Student Papers for Sale

I was cruising craigslist.org for freelance writing and editing gigs, and found an ad from an English graduate student who was offering to write papers for students at $10 page. I emailed him/her, asking how they could do this. After all, they were an English grad student, and the possibility exists that they may already be teaching and/or that they plan to enter the field. I wonder how they would respond if one of their own students availed themselves of this service. Now THAT would make for a great story, wouldn’t it?

I’ve yet to receive a reply.

I do not hold Craigslist.org, responsible, and if you read their “Terms of Use”
(http://sandiego.craigslist.org/about/terms.of.use.html ), click “I agree”, then you know that “âÂ?¦all postings, messages, text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, or other materials posted on, transmitted through, or linked from the Service, are the sole responsibility of the person from whom such Content originated” (Item 2. “Content” http://sandiego.craigslist.org/about/terms.of.use.html).

Have you been approached to write a paper for someone? Have you bought a paper for a class? While I’m not asking for the proverbial show of hands, I’m still curious as to how many individuals have either bought or sold a paper, their rationales, the frequency of purchase and/or sale, as well as the results and/or repercussions. From only a cursory websearch, it seems that business is booming in this field; given that businesses exist due to supply and demand, students-or perhaps their parents, friends, etc. – are definitely buying.

So, since we know this isn’t a fiction generated by my mind, and that it raises issues and is of considerable concern for college and university campuses, aren’t you just the least bit curious as to whether this occurs in middle schools, junior and senior high schools?

I have no doubt that it doesâÂ?¦Services such as these may explain, in part, why our nation’s literacy level is so dismal.

Both inside and out of school, I was approached to write papers for a variety of students in different majors. Sometimes, the inquiry was off-handed, but there were a few direct requests with cash and/or check book handy. In case you’re wondering, I declined each one, even though I really needed the money as a full-time college student who was also a working single mom.

As a professional writer, I’ve also been approached to do this. My response is this: I’ll be happy to facilitate your process, to assist you with idea generation, strategy, editing and revision guidance, etc., but I won’t write it for you. End of discussion.

I don’t think I need to tell you that there’s a plethora of sites out there. One such site, DirectEssays.com, states: “Get Immediate Access to over 101,000 high quality term papers & essays!” This is a paid-membership site, and ironically, I found this in their FAQ section: “6. Can I turn in a paper in as my own? Absolutely not, turning in someone else’s work as your own is unethical and against the law” (http://www.directessays.com/faq.php).

So what is it then, that this company supposedly provides? You can purchase a paper, but for what? To just look at it? For study? To compare it with your own paper on that issue? Why would a student do that if the opportunities are free within the classroom-then there’s teacher conferences and tutor centers, peer review and such. Sorry, this disclaimer doesn’t wash with meâÂ?¦

There’s also an impressive list of fields and topics. I turned to the English paper section, which has an A-Z list of papers that include such titles as “Zora Neal Hurston” (a choice of two, one at 1649, and the other at 923);”Macbeth, a butcher?” coming in at 4552 words; and a variety of film reviews including “Dead Poets Society and Henry Thoreau”, tallying in at 698 words (which is actually an acceptable “mini-paper” length in my classes.). There are synopses and summaries provided, but in order to see the entire paper, you need to be a member. Their sign-up page entices students with the following:

Running out of time? Need a paper right now? Tired of looking through all those free sites only to go in circles, or get led to sites that charge $8.95 a page? Direct Essays.com is the answer! (http://www.directessays.com/signup.php)

And just in case you’re curious, a 30-day membership costs $29.95, while a 180-day membership costs $89.95 if by check, and $74.95 with a credit card. (http://www.directessays.com/signup.php)

Yes, I’m planning to conduct additional research, and yes, I’ve also placed a few calls in order to determine what would occur if a student were caught, etc. When the verdict is in, I’ll let you knowâÂ?¦

Until then, I read the aforementioned craigslist.org posting (sans email) to my three English classes. We had quite the discussions, with topics ranging from plagiarizing, cheating on tests, and whether or not elected officials write their own speeches. The students who appear in this column volunteered to participate.

R.W.

The expertise of being able to competently – if not eloquently – write a paper or a report, is a skill that needs to be learnt. Much like playing an instrument, very few people are naturally great writers, and so to improve, it is a case of practice, practice and practice some more! Buying a college paper is unethical in that it gives unfair advantage (in most cases) to one individual over the rest of the students in the class, most of whom have had to work harder than just pulling $20 from their pockets. However, while I believe it is unethical and also fraudulent to pass off a paper written by someone else as your own, the true crime is really perpetuated by the student against themselves.

By not writing the paper, the student no only diminished their own chances of improving their writing style, but they are also setting themselves up for possible academic suicide. For instance, what guarantee does the student have that the paper will be angled correctly for the individual professor, or even that the paper holds any type of relevance that would be gradeable, let alone worth an “A” or a “B”? The student who buys a paper could quite easily for left with a paper that is poorly structured, not in the correct format, bears no relevance to the class AND be twenty dollars lighter in the wallet.

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G.T.

Sure you are turning in someone else’s work and calling it your own. The thing is you bought it, paid the writer and he/she accepts that you will be calling it yours eventually. The writer is happy and the student is happy. You didn’t steal the workâÂ?¦

I myself am a horrible writer. Many times my friend has offered to write a paper for me. I have always said, “no”. Not for the fact that it is wrong, but for the fact that the writing style will have changed dramatically and I more than likely would be caught.

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Anonymous

There is always a time in people’s lives when they can’t complete an assignment; maybe because of the death of a friend or relation, or because of some other problem; but paying someone to write a paper for you seems wrong to me. There are other ways of getting around itâÂ?¦talking to your professor about it. If the professor doesn’t let you turn it in late, then fuck it, is it really that important?

My uncle and aunt are really smart people. They graduated from college with the highest grade point average, and they don’t have a high paying job. Just because you graduate from a good school with good grades, it doesn’t mean you are going to do good in life.

I think it’s unfair for the other students for you to pay someone to do your paper when they actually put effort in it. It’s kind of a clichÃ?©, but life isn’t always fair.
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B.H.

In terms of what’s ethical or not when speaking on whether a student should or should not purchase a paper written by some one else we have to address all aspects. I for one fully believe that it is completely unethical to buy or sell research papers – or any papers for that matter. Writing is a very personal thing, and I would feel uncomfortable putting my face to someone else’s words. I work my rear off in school to get the grades that I have, so when I hear of someone else committing this sort of “identity theft” it really upsets me. The reason that I get so angry is because I have to do the work myself and I feel that if I have to, EVERYONE should have to do their OWN work. I personally do not think that under any circumstances, whether it be death in the family or lack of time, that someone should get away with this. Life is full of “things” that get in the way, and people don’t just go around making excuses for the things that happen in their lives.

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T.C.

I strongly oppose the idea of buying papers for any subject that is being studied. When the paper is for college level classes and available for purchase, the overall quality of education suffers. This is by no means surprising due to my own viewpoints on the quality of output in the workplace today. I feel many people enjoy the easy road, yet want the same appraisal given to the disciplined, enduring ass-busting student who really goes to great lengths to create, edit and refine their written projects. When I have received papers back from any professor and there are edit marks on them, I truly take to heart the comments given and work very hard to adopt the critique into my overall writing technique. Without correction, many people feel the actions they take are appropriate. I feel people who don’t enjoy a little toil, sweat and grief along the way are just cheating themselves from the true value of education; to learn requires some instruction, and if you are not in the pursuit to learn, you should take your ass home. Time constraints and overwhelming life matters affect everyone, and we have the capacity to rise above life’s mundane and relentless attacks. The value of doing your “own” work can never be replaced by paying someone to do it for you.
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anonymous

Getting a paper written for you is very easy. There are websites on the internet which sell papers. You have to pay $24.95 and you get unlimited access to papers about any subject. Just in case you have too much on your plate, you can take out your credit card and print out your paper that is due tomorrow. This way is cheaper than paying someone to write a paper for you. Plus, you have thousands of subjects to print out, with your payment of $24.95.

I have been tempted to use these services, because sometimes I am really busy with other classes. The only problem is that for some reason, I don’t have money at the time I think about buying a paper on line.

I wouldn’t feel guilty getting a paper off the internet because usually, most teachers just give you busy work. Sometimes, teachers will assign you a paper that will have nothing to do with the class and they don’t really care what you write about and usually they don’t even grade it carefully. If I am passionate about a subject, I will write my own paper, without thinking about cheating. Sometimes life throws a curve ball at you and you have to adjust. Sometimes the adjustment is $24.95 and a click away.
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T.B.

When I was in seventh grade, my teacher gave us the assignment of keeping a notebook throughout the year. At the end, we had to turn it in and it counted for 50% of our final grade. On the final day of class, I couldn’t find my notebook anywhere. Then, I saw the boy next to me with my notebook. I was so happy he found it, but my name was erased and he wrote his name over it. I could still see my name underneath, and I was furious. I went to the teacher and told her what happened, and she accused me of lying and I ended up with an “F” for that class.

When I got my report card, my mom found it very strange I had all “A’s” and 1 “F”. She went to the school to discuss the matter. The teacher told the principal she gave all the notebooks back to the students who came by the school. There were none left.
A few years, I found out that that the teacher had been fired for “racial” reasons. She was a member of a hate group, and the school did an investigation and she was let go. I, however, have never fully recovered. I’m still upset about it after all of these years. It really hurts to have someone else take credit for all the work that you do. I think people should have characterâÂ?¦
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J.M.

Students purchasing papers to present as their own work is stupid. The student gains no knowledge on how to write a proper paper, although the person might get a good grade. Coming out of college not knowing how to write a full sentence might be a little humiliating for that person. What if that person ends up getting a job where they need to write reports?�That person will not last, or she would be fired in a matter of days. Also, it could be a waste of time because he or she might be forced to go back to school to learn how to properly write. That stupid student who chose to buy papers online or wherever just wasted a�couple hundred dollars buying a paper. I also think that the person does not have any confidence in themselves to write a paper so they must rely on others to do so.

– end-

Anonymous

If students want to turn in a paper that they purchased with their own money and presented as theirs, I think that is fine because they didn’t steal from the person. Teachers should let them because most students purchase papers when they don’t have time to do them, which makes it ok because they are busy with other things. I think that people need to stop making it a big deal because by having the student turn in that paper, it really shows that he/she cares about passing the class. Some students ask their professors if they can get later deadlines, but the professor says, “no”; therefore, the student doesn’t have no choice but to turn that purchased paper in. Honestly, I would not turn in any paper that I did not do, but if other students want that, it should be fine with teachers.

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Anonymous

Sometimes people are tempted to do this because everyone is human. Sometimes it might not seem wrong because you are telling yourself “I’m gonna do it one time only.” Knowing that you received an “A” for not doing anything will tempt you do it again. I personally was approached and was asked to write a paper for money. Knowing that I’m a good writer, if I put effort into it, I said “no!”âÂ?¦The point is, a person should believe in themselves, that they could write it they put their time into it. Everyone has something to do, but why are you going to school if you know you are going to be too busy to do the work? âÂ?¦ A person should do his or her work under any circumstances. When you get a job and have kids and they ask you to help them out, what you gonna say? The point I’m try to make is other people doing your work is wrong and whoever is caught should be punished and the writer should also be punished. Everyone should believe in themselves because everyone can do anything with time and effort.

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R.F.

We, as a community, should do something about this. Whether we like it or not, there will always be a person who is willing to write your paper and someone who is willing to pay for a paper. The school system needs to come down harder on people putting out ads in papers for the “paper for hire”. In which way should we do it? I’m not sure, but the only way I can think of is to just keep doing your own work . Eventually, all the “cheaters” will be caught.

Ethics in college campuses are not always clear; there are too many young inexperienced and underachieving people who honestly do not give a “F#@K”.

In a discussion during my English class, I noticed that most of my classmates were outraged because there are people out there in politics and CEOS of major corporations who are paying others to write papers for them; sure they have the power to do so The question is, did they pay people off to write their college papers? Should we be concerned about the people we vote and work for?

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E.F.

I find it ironic that a nation whose last election was decided on “moral values” increasingly requires its professors to function as policemen, its elementary and secondary school teachers to function as parents, and parents to function as supportive friends. I understand that in our capitalist society, every need has an outlet. If a college level student wants someone to write an “A+” paper for them, they can find hundreds willing to do it for the right price. But beyond the money, what is the real cost?….

Your teacher may catch you-maybe not. You may end up getting an “A”, a great degree, a great job, but sooner or later, someone is going to figure out that you can’t write, that you can articulate your thoughts and ideas – or worse, that you have few thoughts and ideas because you’ve never gone through the process of developing your self. As a nation, we’ve become so obsessed with success that we want to get there immediately without developing the skills one needs to succeed.

Each of us has a responsibility to ourselves to develop ourselves to the best of our ability, regardless of whether our ability is rated an “A” or a “C” on someone else’s scale. We also have a responsibility to teach right over wrong, and to teach our children how to do the same. We also have the responsibility to let teachers teach, not police, for parents to guide or advise, not pressure, and peers to hold each other to higher standards. Complacency breeds mediocrity-and we all become more mediocre when we choose to “get by” versus achieving on our own merits.

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M.V.

Morally, I do not agree with getting somebody else to write my papers for me. It is cheating, no matter what way you phrase it. Unfortunately, it is becoming more common. People are under a lot of pressure with school, families and work. Human nature being what it is makes some of us succumb to the temptation. Most people who cheat in exams or with writing papers get away with it, and this is how they justify their actions. A lot of people who cheat only do so in classes that are not directly related to their major, because they think they will never use their information again. Cheating is immaturity personified. Most students are mature enough to realize that everything we learn helps us achieve our academic goals. Unfortunately, there are a few who think it is all about taking “the easy path; who knows, maybe they are happy achieving their goals without broadening their minds.

– end-

D.S.

Obviously, the graduate student who made the offer is damaged goods. I am speaking about the individual’s integrity. I believe that to be the central issue here.

In life, creation or the creator, whichever you prefer, has provided you with navigation equipment. I’m talking about your heart, mind and conscience. In life, we are all faced with decisions, and some of these decisions deal with the right thing or wrong thing to do. For most of us, our equipment works fine, and for us there is no excuse for doing the wrong thing. It’s a personal choice. But this is where reality gets you back. Every time you give in, you lose a bit of something you can never get back: your integrity. It gets worse if you give in enough times; eventually, you start to lose yourself. The easiest way isn’t always the best way, especially when the cost is yourself.

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B.B.

Dear Craigslist Advertiser:

Do you ever ask yourself, “Are my actions in providing written work for college students ethical?” Given the actions of your work, I would think not. So many people are frauds, and what you do just perpetuates that. This is not meant to be a personal attack on you, just a personal attack on the actions your have taken. I speak from personal experience on this topic, because I had a professor in the Navy college system who paid people to write his way through school, Bachelors, Masters, and Phd – all the way through. The end result of this was his inability to comprehend my own papersâÂ?¦In order to pass the class, I had to “dumb down” my writing and become less inclined to improve my thinking. I had to make my sentences real short, including a limited use of commas and elaborate word choices.

I became disillusioned in the academic process and felt that it was really a waste of time to learn sociology. So for the sake of academics, I ask you to discontinue your campaign to write students’ papers.

Thank you,

B.B.
– end-

Y.I.

I see this act of cheating as disgusting. The fact that someone is offering to write an essay for someone else for money, and the fact that I know there would be many replies to this offer. Cheating like this is such a pathetic act. One is wasting his school tuition by not working and learning. On top of that, he is “paying” someone to write. How illogical is this? This person might win an “A” in the class, but in the end, he will lose in the game called “real life”. I think we should all know better not to take such offers. We were born with a gift called “intelligence”, shouldn’t we celebrate and florish with this gift? This act is just the same as someone hiring an assassin to kill a person. In this, both the client and offerer are equally guilty.

– end-

Here are a few links for your perusal:

Millenium Essays
http://www.millenniumessays.com/

The Paper Experts
http://www.abcpapers.com/

CA Ed code
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.html/edc_table_of_contents.html

Fraud Policies by Subject
http://www.nacua.org/lrs/Policies/Policies_by_subject.html

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