Essay writing services and exam-taking services

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Anaxagoras
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Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by Anaxagoras »

The cheating industry seems to be growing:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/arc ... se/264036/
A colleague tells the following story. A student in an undergraduate course recently submitted a truly first-rate term paper. In form, it was extremely well crafted, exhibiting a level of writing far beyond the typical undergraduate. In substance, it did a superb job of analyzing the text and offered a number of trenchant insights. It was clearly A-level work. There was only one problem: It markedly exceeded the quality of any other assignment the student had submitted all semester.

The instructor suspected foul play. She used several plagiarism-detection programs to determine if the student had cut and pasted text from another source, but each of these searches turned up nothing. So she decided to confront the student. She asked him point blank, "Did you write this, or did someone else write it for you?" The student immediately confessed. He had purchased the custom-written paper from an online essay-writing service.

. . .

These services have names such as WriteMyEssay.com, College-paper.org, and Essayontime.com. Bestessays.com claims that "70% of Students use Essay Writing service at least once [sic]" and boasts that all its writers have M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. Some of these Web sites offer testimonials from satisfied customers. One crows that he received a B+ on a ghostwritten history essay he submitted at a prestigious Ivy League institution. Another marvels at the scholarly standards and dedication of the essay writers, one of whom actually made two unsolicited revisions "absolutely free." Another customer pledges, "I will use your essay writing service again, and leave the essay writing to the professionals."

. . .

Another disturbing question concerns the writers who produce such essays. Why would someone who has earned a master's degree or Ph.D. participate in such ethically an dubious activity? One answer may be that many academics find themselves in dead-end, part-time teaching positions that pay so poorly that they cannot make ends meet, and essay writing can be quite a lucrative business. For students who can wait up to 5 days, one service charges $20 per page, but for those who need the essay within 16 hours, the price quadruples to $80 per page. The "works cited" portion of essays can generate additional revenue. The same service provides one reference per page at no additional cost, but if students feel that they need more citations, the charge is $1 per source. Some struggling academics may also view ghostwriting as a form of vengeance on an educational system that saddled them with huge debts and few prospects for a viable academic career.

. . .

Some might argue that even students who use essay services are forced to learn something in order to graduate. After all, when they sit down to take exams, those who have absorbed nothing at all will be exposed. That may be true in a traditional classroom, but these days, more and more degree programs are moving online -- and in response, more and more Internet-based test-taking services have sprung up. One version of "Take-my-exam.com" called AllHomework.net boasts, "Just let us know what the exam is about and we will find the right expert who will log in on your behalf, finish the exam within the time limit and get you a guaranteed grade for the exam itself."

And why stop with exams? Why not follow this path to its logical conclusion? If the entire course is online, why shouldn't students hire someone to enroll and complete all its requirements on their behalf? In fact, "Take-my-course.com" sites have already begun to appear. One site called My Math Genius promises to get customers a "guaranteed grade," with experts who will complete all assignments and "ace your final and midterm." And why should the trend toward vicarious performance stop with education? How long must we wait until some intrepid entrepreneur founds ""Do-my-job.com" or "Live-my-life.com?"
:D

$20 to $80 buck per page? But I suppose the middle-man takes a big cut of that. I kinda doubt that the "all writers have MA or PhDs" claim is actually true. I suppose if you can crank out the pages you could make some decent money that way. Not great money.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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Rob Lister
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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by Rob Lister »

If you're going for your MBA, this sort of behavior should be commended; delegating is a big part of running a business.

For an English LIt degree, you're not allowed to hire ghost writers until you've written at least three best sellers.

I like the idea of "doyourjob.com" but I feel like my boss already hired me for that very purpose. And like the student whose paper was too well written to be his, he should have followed my boss' plan, and just had the ghost writer do all the work from day one.

Okay, I'll get serious. I don't think this represents an increase in the level of cheating. Students have been buying term papers since forever; usually just for the arts courses their forced to take as part of their major. If they're cheating on their major courses, life will catch them soon enough.

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gnome
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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by gnome »

You could probably say that the internet has made it easier, but that's about it.
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

gnome wrote:You could probably say that the internet has made it easier, but that's about it.
Or just more visible.
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Nyarlathotep
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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by Nyarlathotep »

Okay, I am going to fess up something. I made a little extra money this spring by ghostwriting essays and taking exams for people (You might not know it from my writing here, but if I take my time and proofread myself carefully, I can write one hell of an essay if I do say so myself). Helped finance my trip to Japan.

From the prices quoted here I think I got gypped ripped off.
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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by Nyarlathotep »

Rob Lister wrote:If you're going for your MBA, this sort of behavior should be commended; delegating is a big part of running a business.

For an English LIt degree, you're not allowed to hire ghost writers until you've written at least three best sellers.

I like the idea of "doyourjob.com" but I feel like my boss already hired me for that very purpose. And like the student whose paper was too well written to be his, he should have followed my boss' plan, and just had the ghost writer do all the work from day one.

Okay, I'll get serious. I don't think this represents an increase in the level of cheating. Students have been buying term papers since forever; usually just for the arts courses their forced to take as part of their major. If they're cheating on their major courses, life will catch them soon enough.
When I was doing the writing, I was doing it for a couple of people who were getting degrees in Construction Management but had to take a Humanities class. Their reasoning, which I agreed with, was that knowledge of how to build a house isn't particularly helped by knowing about the underlying themes of Don Quixote or the major figures of the Dadaist movement.
“Power bases are very dangerous because they attract people who are truly insane, people who seek power only for the sake of power.”

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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by Rob Lister »

Nyarlathotep wrote: Their reasoning, which I agreed with, was that knowledge of how to build a house isn't particularly helped by knowing about the underlying themes of Don Quixote or the major figures of the Dadaist movement.
that. And besides, there's nothing more irritating that trying to discuss the nuances of Nathan Hawthorne works with the guy framing out your kitchen remodel. It's best he not even now he existed.

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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by Nyarlathotep »

I will say the internet has made cheating easier in one way, from my experience. The course my friends were taking was online. Thus, through the technological miracle called 'them giving me their passwords', I was able to take their tests for them too. Something a lot less practical in person.
“Power bases are very dangerous because they attract people who are truly insane, people who seek power only for the sake of power.”

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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by gnome »

Nyarlathotep wrote: When I was doing the writing, I was doing it for a couple of people who were getting degrees in Construction Management but had to take a Humanities class. Their reasoning, which I agreed with, was that knowledge of how to build a house isn't particularly helped by knowing about the underlying themes of Don Quixote or the major figures of the Dadaist movement.
Yeah, but won't they be red in the face when they upset a customer because they built a Doric column instead of an Ionic!
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by gnome »

I fed myself at the University by part-time tutoring. I guess it's more honest work, but I can't say it was because I had more integrity--I was just too lazy to do someone else's work for them.

One time a guy offered to pay me to write a paper, then when I refused because I didn't want to, he jacked up the price until I couldn't afford to say no... then got pissed at me for "turning the screws"!
I think I did a decent job on the paper anyway. Never found out what grade he got.
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
--Soldier, TF2

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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by Nyarlathotep »

gnome wrote:I fed myself at the University by part-time tutoring. I guess it's more honest work, but I can't say it was because I had more integrity--I was just too lazy to do someone else's work for them.

One time a guy offered to pay me to write a paper, then when I refused because I didn't want to, he jacked up the price until I couldn't afford to say no... then got pissed at me for "turning the screws"!
I think I did a decent job on the paper anyway. Never found out what grade he got.
Truthfully, I would have turned them down for the same reason, not too much integrity just too lazy, except that I wanted every cent I could scrounge for my trip and frankly I knew Humanities was a course I could bullshit my way through with minimal effort, so it was easy money. I don't regret it though, because it was an interesting course to take, I had never read Voltaire until I read him for that course, for instance, and I really enjoyed it. And I do know what grade they got (and A and a B+, and I am a bit irked about the B+) because even though the course didn't mean anything to me in practical terms, my ego was on the line.

Still, by the end I came to resent the way it ended up dominating my Saturdays (the day I would do all the work for the course) during the time I was doing it. I can't imagine doing it as a full time job.
“Power bases are very dangerous because they attract people who are truly insane, people who seek power only for the sake of power.”

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Anaxagoras
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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by Anaxagoras »

Nyarlathotep wrote:Okay, I am going to fess up something. I made a little extra money this spring by ghostwriting essays and taking exams for people (You might not know it from my writing here, but if I take my time and proofread myself carefully, I can write one hell of an essay if I do say so myself). Helped finance my trip to Japan.

From the prices quoted here I think I got gypped ripped off.

Tell them you have a PhD. That should up your price.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by Anaxagoras »

Nyarlathotep wrote:
gnome wrote:I fed myself at the University by part-time tutoring. I guess it's more honest work, but I can't say it was because I had more integrity--I was just too lazy to do someone else's work for them.

One time a guy offered to pay me to write a paper, then when I refused because I didn't want to, he jacked up the price until I couldn't afford to say no... then got pissed at me for "turning the screws"!
I think I did a decent job on the paper anyway. Never found out what grade he got.
Truthfully, I would have turned them down for the same reason, not too much integrity just too lazy, except that I wanted every cent I could scrounge for my trip and frankly I knew Humanities was a course I could bullshit my way through with minimal effort, so it was easy money. I don't regret it though, because it was an interesting course to take, I had never read Voltaire until I read him for that course, for instance, and I really enjoyed it. And I do know what grade they got (and A and a B+, and I am a bit irked about the B+) because even though the course didn't mean anything to me in practical terms, my ego was on the line.

Still, by the end I came to resent the way it ended up dominating my Saturdays (the day I would do all the work for the course) during the time I was doing it. I can't imagine doing it as a full time job.
My full time job is probably easier than writing term papers. It also probably pays better and is ethical. I translate and I check and edit translations.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

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Nyarlathotep
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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by Nyarlathotep »

Anaxagoras wrote:
Nyarlathotep wrote:
gnome wrote:I fed myself at the University by part-time tutoring. I guess it's more honest work, but I can't say it was because I had more integrity--I was just too lazy to do someone else's work for them.

One time a guy offered to pay me to write a paper, then when I refused because I didn't want to, he jacked up the price until I couldn't afford to say no... then got pissed at me for "turning the screws"!
I think I did a decent job on the paper anyway. Never found out what grade he got.
Truthfully, I would have turned them down for the same reason, not too much integrity just too lazy, except that I wanted every cent I could scrounge for my trip and frankly I knew Humanities was a course I could bullshit my way through with minimal effort, so it was easy money. I don't regret it though, because it was an interesting course to take, I had never read Voltaire until I read him for that course, for instance, and I really enjoyed it. And I do know what grade they got (and A and a B+, and I am a bit irked about the B+) because even though the course didn't mean anything to me in practical terms, my ego was on the line.

Still, by the end I came to resent the way it ended up dominating my Saturdays (the day I would do all the work for the course) during the time I was doing it. I can't imagine doing it as a full time job.

My full time job is probably easier than writing term papers. It also probably pays better and is ethical. I translate and I check and edit translations.
My full time job is all those things too, except that it's writing accounting software. But I loves me some money and I couldn't turn up my nose at an extra $500 made in a way that admittedly pushed but did not cross my moral event horizon just in time for what I knew was going to be a big expense.
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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by Anaxagoras »

Here's a funny story:

U.S. programmer outsources own job to China, surfs cat videos
Hong Kong (CNN) -- Call it an amazing example of entrepreneurship or a daring play of deceit.

After a U.S.-based "critical infrastructure" company discovered in 2012 its computer systems were being accessed from China, its security personnel caught the culprit ultimately responsible: Not a hacker from the Middle Kingdom but one of the company's own employees sitting right at his desk in the United States.

The software developer is simply referred to as "Bob," according to a case study by the U.S. telecommunications firm Verizon Business.

Bob was an "inoffensive and quiet" programmer in his mid-40's, according to his employee profile, with "a relatively long tenure with the company" and "someone you wouldn't look at twice in an elevator."

Those innocuous traits led investigators to initially believe the computer access from China using Bob's credentials was unauthorized -- and that some form of malware was sidestepping strong two-factor authentication that included a token RSA key fob under Bob's name.

Investigators then discovered Bob had "physically FedExed his RSA token to China so that the third-party contractor could log-in under his credentials during the workday," wrote Andrew Valentine, a senior forensic investigator for Verizon.

Bob had hired a programming firm in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang to do his work. His helpers half a world away worked overnight on a schedule imitating an average 9-to-5 workday in the United States. He paid them one-fifth of his six-figure salary, according to Verizon.

And over the past several years, Bob received excellent performance reviews of his "clean, well written" coding. He had even been noted as "the best developer in the building."
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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gnome
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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by gnome »

...that's beautiful...

*snif*
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
--Soldier, TF2

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Rob Lister
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Re: Essay writing services and exam-taking services

Post by Rob Lister »

I'm really touched. I like bob.