Friday, July 02, 2004

Selling essays - with ethical standards

It was irresistible, after yesterday's post about plagiarism. When I came to the blog this afternoon, the normally ignored Blogger ads at the top were for companies selling essays to students. What could I do but go and have a look?

This UK-based company is totally, utterly brazen. And clever. They take an investigative Sunday Times report into student cheating and turn it into an advert for their service (whilst complaining about the ' tabloidesque... sensationalism of the headline'). You might wonder how? Because the report demonstrates the quality of the essays provided, which is what students prepared to buy essays will care about.

And I hope you're sitting down before you read the next bit. "Welcome to the beginning of the advancement of educational standards in the UK. Welcome to the beginning of an academic revolution, and in short, welcome to knowledge." Yep, the world just turned upside down before your very eyes. In fact, the emphasis most of the time is rather more honest than that: "Our essays service allows you to get a whole lot closer to achieving that crucial 2:1 or 1st Degree, and that career and salary that you've always dreamed of."

And they've got moral standards, you know, unlike some of their competitors. They not only guarantee the marks, but also that the service is fully personalised, essays will never be re-used, and amendments will be made if requested. (But don't try asking for your money back if dissatisfied: they have a 'strict refund policy'. Legally, I'm not sure they can do that - but hell, what are you going to do about it if you're not happy with the essay? Take them to court?) And this may be the best bit of the lot: "The copyright in the all [sic] [the company's] work remains ours, under no circumstances is our work to be distributed or passed off as your own". Yep, they are serious. Go look at the FAQs page. "You must assure us that you will use [the essay] as an educational research tool only. The work remains our copyright and is not yours to hand in. It is there to inspire your final piece. If we believe any other motive exists for purchasing the work then we will not supply you." Those plagiarism and cheating FAQs are pure sophistry.* Read 'em and weep.

I've deliberately avoided giving the company's name (and any extra links) so as to minimise the possibility of adding further to their advertising; that may seem pointless, since any CHEATING BASTARD who happens on this page after a keyword search looking for places to buy essays can just follow the main link anyway. Ah well. But as academics, we need to know what people like this are up to, so I'll take that pretty small risk on the grounds that this is educational, OK?

* and covering of legal arses, of course.


  1. Anonymous11:23 PM

    Surely, but surely, there are extenuating circumstances. Here's one. Certain 101s in chinese banquet degrees that have to be negotiated even if it is a route you will never venture down again. It's like contracting out for a specialist. Many students have to hold down jobs in order to stay in the game and don't have time to waste fulfilling a course's daft prerequesites which they'll never need.

    Ethical standards? How about an honest day's work for an honest day's pay?

  2. If you think the course requirements are daft, you shouldn't be there. That's just taking the piss. And the really hard up students who can't afford to do their course without taking jobs aren't likely to be the ones spending £100+ on buying essays, are they?

  3. Anonymous11:55 PM

    If you can't progress without that particular pass, then, yes they will.

    £100? You can always shop around.


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