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PostPosted: January 28th, 2004, 2:34 pm 
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Joined: October 7th, 2003, 5:44 pm
Posts: 6
Location: New Zealand
Thank you to all people who have replied, especially the last comment from the teacher. I know that working as an academic writer is probably the lowest form of writing, but it is something that i am good at, and I really enjoy it. I write about different topics everyday - I am learning new stuff everyday and although I very rarely hear back from clients, any feedback I have had has been really good especially from Asian students studying in America who know the information for their assignment but just don't have the writing skills to get it down on paper. maybe I am kidding myself, but I do feel I provide a service by providing SAMPLE papers for students to use. I am not silly, but everything I write does go out with a disclaimer and copyright notice - I think that is what has upset me more than anything else. PaperExperts took the copyright from my work, sold it on to clients, and then stopped my check.

I have had private emails concerning this that claim I am not the only one who has been ripped off in this way - Paper Experts make a habit of this apparently with any writer who doesn't work to their specifications exactly. Whether academic writing is an acceptable form of writing or not, I didn't think was the issue here (although many of you thought it was) but there are just as many publishers out there who are "shady", and a host of other types of clients who rip writers off - this message board is full of them.

As a freelance writer I believe that anything i create, whether it be an e-book, a sample paper or even a shopping list, belongs to me until the rights for that work have been paid for - am I wrong? In my opinion PaperExperts sold work that belonged to me. They are in the business of hiring writers and they pay $8 per page for the rights to the work produced. I know my papers went on to the clients and that PE were paid in excess of $16 per page for MY efforts. Is this sort of thing allowed just because PE might not be in a reputable business?

I am still looking for ways to get this money back, but from what I have heard off-site, I don't have much of a chance of doing so. Short of paying out for a trip to Canada, (HA HA) I will probably have to right this money off. If my experience warns others, then that is a positive out of this and I have heard it said that "success is the best form of revenge" so i will just have to work doubly hard this year to be more successful than ever. :)

Regards
Lisa

_________________
Author of 29 Ways to Thrive through Perimenopause
Author - How to Find Your Soul Mate
Freelance Journalist for Out and About and Hibiscus Publishing, NZ


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 Post subject: A bit unfair is right
PostPosted: January 28th, 2004, 3:44 pm 
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Joined: December 10th, 2003, 1:52 pm
Posts: 5
After reading this, I just had to say something. I can understand why she decided to write for this company, no matter how unethical they are. Lets face facts here, most of us are starving writers and struggle to live everyday. Our alternatives are going to different magazines and waiting sometimes up to 6 months for responses, and if they publish it sometimes waiting up to 6 months for payment.

When we need money to be able to feed our family, then sometimes we will resort to things, that are a bit shady. Don't we run the same risks with any publisher, magazines, etc? I mean let's look at this board for instance. People are getting scammed daily by what are supposed to be reputable companies.

Just because she's chosen to work for an unethical company doesn't mean she got what was coming to her. Would we say that to someone who got scammed by a questionable publisher? Answer is, no we wouldn't! We would say, "Oh, i'm so sorry that happened to you."

I do hope she is able to find some help in this matter, without being ambushed about how bad she is.


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PostPosted: February 25th, 2004, 6:39 pm 
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Joined: February 25th, 2004, 5:42 pm
Posts: 2
I will use Lisa's own words posted Jan 25th of this year to explain what really happened:


Hi there, my name is Lisa and for the past four months I had been working as an academic writer for a firm called The Paper Experts.com which supply custom written papers. I know it is not a very noble part of the writing field,

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Stop crying - you go into something full well - don't cry after the fact. Besides we don't do anything illegal. In fact you were fired because you plagiarized besides not completing work you accepted and leaving us in the lurch refunding every client you had to write for.
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but I wanted time to sit at home and finish my book and home school my child and this was the only way i could write regularly and get paid. I was also working for a really great firm called Doctortext, that are really good because you can pick and choose the assignments you want to complete.

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we have over 40 writers who pick and choose their assignments - we have a decline button if you don't want to accept a job
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The only reason I signed up to Paper Experts is because they were paying $8 per page flat rate, and i really needed the money.

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all about the benjamins
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However over the late October November period (2003) paper experts were sending me paper after paper until I was expected to do the best part of 50 pages A DAY.

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Never over 50 pges a day - we assign in advance but if you fall behind that's not our fault - in fact we work with every writer to make sure quality is kept at a maximum and we also take some assignments away but ones that we can manager - once you accept them you are responsible for them - you knew that coming in or we wouldn't have let you write for us. Writers with no sense of responsibility? hmmm... we don't believe in that.
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I was working 14 - 16 hours a day trying to cope, but as Paper experts assign the work, I felt I had to do it.
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once again there is a decline button which other writers use - its called free will
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They were even ringing me on my cell phone from Canada (where they are based) asking me if I could squeeze in this paper and that one, and eventually I collapsed and spent two days in hospital.

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we call many writers to do emergency work but what we remember here are the calls for revisions and why the papers weren't done properly and getting something corrected - you seem to forget the customer is important here. You seem to think that you are the only one that should be satisfied in your working relationships. Street goes both ways.
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When I got out it was to find that i had been fired for not completing the jobs on my assignment list.

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you were fired because the work at the end was so shoddy that we had to refund over 3000 worth of your papers - yes. You also committed the ultimate no no which is yes Plagiarism - when we confronted you about why 90% of the work was found on the Internet published by someone else you responded, hmmm... i don't know but i guess its really a fluke of nature how it is so similar. We could post both copies here so everyone can see but Lisa knows the real story. On top of this there were so many revisions that she had to complete that were too late ( you see we need to give time for students to write their own papers- we can't expect them to write their own if we're giving it to them on their way to class ?~!?!?!?!) but after this problem there was no way we were dealing with her anymore. In the 7 years we've been in business there are only a handful of writers who have cheated us and our goodwill in the eye of our consumers. You seem to forget how your work reflects upon us - no you could care less - no responsibility for any of your actions?!?!?!?!?

So I wrote and asked if they could send me the $2460 they owed me for the previous two weeks work (that is how busy i had been) and they said no, but a few days later, I got a check in the mail for just over $2,000 which i duly wrote and thanked them for and banked.

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you never thanked us - i told you of all the problems and refunds you caused us and on top of that the plagiarized work. Why didn't you tell our fellow writer friends that you submitted plagiarized work copied almost completely from a free essay site?


Imagine my horror when my bank rang me just after New Year to tell me the check had been stopped and as i live in NZ and are subject to exchange rates i owed my bank money for refunding the check to the states (canandian banknning through USA).

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I don't understand this statement, maybe it was said to make your story more believable but you screwed up big time at the end so why would you do this
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i want to sue them for my money, but i can't. I live in NZ on a really limited income. I wrote and told them that they were breaking the law by 'selling' my papers to their clients without paying me, but I don't have a contract, only email communication and no way of reaching the customers who now have my (copyrighted) papers. paper experts have not bothered to reply.

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don't flatter yourself your writing ain't great.
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That check in NZ dollars was worth over $3000 to me. It was going to pay our household expenses for two months this year, and now I am frantically scouring the net looking for more work. I wasn't going to post this as i was afraid if someone from Doctortext saw this, maybe I could loose my job there, but I know that they are a great site to work for, and that I have not breached any ethical laws here. I have just been really stupid working without a contract.

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you realize that i didn't make any money off our relationship? You make it seem like i'm the bad one here. I have over 40 writers who write big-time for us and are always paid - they don't plagiarize and they don't hand in papers 5 days after they are due. The students get a refund if they're not handed in on time Lisa, i can't pay you for work i don't get paid for, then we wonder why productivity is so low in industrialized countries and high skilled work is shipped to India. We learned our lesson big time with you and all the problems caused by your writing that we screen writers more heavily now so this horrible experience doesn't happen to us again.
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Why I am posting this is because I know I am not the only writer who takes academic work to help pay the bills as they try to finish their own creative efforts. Please be warned about Paper Experts - you only need to make one mistake with them, to have all the hard work you have done for them disregarded. Get a contract if you are working for a firm - Doctortext is good like that, all the writers have a contract. But don't be blinded by the few extra dollars per page as i was - get a cast iron contract before delivering any goods at all.

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Only if you are not honest in your writing and like to cut corners then ThePaperExperts.com doesn't want to deal with you either. If you are an honest writer who doesn't plagiarize then we are always more than interested in talking. In fact, the President is available to anyone interested in writing for him.
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If anyone else has had similar experiences i am happy to converse with them off line, especially if they know what I could do about getting my money back, or perhaps you may know of similar academic sites that are actively looking for writers?

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they're you go again - if you're ashamed of doing this type of work why are you trying to find another company to write for- all about the benjamins eh?
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This has been a wake up call for me in 2004 - I don't want to see anyone else get in the same position.

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Like i said if you are a writer who won't submit plagiarized work to us then we are more than willing to work with you.
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Happy New Year to You all
regards
Lisa Oliver

This couldn't go unanswered especially with someone who ddin't tell the full story. Always two sides.


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PostPosted: February 26th, 2004, 10:32 am 
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Joined: August 1st, 2003, 9:52 am
Posts: 1853
Interesting that you accuse her of plagiarism, yet your entire business model is based on selling term papers to students, who in turn COPY them and claim the work as their own. You might call them "sample" papers, but we all know why students buy them. What a joke.

In addition, your post is very unprofessional and vindictive. I would never recommend someone work with an individual who has a hard time maintaining professionalism. Anyone "professional" who responds to a post with sarcastic statements like "stop crying", "all about the benjamins", "it's called free will", "you screwed up big time", and "don't flatter yourself your writing ain't great" should be avoided.

ALL WRITERS SHOULD AVOID WRITING FOR UNETHICAL FIRMS THAT SELL TERM PAPERS TO STUDENTS, THUS HELPING THEM CHEAT.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here's an article I wrote on this topic last year:

Term Paper Mills Should Be Outlawed
by Angela Hoy

In the past few weeks, I've seen a vast increase in the number of "job" listings from term paper mills seeking freelance writers. Websites that allow these firms to post ads, and the writers who supply these firms with papers, should be cowering in shame.

What these firms say they do is sell term paper "examples" to high school and college students. But, what we all know is that most students don't buy "examples" of term papers to use as a reference materials. What a joke and an insult to any human being's intellect! Students either buy the term paper and use it as-is, or they buy the term paper, change a few words around, and turn it in as their own work. This is obvious from the vast number of students who have been caught using purchased term papers!

Term paper mills encourage dishonesty and unethical behavior among the writers who write for them, and they encourage cheating and lack of morals and achievement among their student customers.

The students who buy these papers will someday be someone's doctor (likely botching diagnoses and procedures because they cheated their way through school), someone's pharmacist (endangering lives by taking the easy way out - not doing their research -homework - and filling prescriptions (that may be inaccurate or may not be compatible with other meds the patient is taking), and even someone's mother (who won't be able to help Johnny with his homework because she cheated her way through high school or college).

And if you think the cheating stops at buying term papers, think again. If a wayward student feels he can get away with buying fake papers (if a real company is selling them, then it MUST be okay, right?!), he may then see how far he can push the system in other ways as well, such as buying and selling tests, lying to authority figures (teachers and parents) and manipulating those around him.

Term paper mills are teaching children to be lazy and dishonest and to willfully and blatantly deceive. They will carry these personality flaws into adulthood and their families, friends and co-workers will be the future victims of this ongoing learned behavior.

If you're writing for one of these horrible firms, you are part of the problem. Perhaps you've deluded yourself into believing these operations are legitimate and fulfilling a real "need" among students. Perhaps your delusion extends to the point that it's "not your problem" and that you're only trying to make a living. You're just as guilty as the cheating student and you know it. The only difference is that the student is young and stupid and can't yet see how his actions are forming his future (anti-social) personality which may someday endanger his marriage, his career or someone's life, depending on his career choice.

You, as an adult and a professional writer, have no excuses. Writers who write for term paper mills are selling out our industry, their families, themselves, and the students they're claiming to help.

Would you rather your daughter marry an upstanding citizen who diligently worked his way to the top with honor, or would you rather she marry some louse who enjoys cheating and manipulating the system and everyone around him? The student who is buying your paper today will be someone's husband, father, wife or mother tomorrow. Think about it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: February 26th, 2004, 12:15 pm 
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Joined: October 24th, 2003, 11:34 am
Posts: 781
Location: Portland, Oregon
I would like to offer something of a contrarian view. I'm writing here as a full-time freelance who has never worked for one of these companies, and who has worked as a classroom teacher at the college level; who has assigned term papers; and has encountered cheating. I would like to highlight what I think are a few important points here.

1. I don't really think it's reasonable to say that the writer on these projects is just as responsible as the student who turns in plagiarized work. It is ultimately the student, and no one else, who is responsible for crossing the line to illegal and unethical behavior. College students and high school students have [or should have] sufficient moral reasoning to know that this is wrong. It's like saying that companies that manufacture CD backup equipment are morally responsible for the behavior of people who use the equipment for piracy.

2. Students who go this route would most likely just cheat in some other way even if this were completely eliminated. Copying text from books or encyclopedias or getting a smarter friend to write it are time-honored methods of cheating.

3. Students do have problems getting started with term papers. Finding an angle on the topic and getting moving is the hardest part. These papers can be used legitimately to help students to see ways to frame the problem, and also for legitimate research. I have hired these places [none of the ones mentioned on this forum] myself to do background research for my own medical writing business. I was able to use the information they provided me to guide my own research without plagiarizing anything. This is a legitimate use of these services and I would not object if my students used these resources in this way; in fact, I think students should be taught the right and wrong way to use these services in creating research papers.

4. Instructors usually know when a paper is plagarized. In most classes there is an obvious disconnect between the student's verbal ability in the paper, and that displayed in class or on exams. Here's how you definitively establish whether the suspect paper is a cheat: You give the student a grade of C. The student comes to complain that it was well written. You say "I think you are using a lot of terms here without really understanding what they mean. Why don't you stop by my office and we'll talk about it. Oh, and bring your reference material with you." This quickly and easily separates the cheaters from the people who actually did the work.

5. Instructors could easily overcome this entire problem by asking their students to turn their project in in stages that show the evolution of the project over time; first stage, the concept; second stage, an outline, etc.; and to provide highlighted references for all sources used.

My point is that it is ultimately the responsibility of the student, and no one else, to determine how this research tool [and it is, or can be, a legitimate tool] is to be used. It really isn't any different, necessarily, from any other research tool available in writing a term paper, and as an instructor, I think that these papers can have both positive and negative uses in the classroom. Instructors and institutions have many ways to overcome this "problem." The fact that they don't suggests to me that it is not really that big a deal.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: February 26th, 2004, 12:29 pm 
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Joined: October 8th, 2003, 4:46 pm
Posts: 687
I have another view people may want to consider. I was a writer and editor with a very large newspaper for 8 years. I worked for the ad features department where we wrote promotional and informative pieces on businesses, or produced special sections such as Back to School, Spring Home Guide, Spring Bride, Car Buyer, Homes Weekly, Christmas in the Country, etc. You've all seen them. Getting these features out often required freelancers and there is no way I'd ever hire a freelancer who worked for a paper mill. I can't speak for my fellow editors, but I cannot imagine they would be too impressed, either. There are just too many freelancers out there eager to work. I'd question where these former papermill writers got the materials for stories, a paper mill perhaps?? So, it's not something you want to add to your resume.


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PostPosted: February 26th, 2004, 12:54 pm 
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Joined: February 25th, 2004, 5:42 pm
Posts: 2
It's too bad that you actually think the worst in somebody rather than the best. If professors were willing to spend a little extra time with their students things would be a lot different. We ask students to pay upteen thousands of dollars a year for an education yet when they come in we treat them as numbers and a dollar sign. Many students want examples of how the heck to write their paper because sometimes people just can't. Whatever your reasoning for that, it's not your problem - it's theirs. They are actually getting help - where as you just want to criticize. It's not your future its theirs and if they care so much about improving their grades that they want to come to us for a sample then who are you to stop someone else's actions - free will. Anyways, you would be surprised maybe one of your kids needs the help one day and will use a similar service, but no you probably think your offspring will be too good for this. Open your mind to other solutions out there - different people use different tools to improve. Just because the herd mentality says you have to do it one way - doesn't mean there is just one way. Our alternative offers students the ability to get the help they want. In fact if you're so down on our service, you don't know that professors use our service as well. Many are working on their PhDs or school teachers have ordered from us to show their students how to write a term paper. It's called believing the best in people rather than the worst. You should try it because I have found my life to be more rewarding than when i was so pessimistic and picky. Anyways, i digress. My words are not intended to your hurt you Hoy but rather to stick up for what i believe in. And yes we really do help professors and grade school teachers and high school teachers - not just students. See, everyone can benefit - get off their back ;-)


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PostPosted: February 26th, 2004, 1:14 pm 
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Joined: October 8th, 2003, 4:46 pm
Posts: 687
Many students want examples of how the heck to write their paper because sometimes people just can't.

A credible, well-established and verified source available in any library throughout NA, and one that any student in any higher-education learning program would already have: the Chigago Manual of Style. ( Please not most of these books cost far less than the papermill papers).

A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing and Publishing Series)
Kate L. Turabian, Revised by John Grossman, Revised by Alice Bennett

Alternatives:

Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis
Joan Bolker


Clockwork Muse: A Practical Guide to Writing Theses, Dissertations and Books
Eviatar Zerubavel

Essentials of Writing Biomedical Research Papers
Mimi Zeiger

Writing Papers in Psychology: A Student Guide to Research Reports, Essays, Proposals, Posters, and Brief Reports (NOW IN ITS 6TH EDITION)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: February 26th, 2004, 1:59 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2003, 9:52 am
Posts: 1853
Attn: The Paper Experts / writingstar28

Try to remember that you're writing to professionals here, not to students. We all know exactly what you're doing and we're not stupid enough to believe your lame, albeit humorous, attempts to legitimize your business model. Your business is unethical. Period.

Angela Hoy
WritersWeekly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: February 26th, 2004, 2:45 pm 
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Joined: October 8th, 2003, 4:46 pm
Posts: 687
I find little comfort knowing that the dentist performing my root canal may well have purchased his paper on the risks of damaging the inferior alveolar nerve from a papermill. If anyone can manage to get to the PhD level without knowing how to write a research paper and conduct a simple empirical study, they are studying at Popcorn U.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: February 26th, 2004, 3:07 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2003, 9:52 am
Posts: 1853
Re: Harry Haller's post from above

I really like your idea about how to catch cheating students. Bravo!!

However, I disgree with you that students are the only ones responsible. If adults and even what appears to be a legitimate company are providing these papers to students, they're just as guilty as the students. Just like in the illegal drug trade, you must fault not only the user, but the supplier.

Angela Hoy
WritersWeekly.com

Read my article on why term paper mills should be outlawed here:
http://www.angelahoy.com/writing/archives/000060.html

And a follow-up, Arrogant Cheater, here:
http://www.angelahoy.com/writing/archives/000073.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: February 26th, 2004, 3:34 pm 
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Joined: October 24th, 2003, 11:34 am
Posts: 781
Location: Portland, Oregon
Sorry Angela, but I think we have to "agree to disagree." The papers, in and of themselves, are not the problem, nor are the writers who work on them. As I said, they have legitimate uses, just as many drugs that are used harmfully and illegally (to extend your example) have legitimate beneficial and legal uses.

In my view, college and high school students are quite clearly the responsible parties for misusing these papers, and trying to shift the responsibility elsewhere only contributes to their moral confusion. This is a problem that seems to be endemic in our society: no one is ever responsible for their own problems or mistakes, someone else is always to blame.

Students should be encouraged to identifiy legitimate sources of research support and taught how to use those resources. Contracting people to do research and summarize findings is standard practice in the business world, and students would benefit from learning the appopriate ways to use those resources. They should be severely punished for passing someone else's work off as their own, whether the plagiarized material is copied from an encyclopedia, another student, or a perfectly legal commerically available product.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: February 26th, 2004, 6:52 pm 
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Joined: October 8th, 2003, 4:46 pm
Posts: 687
Harry, I cannot speak for the USA, but in Canada, even in elementary school, any student who allows another student to copy his/her work or produces work that another student will pass off as his/her own, is considered just as guilty, and usually suffers the same penalties as the student who uses the work.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: February 26th, 2004, 7:19 pm 
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Joined: October 24th, 2003, 11:34 am
Posts: 781
Location: Portland, Oregon
BCD, I don't really think that's the same thing as we are talking about here.

There is no "legitimate purpose" to allowing someone to copy your paper. Both parties together make a decision to cheat and both should be punished [unless one student is somehow being coerced; and if that were genuinely the case, I doubt that would then be punished by the school for cheating].

There are "legitimate purposes" to research and write for people (good thing, since those activities represent the bulk of my business; not researching for for students, though). The number of things that have legitimate purposes or uses but that are used improperly by some people is too long to list here and is probably infinite. We can all think of hundreds or thousands of examples. If I get a speeding ticket, is GM responsible for enabling me to speed because my car goes up to 120 MPH, a speed that is not legal anywhere in the US? By making it so easy for me to speed, by the reasoning of some people who have contributed to this thread, it is GM, and not me, that is responsible for my speeding behavior, and all of those automotive engineers and marketing people should be held accountable for my speeding.

Anyway, this is just the way I see it. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, because it's a view that is not fashionable any more. Students [especially adult students], and no one else, are responsible for the decisions that they make. Saying "you're not responsible, it's those bad internet people" only prevents them from really appreciating that their decisions are important and have real consequences.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: February 26th, 2004, 7:49 pm 
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Joined: October 8th, 2003, 4:46 pm
Posts: 687
On the contrary, I believe everyone is responsible for his or her own actions. That includes a moral responsibility to avoid doing anything that is assisting corruption. Furthermore, many of the users of these services are young people still choosing a path in life, and because they are not developed emotionally or morally, are far more susceptable to using such services in an unethical manner. Making a fast $$ on the stupidity of youth is unethical.


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