Students who buy essays online are being ripped off, according to a report published this week by exam regulator Ofqual. The work they purchase is written by “relatively competent writers”, but who have an “almost universal ignorance of the scope of the work” and an “utter lack of in-depth analysis”. This is completely true. I worked for two of these companies, both from home and “in-house”, which at one point saw 15 of us crammed into the boss’s attic.
Ofqual’s researchers paid up to £220 for essays, but only a fraction of that money goes to the actual writer, who can earn as little as £24 for every 1,000 words. To earn a reasonable rate, a writer needs to finish at least an essay a day. Writers quickly learn the first rule of paid essays: abandon all aspirations to quality, right now.
Despite the fees, the companies contend that they don’t produce “essays” to be handed in at all. Clients buy “research guides” to inspire their own work, in the same way that your Amsterdam souvenirs say “For Tobacco Use Only” on them. But it covers the company: if you hand in your “2:1 Guaranteed” essay and it gets a 2:2, you have already breached your contract by submitting it. There is nothing you can do.
That means for the writer, the game is to hit the word count as quickly as possible. As long as it looks like an essay, the actual words matter very little. Take every shortcut. Rephrase Wikipedia. Always give the counterpoint, no matter how weak: the words “on the other hand” are your new best friend. If you don’t have time to check citations, make them up! If the client can’t be bothered to read a book, he’s not going to check your page numbers.
Quality-checking would vary. One company hired full-time quality staff, but it’s hard to cover every subject area in every discipline, so “quality checks” were rarely more than proofreads. At another company, if you could write on one subject, this qualified you to write on anything. A law graduate would end up doing revision notes on Chinese political history, eventually writing a PhD proposal for an economics student and wondering how they got there. I once wrote a Market Research BA dissertation in two days and heard nothing more of it.
The motivations of the writers were purely mercenary, though those in charge were forced into creative moral gymnastics. “We’re making up for universities’ failings,” they’d say. “These students pay so much for so little. We give them handy research guides.” Writing essays to land rich students no-effort degrees was, to them, a sure route to social justice.
So, you have decided to pay someone for writing your essays. Reasons of your decision may be different, but the fact is that you are going to cheat the system and pay for essay instead of writing it yourself. Do students really understand all risks of choosing custom essay writing services?
Yes, benefits of such services seem obvious, and everything looks quite innocent at first:
- custom essays are quite cheap (though this fact should alert you, and soon you will find out why it is so);
- custom essays are well-structured and professionally written (very often, they are written by college professors themselves. Why do they do so? Keep reading to understand);
- custom essays can’t be detected by plagiarism checkers, because they are not plagiarized actually though they were not written by students themselves;
- custom essays may help you understand the nature of a good paper and write a high-quality essay by your own afterward;
custom essays can save your time, as being a student means having so many tasks and different assignments at the same time, that it may be physically impossible to meet all deadlines.
But everything is not as rosy as it seems at first glance.
The dangers of buying essays online
So, if you try to cheat your professors and pay for papers, you are cheating yourself instead. And here the first risk of paying for essays comes:
- knowing your knowledge and writing style, it will be very easy for your professor to understand that it was not you who has written a new essay. If your previous works were not as good as a new one, your professor will definitely suspect something wrong here; yes, your new work is in a different league now. But how did it happen? Have you suddenly become a guru of essay writing? A good professor will hardly believe that.
Why pay people to write essays
Here the second risk of paying for essays comes:
- when you order an essay, you can’t check the professional skills of your ghostwriter. All of them will definitely say that they are professionals and they perfectly know what they do. All of them will say they are native speakers and they guarantee a high quality of the work they do. But how can you make sure that your money will not be spent on anything unworthy?
Extremely cheap essay writing services can be your first alert that your paper will be written by someone who is not worth your trust.
According to Times Higher Education, prices for such services vary dramatically. One may charge you £70 for a paper, when other one asks £150-£160 for the same work. Prices depend on a region, that it why there is no exact and only scale to understand how much you should pay for a paper of a particular type. And here we have the third risk of paying for essays:
- you can never be sure that you haven’t paid through the nose for your essay.
What can serve as a guarantee here? How to get an essay of a high quality, which is not plagiarized and overpaid? Shall you ask a college professor to write it for your probably?
Why professors do what they do
- if you are caught and disclosed, you will say goodbye to your college and your future diploma. Expulsion is the official punishment recommended for submitting a purchased paper.
But if everything sounds so awful here, it looks really weird when you find out that many college professors are paid to write essays for students. Why do they do that?
In 2010, Ed Dante’s confession blew the Internet up and made everyone speak about custom essays in a different way. His article The Shadow Scholar was published at Chronicle and raised the outrage of society and other college professors. Everyone spoke about teaching ethics, morality and conscience, though the case was about money as well. Yes, simple as that. College professors become custom writers for better income. We all are just people after all.
How to stay safe when paying for essay writing service
- you ask a professor to write a paper on a particular topic. You know that this paper will be of a high quality, so you are not afraid of paying for it. When done, you cite it in your essay. No plagiarism, you are the author of your work. Profit!
Universities do not give any exact policy on citing such works, and that is why ordering them may be quite safe for your reputation. Though it may still be accepted as an academic offense if they notice you citing a purchased paper. As far as you understand, every medal has its reverse. Moreover, college professors do not believe that students would pay for a paper in order to cite it afterward: does it make any sense to pay for anything to cite, if you can find dozens of respectful sources to cite for free?
If you are ready to order and pay for your essay anyway, try to remember the following:
- use only trustful and checked essay writing services;
- keep up with your order progress;
- always check a paper for plagiarism, even if they say they guarantee a high quality of their work.
But maybe it is still worth trying to write a paper for free?
Where to find help with essay writing for free?
- being an active user of such social networks as Facebook and Twitter, you may follow dozens of thematic groups, pages and profiles to ask professionals for help;
- your social accounts may help you find good sources for citation;
- become a member of some thematic forums to research, discuss and ask for essays topic, statement, opposite views, etc.;
- do not ignore Reddit. This advanced search source will help you find all the information related to the topic chosen;
- online libraries of many universities are open for you to use their archives;
- ask your fellows to help you with essay topics, research or structuring your work;
- use some thematic communities, where professionals are ready to help you with editing and proofreading your essay.
Using this huge number of free sources for paper writing, you risk nothing, including the fifth dangerous aspect of paying for essays:
- choosing unknown and unchecked custom essay writing websites that ask you to use your credit card to pay for their services, the threat of your identity theft is always present here.
Certainly, there are many custom essay writing services that work well and do not plan cheating students with bad-quality or stolen papers, their personal or credit cards details theft, etc. And it is a choice and responsibility of every student whether to use such services or not; but taking into account all possible risks and consequences of such a choice, the price you will have to pay for it afterward may be much bigger than a couple of dollars you had paid for your academic paper first.
Now tell us: would you ever pay anyone to write an essay for you?