What's with this growing trend for college students to pay freelance writers to write their college essays for them?
Why do some writers think it's OK to help someone cheat though their college course, deprive a student of the chance to learn or to deal with their coursework load or to get their college certificate or degree honestly?
Just recently there was someone asking for exactly this service on one of those freelance writing sites. Not only was this person a medical student but he had been caught out for plagiarism in his first effort at this essay and was now desperate to get someone to rewrite it for him so that it would pass TurnItIn. The onus, incidentally, was on the writer to access TurnItIn via the student's personal code, and check themselves that it passed 100%.
There are two issues here. The first is the ethics of the thing - cheating, lying and barefaced deception are being provided as a gift-wrapped service by someone calling themselves a professional writer. Professional? I don't think so. "Professional" means more than the fact that you earn your money writing. It also means a professional attitude towards the profession: following personal policies of honesty and integrity in one's writing, avoiding plagiarism like .. well, the plague, respecting the work of other writers by acknowledging sources.
The second issue is that clearly colleges are not keeping up to date with the students - why are students resorting to cheating? Is it that easy to hand in work written by someone else?
Are the students overworked? Are they trying to keep two or three jobs on the go as well as studying? Are they just plain lazy and want an easy way through their course?
Option three seemed to be that student's motivation. Given all the alternatives to cheating, i.e. talking to his tutor, asking for an extension, talking to the college counsellor, or writing the damn thing anyway, he said it was his choice to spend his money how he pleased and he wasn't bothered about doing the work as long as he could turn in an essay that would pass TurnItIn. This student, may I just remind you, is training to become a doctor.
Maybe colleges and universities need to check a little more thoroughly to make sure that an essay has actually been written by the student who handed it in. Isn't that rather easy, if you just ask a student about his sources and references?