Sarah Marsh’s article in yesterday’s Guardian newspaper warns students about the dangers of being ripped off by spurious websites that promise to supply complete essays, reports or dissertations for time strapped (definitely not cash strapped) students. It appears that some of these sites have a tendency to disappear after the money has been handed over without supplying the aforementioned goods. Unfortunately, for the students they don’t appear to be protected by any form of consumer law. There are clearly no money back guarantees in the essay mill business. How shocking!
Despite recommendations from the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) to make it illegal to encourage students to “commit acts of academic dishonesty for financial gain”, there are no guidelines and it’s clear that governments and institutions are struggling with this phenomenon. One key strategy at the moment seems to be based on encouraging students who are feeling the pressure to seek help from their institutions sooner rather than later. So much more of the “carrot” than the “stick” approach.
I suspect that there may be an idea among users of these sites that because the material they are submitting will more than likely pass through any anti-plagiarism software, that it’s not strictly cheating. Students using these sites may also be wondering how any institution can detect the use of such services. And that’s probably the most important point, as yet, they can’t. But here’s the sting in the tail; according to comments made in Marsh’s article, there is evidence to suggest that students are being blackmailed by sites to pay more money or else names will be supplied to their institution…. Oh what a tangled web….
For the full article please follow the link below…