Plagiarise and be damned

15 Apr

The BBC has discovered the sleazy market for student essays. The only surprise to me was the claim that most customers were overseas students ‘need[ing] "professional help" to compete with British students’.

While the availability of free information on the web can seem a cheat’s charter, the accuracy of the Google index makes it easy to spot plagiarism from online sources. (I thought my title was clever: it may be, but I find it’s certainly not original.) Bespoke essays written by someone other than the student pose a new challenge: we’d need to return to the individual tutorial or ‘viva voce’ to get around that with certainty.

Later: this interview in Education Guardian addresses the issue of plagiarism and contains the good advice to change assignment topics frequently to avoid the ‘essay bank’ problem.

2 Responses to “Plagiarise and be damned”

  1. The Online Universities Weblog 20/04/2005 at 4:08 am #

    Essays for Sale

    From the BBC, the rise of plagerism in the UK. Dorit Chomer runs one of several companies that trade in “off-the-peg” and custom-written academic work. She told a BBC Radio 4 documentary she sells between 500 and 1,000 essays a…

  2. Jason 03/10/2006 at 8:00 am #

    Working for one of these “sleazy” service, I can second the Chomer’s statement. Indeed, most of the clientele are either recent immigrants or foreign exchange students that need help with their English. A large portion of the customer base are young adults who are working already or those who are resuming their education after a break.

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