Will Tweeting Get Your Next Essay Written For You?

As part of my continued research into the marketing of essay writing services, I’ve always been amazed by how developed the industry is that is funnelling students into using cheating services. I’ve covered the use of Twitter as part of this industry in talks before, but I haven’t written about it in detail on my blog.

One observation I’ve made is that a student only has to tweet about having an essay to write, an assignment to produce or a homework to complete and they’ll immediately begin receiving writing offers from individual writers and companies offering to do that work for them. Some of the wider issues behind this formed the focus of a Twitter conversation I had with AcadEnforcer, which you can see captured in this Storify record.

Now, perhaps a wider question to be asked here is, would you hire an unknown writer who contacted you through Twitter? It is hardly difficult to find companies and individuals who are offering academic writing services for students and to perhaps identify those from whom you could perhaps have a great level of confidence that they would deliver what they had promised.

It would be interesting to commission a larger volume of written work from a selection of different writers and companies, then to verify the academic quality and originality of the results. Although there have been some small scale studies of this, they are hardly conclusive. In many studies, particularly those undertaken by media contacts, they can only budget to buy a single assignment. Even larger studies tend to bottom out at three pieces of work and these are not always solutions to the same assignment problem, making direct comparisons of quality and pricing difficult.

If any funding providers are in a position to commission and support a larger-scale study where we can buy and analyse ghostwritten work produced by essay firms, I would be keen to share my expertise on contract cheating and to be involved.

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Article by Thomas Lancaster

I am an experienced Computer Science academic, best known for research work into academic integrity, plagiarism and contract cheating. I have held leadership positions in several universities, with specialty in student recruitment and keen interest in working in partnership with students. Please browse around the blog and the links, and feel free to leave your thoughts.
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