Buying an essay on the internet is not cheating, providing the
service is used correctly.
Many students have been purchasing custom essays online and this
has recently caused a great deal of controversy in the education
system. The aim of this article is to describe the transition of
the traditional "essay banks" to what are known as "custom essay
sites" and the further progression to "personalised essay
sites", and to outline the common grounds under which the use of
these services are deemed to be perfectly legitimate and
The traditional essay banks that still exist today are purveyors
of pre-written essays that allow students to ramble through them
and find an essay that they can use to benefit their studies.
There are many problems associated with the use of essay banks,
for instance not only do they seldom provide the relevant
material to the student, but they are not unique and therefore
they fail to culminate the required research for the customer.
This means that one would have to spend hours searching the
essay banks (often having to purchase the right to view numerous
essays) in order to achieve a reasonable amount of research to
refer to. Not only is this extremely time consuming, but it
could often prove very expensive, with students spending a great
deal of time and money only to end up with more than few vague,
poor quality essays to help them with their studies.
The many problems associated with essay banks led to birth of
the custom essay sites. These sites set out to solve the
problems common to essay banks by providing essays that are
written to the customers' question. This enabled students to
purchase a model answer specific to their requirements without
having to search the internet for hours. This eventually had its
adverse effects on the market, with many custom essay sites
using this as an opportunity to use their custom essay service
to build up their own essay banks, as well as using their
existing essay banks to create custom research from. Customers
were essentially buying an often wholly plagiarised piece taken
from, or soon to appear on an essay bank. They were essentially
paying for a piece of research that would soon benefit other
students, therefore taking away any competitive advantages that
the model answer would have granted them.
The next phase was the innovative creation of the "personalised
essay service". These services provide a piece of research that
is custom written to the exact requirements of the customer,
with a guaranteed level such as a guaranteed First Class or 2:1
standard. These essays are scanned for plagiarism, ensuring each
piece of work is unique, furthermore they will not appear on an
essay bank or database for a fair period of time - 4 years or
more, and will never be resold.
Now for the speculation - are these personalised essay sites
aimed to encourage cheating. Having looked at the main websites
in this industry, I have examined the grounds under which their
service is intended and should be used. Under the FAQ section of
one of the main providers, it was fairly argued "Our aim is to
produce essays and research materials in order to aid and
inspire your topic or subject area. We deliver model answers to
the questions that our customers submit to us- that means the
research materials that you receive would guarantee a 2:1 or 1st
class in a like for like exam. The work that our researchers
produce for you is for your own reference, to benefit your final
piece, however it is not intended for you to pass off as your
own. We rely on our customers to use our service sensibly."
(www.essaysforstudents.com) Furthermore, they retain the
copyright for all their research pieces and if used sensibly,
their service is merely offering substantial support to
customers, just as a private tutor would. They do not condone
cheating in any form and act to discourage it.
By Tanya Scott