Five Tips for Avoiding Being Falsely Accused of AI Use

AI, Personal Statements

5th October 2023

Speak right now to our live team of English staff

When writing a personal statement, you may contemplate using AI to ease your workload. However, knowing that universities use screening mechanisms to penalise AI-generated statements may make you worried. The potential risk of being detected and penalised may deter you from using this approach. Yet, the apprehension doesn’t end here. Even without the use of AI, you can find yourself falsely accused of its use, as discussed in the previous post. This post will explore five tips for avoiding being falsely accused of AI use.

1. Follow university guidance on AI use

Most universities have guidelines on acceptable AI use. In the context of personal statements, this may include restrictions on using AI for developing ideas, tailoring a statement to your background and experience, and proofreading and correcting your statement, as these could undermine your academic integrity. Be aware of these guidelines and make sure you communicate your understanding of them if somebody wrongly suspects you of AI use.

2. Keep artefacts of your writing process

When you write a personal statement, you’ll naturally brainstorm to organise your thoughts. You’ll probably have to write and change your statement a few times before it’s finished. A great way to protect yourself from being accused of using AI is to keep your brainstorming notes, drafts, and revisions. These materials are proof that you wrote the statement yourself. Keep these and show them to your future professors if they falsely accuse you of AI use.

3. Follow application requirements

When applying to a specific university, you will receive explicit guidelines that your personal statement must fulfil. Typically, these guidelines are highly specific, and your evaluation is based on your ability to adhere to them. It’s important to note that AI may not fully conform to these detailed requirements. By ensuring that you adhere to these requirements, you can demonstrate the genuineness of your personal statement and distinguish it from AI-generated content.

4. Cite AI use

If you decide to use AI for some aspect of your personal statement, such as structuring and proofreading it, be sure to cite it! Current guidelines state that any use of AI should be clearly explained in a footnote. If you include a footnote of this kind, you will protect yourself from being penalised for AI use and falsely suspected of using it to complete the whole statement.

5. Make sure your own style stands out

A personal statement written by you will be in your own style and voice. This unique voice and style will run through most academic papers you are sending in as proof of your academic capacities. To avoid being falsely accused of AI use, ensure that your writing style and voice are evident in your personal statement. Admissions committees can then compare your statement to your CV and previous academic work, confirming that it genuinely represents your thoughts and aspirations.

A key message

In the era of increased use of AI detection, you may get easily accused of having used AI even though this accusation is false. This is because AI detection is unreliable and results in high false positive rates. This blog post offered valuable advice for protecting yourself from these baseless accusations and demonstrating the genuineness of your personal statement. In our next post, we will explore five ways AI can help you boost your personal statement while maintaining your academic integrity.