Five Things to Avoid When Using AI for Personal Statements

AI, Personal Statements

10th November 2023

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In a previous blog, we suggested that AI can be used to support and supplement your personal statement. However, even though AI can be used as a useful tool, this does not mean all AI use is beneficial and without consequences. Read on to find out what you need to avoid when using AI for personal statements to reduce the chances of academic integrity issues and application rejection.

1. Avoid copying AI-generated text

When asked, AI can produce whole paragraphs or even your whole personal statement. Although this may seem like a convenient solution, copying AI-generated text can get you into trouble. AI possesses a distinctive writing style that often comes across as sophisticated, making it easier for professors to detect AI use and reject your application.

2. Avoid incorporating AI-generated bullet point lists

AI may generate informative bullet point lists in response to your queries, which can help in writing your personal statement. However, it is important to avoid directly incorporating these bullet points into your statement. Including bullet points may serve as an indicator of AI use. Personal statements should always be written in paragraph form, using your own words and unique background information.

3. Avoid using AI-generated text without content improvement

Even if you decide to use AI-generated text in an acceptable manner, such as through paraphrasing rather than direct copying, there are still crucial things to avoid. As AI produces overly general text that lacks depth, you should avoid using it without improving the generated content. To demonstrate distinct passion and commitment to your chosen field of study, it is crucial to enrich the AI-generated content with your personal insights and experiences.

4. Avoid AI’s American English

AI-generated text is always in American English. If you need your personal statement in British English, you should avoid directly copying the text generated by AI. If your prior educational background is from a British university, submitting a statement in American English may raise concerns among reviewers and give the impression that you might continue to rely on AI if admitted to the programme.

5. Avoid AI’s short paragraphs

Apart from bullet point lists, superficial content, and American English, another landmark of AI-generated text is a pattern of short paragraphs. When your personal statement is evaluated by reviewers, a series of short paragraphs could signal AI use. Therefore, when using AI to generate content for your statement, it is advisable to refrain from including too many short paragraphs to avoid suspicion from your evaluators.

A key message

The main takeaway from this blog is that not all AI use is beneficial or legitimate, especially in the context of crafting personal statements for university applications. If you copy AI-generated text, you will likely produce a personal statement that includes bullet point lists, lacks depth and specificity, is written in American rather than British English, and is structured in a series of short paragraphs. These are all clear signs of AI use, which could jeopardise your university application.