Essay mills undermine students’ achievement

More and more students are buying themselves a university diploma. It’s not cheap but it certainly is easy. Yet another article about essay mills (Daniel Maxwell, Asian Correspondant, ‘Essay mills’ damage academic standards, undermine learner achievement) laments the fact that students are not learning as much as they could if they wrote their own papers. One solution proposed is the criminalization of buying a paper and submitting it as your own. « University students caught submitting essays they bought online will be fined and receive a criminal record ».

So much time, money and effort will be spent trying to catch these students. Let’s spend the money trying to teach them how to write instead. Let’s invest in writing centers, tutorials and students will develop the skills to write their own papers…


Essay mill sold 16,000 papers last year!

The article published by Simon Usborne (Essays for sale: the booming online industry in writing academic work to order, The Guardian, March 4th 2017) is frankly horrifying. Some of the statistics and practices surrounding the sale of essays is discouraging. How can we expect students to write their own papers when it’s so easy and cheap to buy one that comes  » with a series of promises. The work we produce is guaranteed to meet the grade you order, or you get your money back.” It will also be “100% free from plagiarism” – and on time ».

According to Usborne, there are more than 100 essay mills operating and one of them employs 3,500 researchers!  Yet they will continue to do so because selling an essay is not illegal. Maybe it’s time governments started to legislate and outlaw these websites. How much learning is going on when a paper is purchased? Do you want your next medical appointment to be with a doctor who bought his lab reports? Or that your son’s teacher not be able to write an original text? Universities must also offer more help to students, with writing centers where students can get help to learn how to write an original and good essay.