This trend reveals many deeper problems in our culture and in the American education system. It also raises some important questions about plagiarism, ethics, and the quality of instruction that students receive.
The most important questions are:
- Is this plagiarism?
- What are the consequences?
- And why are students doing it?
Plagiarism and cheating have existed for generations, in many different forms. In the past, students who were in a jam often asked friends to write papers for them or used a paper that someone else had already written. More recently, as technology advanced, students began copying and pasting text from websites into their papers and passing it off as their own. As this problem grew, professors became savvy to it and software emerged especially to detect this kind of plagiarism.
Now, students can find a vast variety of services online which allow them to pay someone to write their essays for them.
But does this act truly represent plagiarism? The definition of plagiarism is “to steal the words or ideas of another and pass them off as your own.” You could make the case that purchasing an essay online meets this definition. However, students that do this are not really stealing anything. They acquire the work fairly by paying for it and the work they hand in is 100% original and unique, not copied from anyone.
If you have been contemplating using a website that offers college essays for sale, here are a few points to consider.
- Moral considerations. Despite many very good arguments that can be made to the contrary, you will find that college professors and school administrators still view the act of ordering a custom essay online as plagiarism. You may face severe consequences if your instructor finds that you have submitted a purchased essay.
- The importance of developing your writing skills. Writing is a necessary skill for almost any career. By not doing the work to complete the assignments yourself, you may be missing out on the opportunity to improve your writing skills.
- A better work ethic. Doing your own work will keep you from becoming lazy. In addition, it’s impractical to think that you can outsource all your work as you advance. If you buy custom essays online, you may be setting yourself up to enter the workforce unprepared.
These are the same arguments that have been made to dissuade students from cheating for years. And let’s face it: passing off someone else’s essay as your own basically is a kind of cheating.
But is cheating always wrong? Might there be times when it is necessary?
Here are some of the reasons why you might be considering asking someone to write your essays for money.
- Unreasonable workload. Almost all students need to have a job outside of school. Some older students even have families to support. Many are not native English speakers and they struggle with things like correct grammar and punctuation. It’s just not reasonable to expect that every student can keep up with the workload all the time.
- Competition. As more and more students use professional writing services, the bar is set higher. Many feel that they have to purchase online to avoid being penalized in classes that are graded on a curve.
- Professorscan’t usually tell. As their own workload increases, very few professors will take the time to compare an essay that you wrote to your previous work. Even so, they can’t prove that it was plagiarized since the work is completely original.
- It’s a legitimate business model. In the business world, writing tasks are outsourced on a routine basis. There is a growing trend to leave writing to the professionals so that those who are not skilled writers have the time to focus on other things.
- Irrelevance to future plans. Perhaps the essay was assigned in a core class that is unrelated to your area of specialization. Or perhaps this particular type of writing is not an expectation in your future career. In these cases, the convenience of paying for essays may far outweigh any benefits to doing them.
The issue of purchasing college essays for sale evokes strong emotions on both sides. College professors and school administrators may feel angry. Choosing to pay someone to write your essay instead of doing it yourself is perceived as an unfair workaround. When an instructor assigns an essay, he/she has specific goals in mind for his/her students and specific benefits that they will receive from carrying out each step of the process independently. By purchasing essays, you are bypassing that same process your instructor prescribed to help you learn.
On the other side, students often feel that the deck is stacked against them. They struggle to balance competing responsibilities and feel that their professors are disconnected from that struggle.
Are they right?
To answer this question, let’s consider the changing landscape of higher education in America.
The cost of tuition is rising all the time. Students want to avoid being saddled with prohibitive amounts of debt as they begin their careers. As a result, they must work many hours outside of school in order to meet these rising costs, leaving them less time for studying.
To make this problem even worse, studies have shown that only about 37% of high school seniors are prepared for college. In fact, many college professors cite student lack of preparedness as one of the key reasons that their job is harder than it was five years ago. If students come to college without the requisite skills, they can rapidly begin to feel that they’re in over their heads and need help.
So how to solve these problems? The answer is complex. It’s too bad we can’t just hire a professional problem solving service to help us navigate this thorny moral dilemma.