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PostPosted: May 16th, 2006, 9:27 am 
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This article will run in this week's issue of WritersWeekly.com and this page has been set up so readers can debate this issue.

A Scum Term Paper Mill Owes You Money? Now, Really... What Did You Expect?
by Angela Hoy

This is an edited email I received from a reader last week:

<i>"A term paper writing company based in London has never paid me for work done since last October. They owe me only about $159. They say they are 'wiring' the money but it never arrives and there are all kinds of twists involved. They advertise pretty heavily for academic research/writing positions... They just don't pay."</i>

I've harped on this subject before, but it's obvious I need to get on my soapbox again. My missive today may anger some readers, but this really must be said. If you don't like it, feel free to unsubscribe.

There are a multitude of these types of companies, term paper mills, popping up online. They're everywhere. I run into them each week when searching for new jobs for WritersWeekly.com and I'm sure you've seen them, too. While some call themselves "academic research" companies and some even go so far as to call themselves

"educational writing" companies, when you look at their websites, it's obvious what they're doing. Some claim they're only "consultants" and that they're only helping the students write their own papers. Others claim their papers are only "sample papers" and that it's not their fault if a student copies it word for word. Hogwash and more hogwash!

They hire writers to write research/term papers and other school assignments and sell these items to students. Some writers may write a term paper on a general subject like, say, Christopher Columbus, and the term paper mill will then sell that term paper to many students at a lower price. Other times, they may hire a writer to write a specific paper based on a topic of the student's choosing, and to the student's professor's specs. This would, of course, cost the student considerably more money. Either way, professors and teachers usually know when a student has purchased a paper elsewhere. It's pretty obvious, after they've read a student's real writing, that this particular student didn't wake up one day with a different writing style and far more grammatical expertise than they had the previous week.

The problem is obvious here. Term paper mills help students (children and adults) cheat. Unfortunately, many writers stupidly believe that working for these companies is okay. They either pretend to believe the statement that the term paper mill doesn't allow students to copy their papers word for word, or they may concoct a variety of excuses to make themselves feel better about the unethical business they now find themselves in ("I really need the money" and "I'm not really hurting anyone" and "Who cares? It's not my kid"). And, when the students get caught, I place blame on the term paper mills, the writers who helped them cheat, and the students themselves. The students are usually reprimanded or suspended, and many universities expel students for this type of cheating.

What really ires my eyeballs is when a writer, like the person above, writes to me and can't believe one of these companies, a firm that makes a business out of unethical business dealings and cheating, and that assists our young people while hurting them at the same time, rips them off. I mean, come on already! What did you expect?!

If you're going to get into bed with a cheat and a liar, don't come crawling to me for help. For WritersWeekly Whispers and Warnings (http://forums.writersweekly.com/), I am only interested in helping writers who are owed money for legitimate, honest work they've done, not for their efforts that hurt our youth and their futures.

So, if a term paper mill owes you money, wake up and smell the rotten eggs. You're doing business with the slime of our industry. Get online and find a real writing job.

I created this Term Paper Mill topic on our forum so you can debate this topic below. If you are not registered for the forum, click Register at the top of this page, read the user agreement (or you won't be approved) and then wait for approval so you can participate.


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 Post subject: Thank you Angela!
PostPosted: May 16th, 2006, 9:56 am 
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Joined: November 23rd, 2004, 7:58 am
Posts: 76
Location: New York
As an ELA teacher in NY, students ripping off papers and passing them on as their own is my biggest problem. There is software out there that my school is looking to get that will help me tremendously but I doubt it will stop it all together.

Students I catch doing this get a O% on the assignment. I wish I could do more. Anyone who writes for these companies is more to blame than the student. Adults are supposed to be educated and mature enough to know that such actions are wrong and provide a good example. It's like a drug dealer thinking it's okay to sell drugs because they don't take drugs themselves.

It's funny though, most of the time I can tell when students have taken advantage of such a service because I know their style and their capabilities. But at the college level it is easier to do such things and that means we are putting young men and women into the work force without them earning the right to apply for jobs backed with a college degree. So, that weakens our workforce, which weakens our country. So, these people (so-called writers) should be tried for treason. Okay, that's a little extreme but I am glad to see this problem being addressed here.

Chai


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PostPosted: May 16th, 2006, 10:57 am 
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Joined: April 29th, 2004, 8:49 pm
Posts: 3631
Location: God's country
Geez, I know. It's terrible when you play with the Mafia and they turn around and burn you. Tisk, tisk......WHAT DO PEOPLE EXPECT????

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A life well-lived is its own novel.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 16th, 2006, 10:57 am 
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Joined: January 13th, 2004, 4:38 pm
Posts: 426
Frankly, I can only shake my head and laugh at people who work with a company that is in the business of cheating--actually helping them to perpetuate the cheating--and then act surprised when the company tries to cheat them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 16th, 2006, 11:05 am 
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Joined: January 2nd, 2006, 7:42 pm
Posts: 519
I am ashamed to say that one of my FIRST writing gigs online many years ago was for a term paper company (they paid, though). I comforted myself by saying I needed the money (my son had RSV and I had to find a way to stay home and make money) and I also excused it by telling myself some poor souls just can't write - they NEEDED me, right?

It made me feel horribly guilty, so I found another way to make money - Elance - and stopped. I would hate for my own son or daughter to use a paper mill and I'm very sorry I compromised my own ethics doing this. Hope I never run for office! :)

Anyway, the government ought to crack down on this type of site I think.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 16th, 2006, 5:56 pm 
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Joined: February 8th, 2006, 4:15 pm
Posts: 1634
Location: Central Maine
My son didn't need a paper mill. He just cut and pasted an educational article off a website onto his own research paper. Fortunately, one face to face encounter and a big goose egg on his paper did the trick for him. He doesn't cheat anymore. This is a very good turn of events for a young man who is entering police training this summer!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 16th, 2006, 8:25 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2004, 3:15 pm
Posts: 264
Location: Pennsylvania
Until the academy stops slapping these young people on the wrists and starts slamming them with REAL punishment, this practice will continue. Young people don't see buying a term paper as cheating; it's just another hoop to jump through. College is no longer about learning; it's about credentialing. "Whatever it takes to get through" seems to be the mantra.

Term papers should be abolished and more in-class writing should be assigned, with the teacher/prof standing over the writers--unfortunate, but true.

Quite frankly, some parents are to blame as well. Every time a parent calls a prof to complain about how "my poor little Johnny" is being mistreated, he/she sends a message that little Johnny is a victim. Also, in some homes, parents encourage their darlings to do whatever it takes. They learn young that cheating is acceptable.

You know what's really sad? When you do catch someone redhanded, they're not even embarassed; they're angry at you, and then they try to pin the blame on you. "Your class was too hard, yada, yada, yada..."

Any writer who works for a term paper mill ought to be pubicly castigated; these "writers" are no better than their bosses and right up there with other literary liars and cheats. Cheaters ought to have their names placed on a public list. A little shame might go a long way.

Absolutely no sympathy here. My message to term paper mills, the people who work for them, and the buyers who buy such products:

You are SCUM!!!!

And if you are unfortunate enough to end up in one MY classes, WATCH OUT. If I catch you, I'll nail your butt to the wall.

Jennifer

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Blog for student writing: http://www.Publishes.us
http://www.itsJUSTwar.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 16th, 2006, 9:10 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2004, 3:15 pm
Posts: 264
Location: Pennsylvania
Okay.

So I was a bit harsh, but when I think about the students who are honest and work hard to earn their grades, I just see red when others feel entitled to get a high grade without earning it.

Think of Enron, Ken Lay, James Frey, and that writer from Harvard; these people cheated and were well paid for it. Sure, they got caught, but they still got paid.

Jennifer

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Blog for student writing: http://www.Publishes.us
http://www.itsJUSTwar.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 16th, 2006, 9:18 pm 
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Joined: July 14th, 2004, 8:45 pm
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Location: australia
HEAR! HEAR!

[That means I agree whole-heartedly]

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 16th, 2006, 9:28 pm 
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Joined: January 2nd, 2006, 7:42 pm
Posts: 519
String 'em up! (gulp - not me, though!!) I'm reformed, I swear...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 16th, 2006, 10:49 pm 
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Joined: March 4th, 2004, 9:36 pm
Posts: 777
Location: Murphy, NC Copy Desk
writertiff wrote:
String 'em up! (gulp - not me, though!!) I'm reformed, I swear...

Then how about this: You spend a day replacing divots at a nearby course. On a Sunday. In the rain. With your teeth.

Dave

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 16th, 2006, 11:06 pm 
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Joined: October 8th, 2003, 4:46 pm
Posts: 687
DaveLevin wrote:
writertiff wrote:
String 'em up! (gulp - not me, though!!) I'm reformed, I swear...

Then how about this: You spend a day replacing divots at a nearby course. On a Sunday. In the rain. With your teeth.

Dave


In a thong.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 17th, 2006, 1:00 am 
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Joined: August 1st, 2004, 3:15 pm
Posts: 264
Location: Pennsylvania
These guys

http://plagiarist.com/analysis/

also have their disclaimer:

Quote:
Your paper will be delivered via e-mail, so you don't have to worry about shipping or handling.

Remember, getting help is NOT the same as cheating. You'd be foolish to try to complete your assignment without assistance.

All transactions are handled by PayPal.com, which is fast and secure.


Are you kidding? What do you THINK your customers plan to do with your "notes"?

The scummiest of the scum.

Jennifer

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Website: http://www.LiteraryAgentBlog.com
Blog for student writing: http://www.Publishes.us
http://www.itsJUSTwar.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 17th, 2006, 8:06 am 
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Joined: January 2nd, 2006, 7:42 pm
Posts: 519
Just got back from the 18th hole - changing out of my thong now...man there were a lot of divots! Am I clean now?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 17th, 2006, 8:57 am 
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Joined: February 19th, 2003, 1:11 pm
Posts: 923
Location: Central Texas where the weather is always "sunny"
I apologize in advance--this is way off the subject, but of course, have to ask:

Writertiff: What is RSV?

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