In substance, it did a superb job of analyzing the text and offered a number of trenchant insights. There was only one problem: It markedly exceeded the quality of any other assignment the student had submitted all semester. She used several plagiarism-detection programs to determine if the student had cut and pasted text from another source, but each of these searches turned up nothing. She asked him point blank, "Did you write this, or did someone else write it for you? He had purchased the custom-written paper from an online essay-writing service.
The teacher believed this conduct represented a serious breach of academic ethics.
As the cost of college continues to escalate, more and more students need to hold down part-time or even full-time jobs.
Some are balancing school with marriage, parenthood, and other family responsibilities.
It is well known that many actors, athletes, politicians, and businesspeople have contracted with uncredited ghostwriters to produce their memoirs for them. At the same time, higher education has been transformed into an industry, another sphere of economic activity where goods and services are bought and sold.
By this logic, a student who pays a fair market price for it has earned whatever grade it brings.
In fact, many institutions of higher education market not the challenges provided by their course of study, but the ease with which busy students can complete it in the midst of other daily responsibilities.
The shrewd shopper, it seems, invests the least time and effort necessary to get the goods.
If most institutions knew their students were using essay-writing services, they would undoubtedly subject them to disciplinary proceedings.
But the use of such services can be difficult to detect, unless the instructor makes the effort to compare the content and quality of each essay with other work the student has submitted over the course of a semester.