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Cheating the system: Essay mills part 2

Fredericton currently hosts a number of hired essay writers. These writers produce fake articles, for a cost. Students then submit the work to their professors as their own.

The Brunswickan recently acquired a two page political science paper on abortion access in Canada, written by a local hired writer. Costs for these essays are based on three factors: Academic level, due date and length. High level, lengthy essays can cost hundreds of dollars, even well in advance of the due date. At two pages and four days to prepare, the abortion essay cost $50.

Matthew Sears is an associate professor of classics at UNB. He agreed to examine the paper and give his own feedback. Though the essay was not in his area of study, most hired writers produce papers in a wide variety of subjects and their products are similar regardless of the course in question.

According to Sears, the fake essay was of surprisingly high quality. The writing was crisp and easy to understand and dotted with well-placed references.

Though a quality essay in and of itself, Sears considered this to be its greatest weakness. If a student submitted an essay of superior quality than that of their prior work then the professor would have reason to be suspicious.

“First, its prose is very polished and effective, which might tip me off, especially in cases in which I can refer to the student’s earlier work and see a great difference in quality,” Sears wrote.

Another problem is that a hired essay would demonstrate ignorance of critical course material.

“If this paper didn’t address things we had discussed class, which would indicate that the author had not actually been a student in my class,” said Sears.

Sears believed that faked essays aren’t just immoral, but a waste of time. Without putting great amounts of effort into customizing the essays, any fake work submitted would quickly raise questions.

Lydia Noble, fourth year English and History student, also does not see the value in ordering purchased essays.

“Professors know what they’ve taught in class and if you pass in a paper that’s off topic, they’ll be suspicious,” she said.

“If you’re caught passing in a paper that isn’t yours, you risk expulsion, and even if you don’t care about your education, you should at least care about the tuition you paid being thrown out the window.”

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