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Why I Won’t Allow Links to Sites That Sell Essays and Papers or Write Them Either

essaysI believe students should write their own essays and papers!

I won’t allow links to sites that offer to write any sort of paper for students. And you can’t hire me to write them either.

This came up yesterday when Antonio Tooley sent me a link to Dark Side of Higher Education: Essay Writing Services and Other Villains  by Karen Dikson

I cheered!

Why? Because this site receives two or three ‘offers’ a week from people who want to write ‘an original’ guest post. When I ask what they will be linking to, it’s almost always some sort of site that offers to write essays, papers, and do other work to students so the students don’t have to do it themselves. Karen outlines this practice and the reasons why it’s pretty awful in her article. In fact, I’d say she got the situation exactly right.

No ideas or work of their own

She has another article, Plagiarism: A Time Bomb or the Path to Success? that points to different aspect of the cheating game. It’s there she quotes Nikola Tesla saying: “I don’t care that they stole my idea… I care that they don’t have any of their own.”

This nails precisely my objection to people selling work to students that they should have done themselves. They aren’t learning anything except how to spend money to cheat. So I keep turning down offers.

Offers to write essays for students

I’m also well aware that many of these sites pay writers semi-decent wages to write the essays and papers for the students they convince this kind of expenditure is a good idea.

In the interests of full disclosure, I once worked for a German student who had come to America to get his Ph.D. While his English was certainly better than my German, which extends to a single word command to tell a dog to sit that I can’t even spell, he knew he needed help expressing his ideas clearly in American English. But they were his ideas and I was working with him on his pretty good drafts, adding an American accent if you will. He’d actually written his paper in his native German, then translated it to English. His advisor insisted he get some help which turned out to be me. He offered to help me get more work like that but I hated the academic strictures and requirements, so I passed.

Do you see the distinction here?

The other thing that is obvious to me as a site owner aimed at helping freelance writers is that many young people are truly poor writers. I get offers of guest posts that are amazingly awful. I don’t think I’m being an old codger who remembers how hard school used to be. I do get posts that are well written from young people as well. My hunch is that those who dodged doing their own essay and paper writing are now discovering that writing well is more than making an online purchase.

Do I think this rant or Karen’s will change the practice of students buying essays and more? Probably not although who knows. A friend from high school who follows my facebook posts suggested, in response to my posting of Karen’s article, that students be required to defend essays much like they do PhDs. I don’t know how that would actually work considering how many students are required to write essays, but I loved that someone was at least thinking of solutions.

What do you think? Am I nuts?

Write well and often,


{ 10 comments… add one }
  • I absolutely agree with this. I find it quite irritating when students would rather hire a writer than do their own work. I don’t mind editing the work of students, but I will not write it.

    • Yes. I remember the dissertation you were tricked into writing–and then you weren’t even compensated for it.

      As a writer who worked for his degrees, I detest the thought of writing for students who should be doing their own work. I understand assisting students whose native language isn’t English, but that is not the same as conducting research and composing the entire work myself. I don’t care if I get paid for it–the practice is unethical!

      The proliferation of websites catering to this irks me even more. I once applied to a job ad, not knowing what it entailed. I received an email containing a secondary assignment to fulfill as a “test” for the job in question. I declined.

      To other writers: Whenever you see ads for “academic writing,” run the other way and do not look back. This cottage industry is booming on this horrid practice. Apparently, the money is more important than integrity.

      And, yes, as someone who may lose his house to foreclosure in the near future, I realize integrity won’t pay the damn bills. Still, I have my limits. I am, after all, a professional. I worked hard to get where I am, and that did NOT include behaving unethically.

      Sorry I have been a stranger, too, Anne. I enjoy your site. I will make an effort to appear more prominently herein.

    • Love it when people agree with me, thanks Brenda.

  • Hi Anne,

    Haven’t read or posted here in a long, long time… I need to remedy that!

    Just dropped in to give a big thumbs-up to this. Pretty much every week someone contacts me on Facebook and asks if I want to partner with them (because of my writing site). It’s invariably academic writing.

    The truly frightening thing is that they don’t get it when I tell them I don’t do that kind of work on principle. They honestly don’t seem to understand that writing someone else’s paper or thesis is cheating. 🙁
    Spike recently posted..05 September 2014: What Can You Sell on WLE?My Profile

    • Hey, Spike… truly good to see you. Not at all surprised we agree on this. Don’t be such a stranger now 😉

  • Anne,

    I totally agree. Students should write their own papers, but unfortunately a whole industry has sprung up around writing term papers for students.

    It’s sad, really. The students who do this are only cheating themselves out of the full value of their education.

    Do colleges still include essays on their tests? I always wonder what the professor thinks when a student who has purchased a term paper writes a shoddy essay on an exam. Does the professor notice the difference in writing style and quality?

    • I suspect professors at least have suspicions… paid-for essays, papers and even essays with applications are just part of what’s wrong with at least some of education these days. And I don’t really have a solution.

  • There’s also a very practical reason to avoid working in this field. If you choose to work for somebody you know is either a cheater or acting as an intermediary for a cheater, you can’t really complain if they go on to stiff you on pay.

  • Hmm, you are doing well. Everybody should avoid giving links to sites that sells essays and papers. Your given reasons behind this is also true. I learned a new thing from your blog post. Thanks for sharing.

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