Tagged: telegraph

Students Paying Hundreds Of Pounds To Have Essays Written For Them – Telegraph

Here’s a version of the recent stories on contract cheating and essay writing provided by the Telegraph:

Although the story largely covers the same ground as the BBC story on contract cheating, there are some interesting comments included.

There are some good suggestions relating to educational materials to help with writing essays, although these rather miss the underlying problem.

There is also a suggestion of using exams more widely. There are certainly sectors of society and industry that would support this.

One comment mentions that only the top half of UK universities should be allowed to recruit international students. However, there is no evidence to suggest that contract cheating is any more or less prevelent at any particular type of universities. My own observations would suggest that the so-called “new universities” are actually much more on-the-ball at spotting contract cheating and designing assignments to reduce the likelihood of students outsourcing their work. If nothing else, students at these universities are much more likely to be taught by a lecturer than at other universities.

An alternative view to consider would be that only universities that can show that they are actively taking action against contract cheating could be considered suitable to take on international students.

Custom Essays And Contract Cheating – A Response

The story on custom essays from the BBC has certainly raised, some debate, no less so than a blog post on custom essays which appeared on the Telegraph web site.

The response, from a representative of the All Answers service largely notes that the quality of essays provided by different online services is variable, and that there are services which have offices that are available to visit.

There is some question about whether students using essay services actually hand in the work as if it were their own. That is certainly a topic which could raise some debate.

A potential lack of support for international students is raised. Again, support will vary from university to university, but there is certainly a market for services that provide students with additional support. There is always a debate about where a tutorial services draws the line between supporting these students and starting to do assessed work for them.

One possible solution that All Answers could consider to avoid students handing in a model essay that they have created for a student would be to forward a copy of each model essay in to the university for which it was created. That would ensure that the student would have the use of a model essay (for instance, to train them to structure an academic argument), but would not be able to submit this as if it were their own work.

Alternatively, a decision could be made so as to not produce a model essay which exactly matches a current assignment. Instead, an essay on a related topic could be produced, hence giving the student an idea of the process that they would need to go through, but which it would not be possible for a student to hand in and receive a passing mark. It will be interesting to see if All Answers moves to go down that route.