Over the last few years, there has been a rising trend in students using a service that ensures they hand their essays and academic papers in on time. Essay-writing services aren’t a new thing, but they have definitely seen a rise in popularity recently due to the loophole they create in the academic system. No matter what the subject, and at what level it’s being studied, these essay-writing services are offering to do all of the hard work for students who don’t have the time – or the inclination – to write their own work.
However, is this legal loophole in the system a wise choice to take? Are colleges and universities going to close the loophole in the system soon? In this digital age, are grading students based on these kinds of essays out of date? We delve into the world of essay-writing services, what they are, who is using them, and whether this really is the smartest way to earn your degree.
The history of essays
It may be strange to think, but the idea of writing essays has been around for hundreds of years. Michel de Montaigne from the 1500s is believed to be the first author to actually describe his work as ‘essays,’ but it is argued that the Japanese had something similar as far back as the year 1,000! Over the many hundreds of years, the idea of an essay has become less a jumbling of ‘varied thoughts’ and ‘fragmented ideas,’ and more something most students believe is just pure torture. Cause and effect, compare and contrast, reflective, argumentative; these are all some of the essay types that have been created over the years to help teachers judge how well their students are doing in class.
Do essays give teachers the full picture?
One of the biggest arguments over the years is that asking students to write essays on a topic doesn’t always show off their skills or knowledge. After all, you may have an impeccable memory of facts about World War II, but that doesn’t mean you can articulate them into a structured essay format. Sometimes, essays are more about your writing skills than anything else. That seems fair in an English class, but not necessarily for every other subject. In some countries, essays are being slowly phased out to be replaced with more ongoing grading throughout the lessons and exams. Now that essay-writing services are becoming prevalent around the world, it’s likely that many more countries will follow this lead, too.
The rise of essay-writing services
Long before the internet, people paid other people to write their school work. In fact, you may have seen it happen once or twice yourself. Whether the price was a stick of candy or an invite to the biggest party of the year, there have always been those who are happy to do other’s work for them. And, they have always been those who want the work done for them too! So, essay-writing services aren’t a particularly new invention. However, in the digital age, they have become far more sophisticated.
Essay-writing services’ popularity has doubled over the past year
Students can now log onto online portals to ask for help with their essays, by people from all around the world. Essay writers generally tend to have a specific degree themselves, and so offer support in that subject. Still, there are also those who just have a passion for learning and writing essays. There are usually hundreds of different writers and academics available online, willing to write a student’s essay – for a price! These essay-writing services have become so easy to use that students are flocking in their thousands to get someone else to write their work.
There’s one big problem when it comes to teachers using essays to grade their students. They can’t stop them from using essay-writing services. Many of these services explain to the student that the essays are for ‘research’ purposes, and therefore students are advised to edit and adapt the work they are sent. Students can change a few words here and there, to claim the credit for the entire essay. And, as it has been written by someone else – and not just copied off the internet – the essay won’t flag up on plagiarism software either. Basically, there is nothing teachers and schools can do to stop the rise of essay-writing services. The work is completely untraceable, and they would be unable to prove the student didn’t write it themselves – even if they had a sneaking suspicion.
At the present time, there is no real solution for teachers and schools when it comes to students using essay-writing services. There is no way to prove that a student has used that kind of service, and so their hands are tied. However, there is a worry that many students can pass difficult degree subjects using someone else to write their papers. For example, medical students or those studying law. Although many of these subjects also come with a lot of hands-on work and exams, so there’s no real hiding a lack of knowledge there!
Students have found a legal loophole in the system, and teachers are hand-tied.
It seems as though the legal loophole of essay-writing services will continue for quite some time yet. Especially with the rise in distance learning courses, making it even easier for work to be solely judged on writing skills alone. Will educational establishments work on a solution to stop this from happening? Or is it something they will just have to sit back and watch? Will many of the graduates of the future pick up their degree with a smirk on their face, knowing someone else did some of the work for them? Or will they just be glad that they had a way to alleviate some of the stress of their schoolwork?
It seems as though essay-writing services are certainly here to stay for some time. There doesn’t seem to be a plausible way that schools can stop this legal loophole from happening, without getting rid of essay-based work entirely. So, students will continue to take advantage of the flaw in the system and get someone to do their work for them… Only without paying in candy sticks and party invites, they’re paying in cash. It’s a tale as old as time, just remastered for the digital age – and it’s unlikely to ever stop.