Why Do Students Feel As If They Need Them?
I recently had the opportunity to speak with a former writer for a prestigious essay writing service and his experience in the industry.
"I have witnessed the steady growth of this industry for years. When I became part of the team for Rush Essay, I thought we would be writing academic content for students with below-average capacity. I was in for a surprise. We got orders from all types of students - lazy ones who only want to find an easier way out of a messy situation, as well as really smart young people who simply couldn't find the time to do their own work.
I was convinced that students who got into Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford, Cambridge, and other prestigious US and UK universities would work much harder than the ones admitted to "secondary" schools. In fact, they do work hard; and that is the exact reason why they cannot afford to fail. In some cases, the assignment's requirements are so complex that it's difficult for the students to understand what the real question is. The struggles of ESL students are even greater; it is nearly impossible for them to produce degree-level academic content. Since the charges for plagiarism are serious, they have to rely on essay writing services as a solution that provides unique content by the given deadline."
Some statistics - Who buys papers online?
The essay writing industry is a source of interesting statistical data. California, New York and Texas are the most popular regions where orders were coming from. Stanford, UCLA, Berkeley, NYU, Columbia, University of Houston, and other institutions from these states are known for their competitive systems. A student who hopes to graduate from one of these universities usually needs to rely on "unorthodox" methods to deal with all challenges imposed by the professors. Since academic writing is becoming one of the most prominent aspects of the educational system, the constant development of the custom-writing industry is clearly justified.
The most popular types of content requested from custom-writing services are essays, research papers, and MA thesis. Students have an abundance of essays and research papers to write, so there is nothing unusual in the fact that professional writers mostly deal with these types of assignments. When it comes to subjects, students most commonly struggle with projects for Business, English language, and Management courses.
According to those within the industry, buying papers is a necessary reaction to serious underlying issues in the educational system. All college and university professors will tell you the same thing: to them, the act of purchasing papers online is no different than plagiarism. However, some argue that the issue is more complex than that claiming, that the content completed by professional writers is not plagiarized. It is completely unique, well-researched and properly-referenced. When a customer buys this type of product, he has the right to use it as a source for another paper, or simply submit it as his own. The teacher may suspect that the student didn't write a particular paper, but there is no way to prove such claims. Higher education is an industry on its own. Universities accept more applicants, including international students who don't have the needed grasp of the English language to write extraordinary academic content. On the other hand, they don't provide effective support that would enable these students to fit into the system.
The benefits of using custom-writing services are immense for foreign students. In addition, students with part-time jobs, older students who have families and those who are going through tough personal struggles simply need help to go through all challenges they face. The rapid growth of the custom-writing industry is a symptom of the great weaknesses within the educational system, which put students through a great deal of stress and emotional struggle.
What About The Moral Argument?
We all know the definition of cheating is, and simply saying that the work is more challenging for most or that they may not receive enough support from educators, or have enough time to dedicate to the work does not change the definition of cheating, or make it right in any way. Speaking from both ends of the argument, there are those that feel as if these services are creating lazy students and helping to grow an unprepared workforce.
Writing is a vital skill that is applied in many areas of life, especially for those who are entering the workforce, whether they are doing so as an employee or a business owner.
With communications being a vital skill for anyone entering the workforce, our education system recognizes this and strives to prepare our students by requiring them to improve this skill through writing assignments. By outsourcing the work, students, are depriving themselves of the opportunity to strengthen their communications and writing skills.
Are professors and teachers that difficult to reach that so many prefer to risk the stiff penalties of being caught cheating, rather than asking for help? There are many other options available for international, and any other student that may be struggling to keep up, from study groups, to programs within schools and Universities, such as writing centers. What they do require, however, is that the student actually make an effort, by simply making the decision to apply themselves.
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Universities Minister Jo Johnson is launching nationwide guidance to tackle the plagiarism problem on university campuses
Students who cheat using ‘essay mill’ websites face tough penalties under a government crackdown.
Universities Minister Jo Johnson is launching nationwide guidance to tackle the plagiarism problem on university campuses.
This could lead to growing numbers of undergraduates being expelled for serious offences in future.
At least 100 websites provide custom written essays for students to submit as part of their degrees.
At present, it is left to individual institutions to develop their own plagiarism policies in line with the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.
Mr Johnson has now told higher education watchdog the Quality Assurance Agency, Universities UK, which represents vice chancellors, and the National Union of Students to draw up guidelines to clamp down on campus cheats.
He wants the QAA to take action against the online advertising of essay mill websites, and universities to impose ‘tough new penalties’ on students who use them.
It is understood the Government expects universities to sign up to this voluntary guidance, due to be introduced for the 2017/18 academic year, to help create a standard approach across institutions in dealing with students who turn to these services.
This could involve recommending that all universities use expulsions to combat use of the websites, or that they place of marks against students’ academic records, which would prevent them studying further, such as for masters degrees.
The Department for Education has not ruled out introducing further sanctions in future such as fines or prosecution, but this would require legislation.
Mr Johnson said: ‘This form of cheating is unacceptable and every university should have strong policies and sanctions in place to detect and deal with it.
‘Essay mill websites threaten to undermine the high quality reputation of a UK degree so it is vital that the sector works together to address this in a consistent and robust way.’
The spread of essay mill websites was uncovered in a QAA report, commissioned by the Government and published last year. It warned that essay mills were a ‘growing threat to UK higher education’.
The QAA found that the websites often advertise their services to students for a fee and many promote ‘plagiarism free guarantees’ or essays tested against plagiarism detection software.
At present, it is left to individual institutions to develop their own plagiarism policies in line with the UK Quality Code for Higher Education
Prices charged by these sites vary depending on the complexity of essay and tightness of deadline.
They can range from £200 for a single essay to as high as £6,750 for a PhD dissertation. Ian Kimber, the QAA’s standards director, said: ‘Essay mills are a major challenge for universities and colleges because, unlike other forms of cheating, the practice is notoriously difficult to detect.
‘We look forward to continuing our work with the Government and sector colleagues in addressing an issue potentially damaging to students and the reputation of UK higher education.’
Universities already have penalties for students found to be submitting work that is not their own.
Such academic misconduct is a breach of an institution’s disciplinary regulations and can result in students being expelled. But there is no standard approach. The new guidance will urge universities to target essay mill cheats. Institutions will be asked to publicise better their current policies on student cheating.
Information will also be issued to students ‘about the potentially significant negative impacts on their future if they are caught cheating’.
Dame Julia Goodfellow, president of Universities UK, said: ‘Universities take plagiarism and cheating extremely seriously. Submitting work written by someone else is cheating and devalues the efforts of students who work hard to achieve their degrees.
‘The higher education sector has already done a lot of work in this area and universities have become more experienced in detecting and dealing with such forms of cheating. Universities UK will work with the QAA and the NUS to update guidance in this area.
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