Universities vs. Essay Mills – The Peculiarities of Struggle

Dec 19, 2017 by

Many students struggle with academic writing assignments, whether it is a short story, a dissertation, or a scholarship essay. They may fail to find enough time to complete all their projects. Many young people combine studies with work or simply have an intense schedule. The most common reason is the lack of confidence in their writing skills.

Sadly, most universities don’t provide sufficient support to struggling students. They go online to look for help. This is very easy to do. There are hundreds of websites offering any type of writing assignments, you may find an excellent example in the following link: https://essaypro.com/write-my-essay.html .“Contract cheating” is a growing problem for educational institutions.

The Telegraph revealed that about 20,000 students of British universities are spending up to £6,750 for custom-made essays. Is it worth it? The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) tried to answer this question.

An interesting study proves that students who hand in purchased essays are not just cheating. They may also be wasting their money on inadequate products.

Ofqual’s researchers became mystery shoppers. They found 3 websites promising to deliver the essays of the best quality and made their orders “incognito”. The details of the order were the following:

  • A-grade history essays; length: 2,000 words; urgency: 7 days.

  • A-grade English essays; length: 1,250 words; urgency: a week.

  • The prices for history essays were £120 to £220, and £70 to £138 for the English essays.

According to the report, all the essays were received on time. But they didn’t meet the quality standards. The external examiners who assessed the essays were not impressed. They graded the history essays between B and E. The English essays got the C and D grades.

It was also said that the papers were designed as “model answers”. In other words, they looked like drafts that were meant to be polished later. University students are expected to submit works of higher academic quality.

Some essay writing services didn’t agree with the results of research. Tony Eynon, the CEO of UKEssays, said that the Ofqual’s “presumptuous report” was disappointing.

Mr. Eynon believes that the assessment was extremely “flawed and inconsistent” because the examiners knew the source of essays. If they hadn’t known that, the results would have been much better.

He also commented on the accusations of poor design. The papers were developed as “model answers” to enable students with language barriers to comprehend and organize their work. UKEssays have many customers for whom English is not a native language.

Academics take mushrooming “essay-mill websites” as a threat to the quality of a British university degree. They think it may potentially defraud responsible and fair students who cope with their studies without the “help” of such services.

The Department of Education has put forward a series of recommendations on a crackdown on cheating university students. These include fines, academic blacklists, and even criminal records.

However, the act of such type of plagiarism is difficult to detect. The university’s anti-plagiarism software can spot stealing from already published texts. But it is powerless when it comes to contract cheating.

In January 2017, Lord Storey, co-chair of the committee on education, families and young people, proposed an amendment to make it “an offence to provide or advertise cheating services”. It was offered to “make the practice illegal”.

Amatey Doku, Vice-President for Higher Education for the National Union of Students (UK), believes that the mere existence of these websites is not the core reason for cheating. And there is logic in his words.

He says that students experience great pressure. Their graduation debts will estimate £50,000. It will affect their adult lives.

Insufficient finance support makes around 70% of students work part-time. They automatically get less time to write their papers.

In addition to the external pressure, many students are internally motivated to do their best. They believe that their grades are a measure of their success and may set high standards for themselves. It is quite clear why students are ready to pay these services for their essays.

Moral condemnation will not work in the current situation. Instead of emphasizing the immorality of plagiarism and excluding cheating students, universities should consider the reasons why these essay writing companies are thriving.

Who actually are these writers? The graduates with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees who failed to find a job. Some of them use every opportunity to make some money and pay off their debt as soon as possible.

This is what Andy, a professional writer, told us: “I found myself in the unfortunate position after graduation. I couldn’t cover my living costs. Things changed when I started to write academic papers in my major. Now I make good money and benefit from a flexible schedule.”

It seems like both the customer and the provider are satisfied. Universities and government still have a long way to go in developing academic integrity and honesty.

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