More Cheating News.

As I noted earlier, I came across a strange resource – but there’s more, apparently: 

The orders keep piling up. A philosophy student needs a paper on Martin Heidegger. A nursing student needs a paper on dying with dignity. An engineering student needs a paper on electric cars.

Screen after screen, assignment after assignment — hundreds at a time, thousands each semester. The students come from all disciplines and all parts of the country. They go to community colleges and Ivy League universities. Some want a 10-page paper; others request an entire dissertation.

This is what an essay mill looks like from the inside. Over the past six months, with the help of current and former essay-mill writers, The Chronicle looked closely at one company, tracking its orders, examining its records, contacting its customers. The company, known as Essay Writers, sells so-called custom essays, meaning that its employees will write a paper to a student’s specifications for a per-page fee. These papers, unlike those plucked from online databases, are invisible to plagiarism-detection software.

Everyone knows essay mills exist. What’s surprising is how sophisticated and international they’ve become, not to mention profitable.

Read the rest here.

H/t to Nicole Hawthorne’s attentive listening to NPR stories.

6 thoughts on “More Cheating News.

  1. Pingback: Velvet Howler › Blog Archive › Cheating Goes Global as Essay Mills Multiply

  2. “Paul Arhewe lives in Lagos, that nation’s largest city, and started writing for essay mills in 2005 . . . In the past three years, he’s written more than 200 papers for American and British students . . . He makes between $100 and $350 a month writing essays — not exactly a fortune, but in a country like Nigeria, where more than half the population lives on less than a dollar a day, it’s not too bad either . . . Says Mr. Arhewe: “I am enjoying doing what I like and getting paid for it.”

    This sounds like a great short story: Nigerian becomes a polymath working at a Nigerian essay mill, develops affection for JS Mill and George Eliot . . . the internet is a great thing.

  3. Really, the internet is an intresting place, where you can help yourself to learn what you don’t through those who are brainy enough to assist.
    I guess this is making more news than I expected.
    There are thousands of freelance researchers out there like myself . Probably, my origin is making this news really something to blast trumpets for……

  4. Paul, I wonder if you could share your thoughts on this then, since you are willing to comment on the story: I realize that you are a freelance writer, but how does that make you feel knowing that students who are buying your papers are presenting them as their own and are cheating to get a good grade? Do you not consider your activity of selling (not writing itself) your work less than honorable?

  5. Emelianov,
    If you read the interview I granted Chronicles, you would find out where I stated that this is an avenue for learning for those students who are serious minded, who would actually read through custom papers they receive from writers like me. However, the lazy students who submit prepared papers without picking idea out of them to form their own writings are those who the blame should be on, and are at detriment to their future.
    As a freelance writer, I pick work for the research company I write for and complete orders according to stated details. I don’t see this unethical when the student ordering them are doing the right thing.

  6. Paul,
    I didn’t say it is “unethical” I was intentionally phrasing the question so as to avoid sounding like a moralizing asshole, ethical or not, it’s for you to decide, and it depends on your ethical standards, if you do it for the money, i.e. out of self-interest, then who am I to judge you in this case.

    I just thought that as a writer you would think this is below you because it will be American Chads and Lindseys that will, even if they looked through the essay and “learned” from it, still submit your work as theirs – what if you happen upon a really interesting idea and it will make some Todd a million, you will have none of it because you are giving up your rights to your own writing – isn’t it a bit disconcerting? I mean people do it all the time, i.e. give up their right to their own work, but I wanted to hear your take on it – That was my question, basically.

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