Writing services for students, like plagiarism, is cheating & life ruining

I just saw this link on Twitter @9PapersMarket. Their ad says: Paper Writing Serviceget papers, dissertations, and more written for you. Starting at $5.00 talented writers are waiting to write for you.

Then, on their main page, they say there is no plagiarism. Huh? Plagiarism is cheating. Having someone write your paper is cheating. Okay, so they may be different types of cheating. But, they are both fraud because a person is claiming to have done something they haven’t done!

Do these “student” writing companies have any idea of the consequences of cheating like this? Putting it succinctly, it can destroy lives.

As a former academic I have seen it happen. Professors are not stupid. If your paper sounds more advanced than what you wrote before in another paper or on an exam question, they will interview you. If you don’t have all the ins and outs of the pre-research for the paper in question, they will know you are a cheater. There are also APPS to catch cheating, such as this word cloud program at turnitin.com which is good even at the high school level. There is also Grammarly for fact checking for plagiarism.

So, what happens if a university student is caught cheating?

  • He or she will have a mark on their transcript for life.
  • Likely, they’ll be kicked out of their program.
  • No other university or college will accept them.
  • Their future employers will know when they ask for an academic reference.

My advice to all secondary and post-secondary students is to do their own work. That is why they are where they are — to learn new things, not how to cheat in the hopes of getting away with it.

And, yes, cheating can be addictive. If they get away with it once or twice, they’ll be tempted to continue. Eventually, however, they’ll get caught, one way or the other. As many who have cheated have found out, even later in life, the previous act of cheating can bite them.

I mean, check out this Google page. There are nearly 400,000 entries of people who have been fired for plagiarism which is very similar to having someone claim as theirs, what someone else wrote.  In fact, more often than not plagiarism is just for small sections of a paper, which in this case, is the entire paper!

Anyway, the very idea that a ghost writer could write someone’s dissertation is nuts. It can’t happen in any reputable university. Thesis supervisors are all over the process or they should be. And, remember, the final oral defence is with a very tough committee that usually consists of your thesis advisor, another inside reader and at least one outside reader. For sure, if a person has not written what they are defending, it will show.

Professional writing services that are contracted by business people and politicians are a very different matter. It is the student services that are the problem.

The crux of the matter is that writing services that do what students should do themselves should all be shut down as illegal and I am surprised that Twitter allows such advertising.

13 thoughts on “Writing services for students, like plagiarism, is cheating & life ruining

  1. If you purposely write something you know is going to be signed by someone else as their own you are at best abetting plagiarism. The fact they’re advertising this “service” is pretty disturbing in itself. If they think it’s OK to have a bunch of cheaters graduating from the halls of higher learning we all lose big time.

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  2. Probably no one will pay any attention to this post Liz given the election but I was just livid when I saw it advertisrf on Twitter. Twitter should not be allowing it.

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  3. If I put anything in my papers that didn’t cite sources for my “ideas,” for example presenting them as my own, it was a guaranteed crushing at the hands of my profs, who actually expected us to specifically back up our ideas up instead of parroting theirs’ . Sins of omission, where points of disagreement to a thesis were simply left out, were reserved for special punishment. I once asked in a paper how Lenin could argue capitalism caused imperialism which caused war, when there were so many historical examples refuting this idea; in fact that war was bad for business for capitalists, should their country be attacked. My prof simply wrote in the sideline this was an inconvenient fact for Lenin so he left it out of his argument.

    No doubt Lenin would have failed this prof’s course. That didn’t matter because Lenin used brute force and emotion to achieve his ends. Then again when Kate McMillan calls university the opposite of diversity, we see the widespread shutting down of contrary ideas, so the shut down stunts of Trudeau and Mulcair are expansions of this coercive, controlling & censoring approach.

    Too bad not all universities don’t expect proper defense of ideas, and too bad the progressives continually use arguments that would fail a first years politics midterm paper at a good school. Now, like all progressives, when their emotion fails and they’re forced to defend the empirical validity of their views, Mulcair and Trudeau used shout down brute force in debates. No doubt shout down teams of “protesters” plan to head to Conservative rallies; hopefully their leadership will stop them in spite of them using the same methods. The genesis of this is the silencing of non-progressive viewpoints in many universities.

    Then they all accuse Harper of being authoritarian, as they propose to march out ever more coercive government, driving more and more Canadians into poverty. Mulcair presents a poor image in debates, spitting, sputtering and interrupting the PM. The voter will soon pronounce their judgment on his methods. I don’t believe they like what they see.

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  4. You know Shamrock, the reality is that students take courses to learn a subject and the profs point of view is implicit in his or her course. If someone doesn’t want that view, they shouldn’t take the course.

    I mean, I designed the description for my courses on ed pysch and curriculum in such a way that it was pretty clear where I was coming from in terms of paradigm. And, so, that is what I taught and expected from students.

    If, however, they had a completely different point of view, that wasn’t what I was teaching. Some philosophy courses allow that kind of variance but I didn’t.

    For example, if someone in my course was 100% in favour of traditional elementary teaching using text books and being in neat little rows — all the time — I could never agree with that. Yes, sometimes in rows. But, other times turning their desks in such a way that four students could do projects or art. I also had reading centres were students would go when their work was finished. And, so on. So, I expected students to learn about both traditional and progressive learn-by-doing. In other words, not everything labelled progressive is bad.

    Anyway, all professors look for both plagiarism and cheating. It can get ugly as I have caught some. It was strange. I read a paper one year and remembered it the next year even though I had about 300 students and why I always marked my own papers and exams. There were words and phrases that rang a bell. In the end, both students were expelled with marks on their transcripts which meant they would never get into another university, not even in the U.S. unless they were bottom rung schools as it were or unless they never admitted to attending university at all.

    But, I agree with most of what you said, particularly your final paragraph.

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  5. Yes I agree course material must be covered and tested. I refer to profs who get on their high horse and expect students to tow an ideological line which is unrelated to learning or even course objectives. I had one who was supposed to teach Canadian government; instead we got a lecture on someone being in a cave having a different view from cave dwellers, which he called cultural relativism. That must sound chillingly familiar by now. I have no use for that kind of prof, especially at the undergraduate idea, where students are truly learning the art of learning, along with doing research and critical thinking. My degree was political science, where wide varied points of view were discussed, which was encouraged but treated critically, along with required material and readings.

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  6. Right. I hear you Shamrock. I had my share of profs like that too. One way around it is to explain the three paradigms and then you can put most policies or practices within an ideology.

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  7. I know I was banned earlier, but since this is not a political post I was wondering if I could comment as a recent graduate from 2005. I fully agree and would add it is unfair to students who don’t cheat as at least in first and second year many classes grade on a bell curve so it can negatively affect those who are honest. In fact I was at SFU and even took the course that made national news in 2002 when 47 students in a class of 424 were caught cheating as they used the same professional writer to write their paper. The professor caught it since he noticed many papers were very similar in their phrasing and this was without using any software just diligent checking so people should realize profs aren’t dumb and they know cheating happens and know what to look for.

    What I find disturbing is the shocking number who do cheat and the most common reasons given are either you need to cheat to stay ahead or since everyone else does it, I have to in order to stay competitive. As a side note the funniest but stupidest cheater I ever saw is in Grade 8 when student who handed in his work late, borrowed another students who got a good mark and whited out his typed name and mark and hand write his name over top. Off course he got caught and got a zero for the assignment. That was only high school where penalties are quite minor for cheating unlike universities which have zero tolerance (as they should). In fact most papers in high school don’t require footnotes or a bibliography whereas in university you get a zero if you don’t include those even if not cheating (which I agree with). I also think high schools need to be a lot stricter as I feel if people get away with it there, they will think they can in university.

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  8. Interesting. When I went, usually only in third and fourth year courses did the prof mark everything and usually classes were much smaller by then.

    For exams in first and second year usually each question would have a different TA mark for the entire class while for papers whichever TA did your tutorial marked your papers thus if two people had similar or identical papers but different TA’s that might get away with it. For assignments usually the same person marked them all but only choose one or two questions not the whole assignment. Was this how it generally worked when you taught? While marking everyone’s paper is great for catching cheating, I am thinking it would be very time consuming to mark 300 papers thus my guess is few professors do this but maybe it’s different at each university.

    Anyways fully agree on your assessment and what this page is advertising is at least where I went considered plagiarism so when they say it is not that is a lie. Sadly enough groups like these are booming and disgustingly many even argue it is okay and moral to use them, which it is not.

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  9. I always had one or two TAs working for me, usually full-time grad students on “assistantships.” So, the way we would do it was each taking a single question on an exam. In that way, all three of us saw each paper but the workload was reduced.

    True, 3rd and 4th year the courses are usually smaller. My average was between 50 and 60. The first year course was the heavy one. But, one of my third year “curriculum theory and design” course was a compulsory course in the B.A./B.Ed and B.Sc/B.Ed concurrent program so it was always heavier than most.

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  10. Reminds me of Rodney Dangerfield in “Back to School”… A great movie by the way, and brimming with wit and sarcasm! Seriously though, this is a serious issue. I once tried, and failed, using a project in College I had inherited from an earlier student. It cost me nothing but my pride, subsequently causing me to work even harder to fully achieve the excellent grades I eventually deservedly earned. I would hate for today’s students to have to pay money and then learn absolutely nothing. Now with a son pursuing his PhD, I’m proud and happy to say he’s not taken to any of my own genetic deficiencies or devious notions. I agree with Monkey (and all the comments here) that high schools should be a lot more strict. Can’t imagine it while it’s under the current premier’s administration though… Hey, off topic here, but I’ve been on a bit of a hellish “sabbatical”, fencing with a horde of zombies on the openly and disturbingly radical Left-wing site “Niagara-At-Large.” I figured it was the sick who needed a doctor, but I got slapped around so much on a few threads that I thought well enough to leave it alone. (Tougher to find a cure for insanity, I suppose…) See this latest article (with no comments yet) and the previous ones where I was involved, as in the thread where they want to see Rob Nicholson get turfed…This is a reminder to us ALL to keep getting the good word “out there”, for our responsible and decent government to continue. Currently, we can be grateful for that split-vote factor on the Left. If they were to consolidate, there would be trouble. (All the more reason to reinstate the Majority, as the dreaded Coalition of Stooges looms as yet another possibility.) These are the same people who do all the protesting, burning police cars, and spreading vitriol through their notorious media outlets. Funny how we “radicals” are so calm and cool, while being accused of such nasty little habits as Nazism and evangelical fanaticism. The web of deceit grows unabated…
    http://niagaraatlarge.com/2015/09/21/niagara-at-large-is-proud-to-be-a-stop-harper-zone/

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  11. Living in Niagara myself Tripper, I’m glad I didn’t know about that site. Not going to visit either. Must be frustrating for them because nearly all the signs in my area are Rob Nicholson’s.

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  12. Yes, Sandy. Looking at the local candidates’ debate on Cogeco tonight, it appeared that Mr. Nicholson was the only adult in that room, just as Mr. Harper is at the national level. As I pointed out in one of their threads, though it’s tough to throw cold water with any effect on their burning hatred, Rob Nicholson is a shew-in. I don’t see anyone touching him. Even if voters are interested in some kinds of change, the leftward split will ensure that it just won’t happen. He is a well known man of integrity, and has never had his head in the clouds either. I don’t blame you for not entering the “enemy’s camp”. It isn’t pretty.

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