad and grad school classes. And it doesn’t make sense to me.
I think you need to provide evidence of your intellectual development to get into grad school. You don’t show academic growth just by repeating your undergrad work over again. That’s cheating yourself.
Example of a professor saying it’s okay to rewrite an assignment
One of my former students had her first undergrad class on the book Frankenstein. One of the assignments was to write a summary of the book. In another class, she wrote an overview of the book using something other than her textbook. She also let me know that she had rewritten her summary in a grad school class.
Also, there were some assignments in her first class where she had to include a list of sources and bibliographical information. But since she already did this in an earlier course, I told her I wouldn’t use any of those papers for my graduate classes.
-Example of the student not getting an A in a course because he had to do the same paper over and over again:
One time, I had a student who kept doing an assignment for an undergrad class and rewriting it for my grad school class. He probably thought he was showing intellectual growth.
But I told him that what was happening was not intellectual growth. But he wouldn’t get an A in my classes if I continued using his papers as assignments for my grad school class.
-Providing evidence of intellectual growth
I think that showing evidence of intellectual growth is very important. It’s one of the reasons I tell my students to write a statement about themselves during the application process.
And I think you need to provide evidence of your intellectual development to get into grad school. You don’t show academic growth just by repeating your undergrad work over again. That’s cheating yourself.
In Conclusion, Graduate schools might let you rewrite your paper over and over again if the professor says it’s okay.
But, unless you have a strong reason, I don’t think it’s a good idea to do so.
You will also want to avoid self-plagiarism when using the same undergraduate assignments. Self-plagiarism is when someone writes an essay so that it looks like the person copied and pasted text. Self-plagiarism can occur when you copy and paste or use quotes from another source in your work.
Also, I don’t think that schools will consider your repeated writing as evidence of intellectual growth. It’s not evidence of academic growth because it shows you can repeatedly write papers of the same quality rather than lead your intellectual development.
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