Saturday, December 3, 2016

blank pages

Oy, it's been (almost) a week since my last post?  I'm hereby making an early new year's resolution to blog more often.

Until I started blogging, I didn't really write much - was never one to write in journals or diaries (is there a difference?).  My previous work life didn't require it, and that was fine with me too.  But now I enjoy it, and I enjoy helping tutees with writing too.

This is good since I need to do quite a bit of writing now for school.  So I don't mind it, but I'll blame that for my lack of blogging.  Too much of a good thing and all that.

And this week, I got an e-mail in my university account offering "custom writing services" a.k.a cheating.
The note listed several reasons to use the service
  • tight deadlines
  • writing papers prevents you from attending social functions
  • papers due the next morning, but you haven't started any
  • no time to sit and focus on research
  • working on papers bores you

Serilously?  I'm not naive enough to not know that there are students who pay others to do assignments for them.  This is the first time anyone has hit me up, though. Their note mentions that the are available on Facebook, WhatsApp, Kik, WeChat, Line and Skype".  Geesh, they're everywhere.

They advertise writing assistants who *help* students write papers, but  the not-so-fine-print advertises that they will

"...confidently provide papers that are original, delivered punctually, and which conform to the writing style of you university/college and that all communications will maintain the highest level of confidentiality..."

Sure sounds like cheating to me.   I did an internet search and found all kinds of others. Okay, maybe I am a bit naive about just how many such services exist.  I'm curious as to how many customers they have.

In the meantime, I, for one, will continue to do my own work, responsibly and punctually!


ShadowRun300 said...

I just finished reading your last post, thinking it was fairly new... until I saw that you were on Thanksgiving (Fall) break. Has it really been that long since I've been here? Thanks for blogging slow while I caught up. And hooray for more blogging (from you) in 2017! I'm not making the same promises. Right now, I'm just hoping I'll feel like writing tomorrow. My first day off in 9 days. Oy vey.
Anyway, YES. You should write your own paper. And by golly, my boys better be writing their own too. Sad to think some kids use these services. Heck, writing was one of my favorite things to do in school.

LL Cool Joe said...

I hope my older daughter doesn't find out about these services as I couldn't guarantee she wouldn't use them. Oops that doesn't sound good does it?

Marcy said...

Ugh--plagiarism. That's a part of my life sometimes as a teacher, with kids copying and pasting info from the Internet. At least it's just as easy to find the source in less than a second with Google. If people pay enough, though, they can get original work written for them, so I don't know how teachers could catch that. One time I asked a student to explain the paragraph he had "written," and he didn't know what it meant, so that might work for some professors.

Ginny said...

I've heard of these services. I would never use it. There's some pride in writing your own paper and getting a good grade on it.

Linda Hensley said...

I'm afraid there might be a lot of students that use these services. There are quite a few people in public life who clearly don't understand what plagiarism is. Good for you to do your own work. I'm sure you can get the grades on your own.

Abby said...

Welcome back :)
I agree, it's sad for students to use these services rather than accept the challenge and just write the darn papers!

Abby said...

I was a bit shocked to find so many of these services blatantly advertising. It's almost too easy. BTW, the one that contacted me is based in the UK...

Abby said...

Yeah plagiarism is bad enough, but what can teachers do about original work written by someone else? In your case, you probably know most of your students' capabilities, but I doubt that's true for many teachers and university professors.

Abby said...

Right? I don't see how someone could feel good about a grade that someone else earned for them.

Abby said...

Yep, and even beyond plagiarism, I think there are too many who are comfortable with getting ahead by cheating the system. I would think it would end up biting them in the butt eventually.

Morgan Cartwright said...

This reminds me of the first season of "Shameless" where Lip would write papers and take the SATs for people to earn money. It was very lucrative for him until the SAT people caught up with him and he ended up getting into some college because of his genius level.

I know when I turn papers in for my classes, they run it through a program called turnitin and it catches anything that is exactly like another paper. It sounds like this cheating service might have slightly original papers. I don't know. I just don't like cheating and fraud.

Abby said...

Screening for cheaters on standardized tests like SATs is pretty strict, but I bet some still get away with it. Some of my professors use a similar program to turnitin to check for plagiarism, but I don't know how to flag an original paper written by someone else.

LL Cool Joe said...

Yeah but there's less pride in writing your own paper and getting a crap grade on it. :D