Sunday, June 24, 2012

From the LA Times: Essay mills -- a coarse lesson on cheating.

Sometimes as I decide what kind of papers to assign to my students, I worry about essay mills, companies whose sole purpose is to generate essays for high-school and college students (in exchange for a fee, of course).

The mills claim that the papers are meant to be used as reference material to help students write their own, original papers. But with names such as, it’s pretty clear what their real purpose is.

Professors in general are concerned about essay mills and their effect on learning, but not knowing exactly what they provide, I wasn’t sure how concerned to be. So together with my lab manager, Aline Gruneisen, I decided to check the services out. We ordered a typical college term paper from four different essay mills. The topic of the paper? Cheating.

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