Cheating in school is nothing new.
What is new, at least to me, is the attitude that there is nothing wrong with it.
When I was in school, people who cheated knew that what they were doing was dishonest.
Nowadays, cheating on term papers and other school assignments has become big business. Paper-writing services, known as “paper mills” or “essay mills,” operate legally all around the world. They have an online presence that makes them seem like legitimate options for stressed students.
Indeed, these mills maintain their pretense of honesty by claiming that the papers they produce are “study materials” not intended for the buyers to pass off as their own work. At the same time, they bely this claim by promising potential customers higher grades and the avoidance of failure.
Here is a piece of spam that came to one of my websites the other day:
Thesis Writing Service
If you look for a trustworthy thesis writing service and want to benefit from a higher grade, your editors, proofreaders, and instructors are here to lend you a hand.
Some students afraid of hiring professional writers due to ethical issues. As a result, they fail the course due to various reasons not able to defend their degree.
You should note that there is nothing wrong with opting for a thesis writing service.
Although the site that sent this spam is registered in a British dominion (Bahamas), the nonstandard English of the message casts doubt on the quality of the written work it offers.
What bothers me most about it is that it suggests there is nothing unethical about cheating in order to pass a course.
Essay writing services may be legal, but they are despicably unethical.
They also contribute to a corrupted educational system and eventual danger to public safety.
The dishonesty of a slow-witted high school student who passes history with a bought term paper may be trivial in terms of damage to society. But what about students in the professions who cheat their way to a medical degree or a law degree?
According to an article in The Guardian, the going price in the UK for a 100,000-word PhD [dissertation] in criminal law is £82,238 ($110,878.21).
And what about the airplane mechanic and food safety inspectors who fail to learn the information and skills necessary to pass the course on their own?
Honest parents are society’s best hope. Don’t let your children grow up to be the kind of people who would patronize an essay mill.
Teach them that cheating is bad.
Right on, Maeve. In addition, this adds to the system of dividing the disadvantaged from the wealthier. A well written paper by a gifted student, who is both honest and lacking in funds, must compete with a dishonest student of dubious talent who is turning in a paper written by a professional. I hope teachers who know their students well, will spot the difference and reject the assignments that don’t fit these students who cheat.