No Systematic Solution To Essay Mills

I’m quoted in the cover story of this week’s Times Higher Education (although much of the story looks based around the long discussion we had on the telephone):

It’s an interesting feature, running to six pages in the printed version of THE (and having attracted comments on the online version).

An interesting statement is the estimate that over 15,000 customer essays are written by essay writing firms within the UK every year. That doesn’t account for the students who commit other forms of contract cheating or order from abroad.

The implication in the article is that there is no easy solution in sight, but I hope that we can do better.

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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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One Comments

  1. Eugene says:

    Hi Thomas
    I’m the owner of one of the biggest essay mills. I’m following you on social media since long ago, and at the same time thinking about a way to transform our business into something more straightforward then it is now. Not that I consider this a huge problem – our internal research shows that majority of the customers are either chinese / arabian students who came to US (that’s our market mostly) need these services first year because they are behind the native speakers while the pressure for grades and deadlines is the same. As soon as they adopt, the demand in these services drops drastically. Others are working already “blue collars” and they just need a diploma and woudln’t sudy hard anyways. Some are working moms with several kids, and only a fraction are regular students that cheat because of deadline / grade pressure.
    Please contact me if you want to continue a dialogue because I think I have a systematic solution in mind that you’re missing. Maybe this could be beneficial to everyone.

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