The Counterfeit Paper Trade

| Why write a college term paper when you can pay $20 for someone in Nigeria, Ukraine, or — well, O.K., Texas to do it for you? The Chronicle of Higher Education took a look at a leading essay mill with international ties. Says one writer-for-hire: “I took [an assignment] on Christological topics in the second and third centuries. I didn’t even know what that meant. I had to look it up on Wikipedia.” [%comments]

Elizabeth G

Smelling a connection between those who cheat ultimately themselves with fraudulent term papers and The Whole Mess.......

This mindset where anywhere one can tap a "market" for something people are willing to pay for continues to rear its ugly head in all sectors and all walks of life.

When I was younger, I resented the saying "there is nothing new under the sun." Cruising towards middle age I am seeing it everywhere. I am both saddened and centered by humankind's eery predictability.

Caca Fuego

Wow. Christological topics seems to likely to implicate cheating seminary students, no? Ironies abound. It's like people who steal Bibles: just wait until they get to the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount and realize they have to return the thing (maybe 4 or 7 times over!).


Did you take a look at the map at the bottom of the article? Apparently Virginia is taking a skiing holiday.


Been going on locally for years. I had a roommate in 1988 purchase a mill paper. Only difference was that he had to meet with the service and pay $100.

The internet depressed the prices evidently...


how about to learn something? Or am I being too smug? I blame parents, teachers and yes the Protestant i.e., work Ethic that has been taught to my daughter --- that to take the time to do good work that you value for yourself is not good enough-- cause time is money- my kid gets headaches and is constantly stressed by the public school environment she is in- we are breeding a nation of neurotics, potential heart attack victims (now mothers and fathers and children)- I could go on and on with this. so I don't blame the cheaters as much as the environment that makes kids cheat for the sake of expediency-- let me give you an example. my daughter took a test that- due to scheduling difficulties- was spread out over two days with one day in-between. Students were not supposed to look at the question on the day in-between- just come back to finish off the exam. My daughter cheated, she told me- in between whe went over the question and wrote out the whole entire answer. brought it to class and wrote what she regards as one of her best essays. the teacher saw what she had done- and gave her an unacceptable grade. I asked her about it. She said that she never has enough time to think during a test and therefore did not study for it--. she took the time to think through her answer- because there was time- to think about what she would say in a relaxed way. Now I know why she likes Napoleon. he was independent minded. Her school is producing a bunch of drones--thoughtless, narrow-minded worker bees--


Jason Goodman

Hrm. I'm thinking about signing up as a writer for the service, so I can search for assignments I'm giving my students...

Anonymity works both ways, kids. You never know when the anonymous paper-writer on the other side of the Net is your professor. Or your Mom.


Finally, another option for English majors other than law school and teaching.


It looks like only the writer-for-hire is getting an education.


Why shouldn't they when they are looking to work for the exact corperations they are modeling their lives after, outsource away. Of course even if they did actually did the work themselves, they still will not have learned the most important thing, how to think, most college grads can only regurgitate what they have learned in college not actually having learned from their professors how to think. Free open-mindedness, challange everything even what your teacher is teaching you, in reality, modern economics is unproven theories written over a half century ago, and constantly revised to fit what is actually happening in the real world.


In the professional world, many people employ grant writers. Often, these writers know little or nothing about the subject and are writing from an outline. I can see some obvious differences - academic work is about demonstrating individual understanding - but there are also many similarities. I can only imagine what the NSF and other grant pools would look like if the Principal Investigators had to sign off on a promise that the entire grant application was their own original work.


The problem is dishonestly representing the work as your own when it is clearly not.

Mark Wolfinger

It's such a shame.

College the time to learn. Gaining knowledge is one of life's great experiences. Why would anyone take the easy way out?

Oh yes, it works. It gets people where they want to go.

Integrity? A relic of the past.


Joan A.

Hmmm, I wonder what percentage women/men use these services...
Long ago I wrote papers for my ex-husband.
Why ex, you ask? Well, he cheated on me... ;-)


Sadly, as a teacher, this type of behavior causes me to believe only in the work I assign during class, when I can watch it being done.

My guess is students will see fewer long term assignments as time goes on for this reason.


A much cheaper (i.e. free) option for secondary/high school students is surely their parents...

The 'coursework' element of UK national exams (project type work done at home in student's own time) has been rethought recently since so much of it appeared to be either written by parents or from the internet.


cheaters recognize the odds of needing to know what they are learning are low


There's a very simple countermeasure that at least catches the laziest of the lazy: just require students to summarize their own essay in 1 paragraph on the final exam. If the students can't do it, fail them.

Eric M. Jones

One could short-circuit this cheating-on-term-papers scam and just buy a diploma online. Think how much time you would save. You could start earning the big bucks with no student loans to pay off.


I cheated on exactly one paper in my academic career. I was in high school, and a 3 page paper seemed like a big deal. I looked online, and found a paper on my topic. I still went through it, editing and putting my words into it. I never did this in college. I never needed to. By my second year in college, a 5-6 page paper was just not a big deal. I remember once writing a 6 page paper/final exam that I started about 2 1/2 hours before it was due. I finished with about 30 minutes to spare, and got an A- in the class. But I know people who have done things like this, however, not in their major subject. A friend of mine doesn't care about the classes not related to his major, and will routinely pay his older brother to do his work for him, or even go to class on the day of the test and take it for him (the class is large, and they look alike).
People have always looked for an easier way to get by. Modern technology has made that easier, but I don't think much has actually changed. It's disappointing, but shouldn't really be surprising.