15 Feb 2018

Pay-for-paper services

As a professor, I am constantly pushing students to do a better job in writing essays. This is because the skills needed to write good essays (clear language, analytical precision, logical structure) are skills that will serve them in many other contexts, work and non-work, written and verbal, friendly and professional.

I am therefore very sad to see a plague of "pay-for-paper" services [pdf] that allow students to buy essays written by "professionals." These services are extremely good at meeting "needs" (see Figure -- click to enlarge -- and be sure to read what they say on plagiarism), but they are also a total rip off... not just for society, but for students.

These services criminal dubious enterprises* are a rip off for society because they undermine the learning process, giving students the false assurance that they are qualified for the job, degree or grade that they do not actually deserve (and probably should not pursue; they should aim lower, for success).

They are a rip off for the student because their quality -- despite the hand picked "testimonials" on the websites -- is often crap, meaning that the students are paying good money for bad grades (or good grades that are not detected as ghosted).

Bottom line: Essay mills might make some money for under-employed writers in developing countries, but they undermine education for students and society, just as bike theft gives jobs to thieves while undermining security for bike owners and society. Just say no I'm trying to learn, so maybe I should write my own essay.

* Read this defense from one essay mill: "students need help!" whereas this professor sees essay mills as a response to "rot" in higher education.

1 comment:

Pallavi Bharadwaj said...

This is so so sad... It takes the standard and work required to get good education and even skills to a new descending level. And here I am constantly editing and re-editing my once in a while blog articles and cover letters and so on...

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