Dark Side Of Higher Education: Essay Writing Services And Other Villains

08/15/2016 09:36 am ET Updated Aug 16, 2016

College is hard. Professors expect too much, students offer too little. How could you possibly write an essay when you’re still trying to get sober after the last party? Okay, that’s a cliché, but college life is pretty close to the way most people imagine it. So what do students do when they face a challenging situation? They cheat. Plain and simple.

Imagine this situation: a student needs to take an exam, write a research paper, and take a girl out on a date. The logical thing to do is to reschedule the date, write the paper ASAP, and start studying for the exam as efficiently as possible. That’s what a Jedi would do. The ones who’ve fallen to the dark side, however, have a different method: they take the girl out, hire someone to write that paper for them, and cheat on the exam.

Here is how a Reddit user justifies his methods: “I never feel guilty though because school is more about grades than learning. Some people study for good grades. I spend a fraction of that time coming up with a new way to cheat.” This student is going places, right?

When 64 students of Dartmouth College faced disciplinary actions over cheating in 2015, people were surprised. The fact that they were cheating in an ethics class was almost funny. Earlier that year, the University of Georgia investigated more than 600 possible cheating accidents. Almost 70 percent of those students confessed relying on unethical practices. It seems like the majority of the students don’t have ambitions to be heroes.

Orville Silva, Operations Managers at an essay writing service EduGeeksClub, finds nothing unusual in the fact that students cheat. “We’ve measured 15% growth in our company during the previous school year. Students at all levels order essays, and it seems like the trend will keep growing until we make major changes in the educational system.”

Wait, what? The educational system is to be blamed for the situation with cheating? Yes, students are expected to write more papers than ever, but college and university studies have always been challenging. Maybe we should look for the source of the problem in the economy? The competition on all markets is extremely high, so everyone wants to increase their chances of landing a good job by earning a degree. Since all students want that degree, but they don’t have the capacity to cope with all challenges, they find a simple solution: they cheat.

Is Outsourcing Illegal?

There’s nothing illegal in outsourcing the tasks you can’t complete. People outsource everything: grocery shopping, finance management, dog walking, cooking, and even writing. Did you know that most of the autobiographies you’ve read have been written by ghostwriters? There’s no law against outsourcing, even if you intend to hire someone to write your papers or take your exams. Yes, there are university policies against such actions, but students are still able to use legal services that help them cheat.

Where there’s demand, there’s supply. Students need help with papers, coursework, and tests, so the market is ready to offer compatible services. This is what another Reddit user wrote on that same thread: “I always tried to find ways to beat the system both in school and in life. I write papers for people like you… for a living. Ever need a paper written? PM me.”

Who’s the Villain?

Cheating is not prohibited by law, but there’s no way to make it ethical. In these cases, students are pure villains, and they have really effective sidekicks:

  • Essay writing services - online agencies that complete all kinds of papers for students. These services don’t sell plagiarized work, which makes it hard for the professors to reveal or even suspect the act of cheating. According to the insights we got from Silva, 65% of EduGeeksClub’s clients return to buy more papers after getting the grades they want. Students use these services when they have no time to write their own papers, but sometimes they buy papers simply because they are not willing to write them. 

That’s the trick these services are going for: students are at college not for the learning, but for the grades. They understand the point of this educational system and they are making a mockery of it by selling good grades.

  • Plagiarism practices – the ultimate trick for homework and project writing. Students can easily find the information they need with a single Google search. Then, they paraphrase it. They use plagiarism detection engines to make sure they don’t identify where the ideas were stolen from.

  • Secret rooms like Telegram – they are the ultimate sidekicks. Students use various group chats for exchanging answers during tests and quizzes.

  • Online exam taking services – yup, these exist, too. With the growing popularity of online courses, it’s no wonder that such agencies exist. Even exams like GRE are no problem for students who know how to outsource.

  • Online course outsourcing services – they take an entire course for a student, and they guarantee a good grade. These agencies hire experts who can easily ace the finals and midterms in the name of the students who pay for such assistance.       

Is there a way to change this situation? Universities have strict policies against cheating, but they don’t seem to stop students from falling to the dark side of the force. Maybe it’s time to reinvent the entire educational system before we can continue blaming students for being ingenious.    

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