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Application, Personal Statement, philosophy

Is It Ethical to Hire an Editor for Your Personal Statement?

Editing personal statements is one of the The Write Mann’s most frequently requested services. Some clients just need a proofread, confirmation that they haven’t misspelled anything. Others need feedback on the best way to structure the essay, as well as help identifying information to add or exclude.

There is a significant difference between having someone write an essay for you, and getting feedback to make sure the essay you wrote will stand out for the right reasons. Hiring a writer to create your essay without your involvement, or to even make things up is absolutely unethical. It excises the personal aspect of a personal statement. Hiring a writer to fabricate a brilliant letter is fraud.

Editing isn’t the same as writing. An editor takes an existing draft and provides guidance to polish it. This may include changing the order of the content, noting gaps, excising details that weaken the message, and suggesting language changes. There are many situations where hiring an editor will equalize opportunities for members marginalized communities who have significant of barriers to education, making it both ethical and a good choice.

  1. Learning disability
  2. English as a learned language
  3. Neurological wiring
  4. Humans aren’t perfect

Learning Disability

People with disabilities have to work much harder than their unimpaired peers for the same end result. Life is more complicated, and options are automatically limited. Hiring an editor can give an applicant with a learning disability an equitable shot at a position.

While there are a lot of techniques to help people overcome the impact of a learning disability on their writing, these are far from perfect. Built-in spell and grammar checkers have come quite far, but regularly make mistakes. Having a learning disability doesn’t mean you’re a bad candidate for a school or program, however, an essay full of grammar errors can result in automatic rejection.

English as a Learned Language

Reducing the indicators of an applicant’s English acquisition status reduces the impact of racism.

In addition to grammar errors, the essays of non-native English speakers may stand out for words or phrases that are technically accurate, but sound odd to a native speaker. The United States was founded on mass immigration, but there is significant bias against first generation immigrants in many fields, locations, or institutions. This can result in more qualified candidates being passed up by the admissions committee.

Neurological Wiring

Society is finally getting the memo that not all brains function the same way. A personal statement is autobiographical story-telling with a focus. The way you think and process information or memories will influence your essay’s structure and content. Some people can’t think in the written form, instead thin in images, colors, or textures. Others may be non-linear. This can make essay development intimidating and incredibly difficult.

We can’t rewire our brains, and we shouldn’t expect people to try. In this case, a developmental edit, with feedback on order and arrangement of content can be crucial in crafting a personal statement that meets the needs of the admissions committee.

Humans Aren’t Perfect

We aren’t robots, immune to making errors. Having a second set of eyes is always helpful, whether it’s a teacher, a friend, your mom, or a professional. It’s like a safety net, and it’s something routinely encouraged in the professional world.

When it comes down to it, the ability to write a good essay may have nothing to do with the field you are pursuing. Whether it’s another set of eyes or help overcoming barriers, a good editor will ensure that your essay shares the important elements of your life in your voice and your words. If you wrote the first draft and are making the decisions about which suggested changes to include or reject, it’s still very much your essay. It’s okay to get a this kind of backup on a task that can have such significant impact on your life.

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