I decided that I couldn’t do it.
I wish I could tell you that my decision was borne of some high-minded ethics, but it wasn’t. If I did it, I’d feel like a scumbag. It would diminish me. It would also disappoint my colleagues and former professors if they knew I had done it. I care about some of those people and I am proud of the fact that they hold me in high regard. Nor am I interested in prostituting my not-inconsiderable education to some jerk so that they can game the enterprise to which I have dedicated many years of my life. I mean, I might as well break into my own house and piss all over the rug.
There’s also the shame-and-embarrassment factor: I haven’t had a job I was embarrassed about since the brief, awful gig selling newspaper subscriptions over the telephone at age 19 (I had to lie about the sex work because of the stigma, but I was never ashamed of the job). I am not going to start now.
Many thanks to everyone who left a comment! I read them all, repeatedly!
Finally, here are some germane articles. My favorite is the first one, from the Chronicle of Higher Ed. The deliberately provocative, cage-rattling essay from an admitted professional-writer-of-student-papers is pretty good, but the comments were even better. Five hundred fucking comments! Excellent advanced discussion, but I read mostly for the entertaining rage-strokes and snark, I admit.
Write My Essay, Please! by Richard Gunderman
Are Unemployed Professors Writing Student Papers for Employed Professors? by Rebecca Schuman
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I’d really appreciate some feedback on this matter.
Is it wrong to write academic essays and research papers for money?
It’s a big industry: students with more money than skill and work ethic can go online and hire someone to write a paper for them, from scratch. If you’re curious, here’s an example.
Obviously, buying a paper online and submitting it as your own work is fraudulent and completely unethical. Undergrads who do it and get caught automatically get an F in the class (I’ve flunked five of my students for this over the years). If they get caught more than once, it’s usually grounds for suspension or expulsion.
But, is it wrong to write the paper? It would definitely be wrong if the writer knew for a fact that the student was going to turn it in as their own work. But what if the writer did not know what the student was going to do with it? What if the writer had no direct contact with the student at all? What if the writer didn’t even know the student’s name?
I know of a service that will pay me $20+/page to write original essays according to the specifications of the assignment. I would write the paper and e-mail it to the service. The service would give it to whoever paid for it. I would have no explicit knowledge of what happened to the paper after that.
….but, let’s cut the bullshit: nobody is paying hundreds of dollars for a paper to use it as a “reference” or to add to their sorority’ s library archive.
What do you think? I am pretty uncomfortable with it. I hate plagiarism and cheating. Is this helping someone to cheat? Or is the responsibility all on the person who buys the paper?