Monday, June 19, 2006

Cheating 2

[Update] Corrections to this post have been made for legal reasons.

Apparently there are two ways for American students to pay someone else to write their college assignments. The all-American way recommended by an outfit called, and the cheap foreign imports allegedly offered by other organizations.

EssayFraud suggests that essay-writers in other countries will not be as knowledgeable or literate as Americans, and may not be as scrupulous in respecting copyright. (Yeah, right.)

Daniel Nexon, on the Duck of Minerva blog, sees this as part of the FightBack Against Outsourcing. Of course, it's still outsourcing if you get a fellow-American to do the essay for you - even your Mom - but the real issue here is apparently off-shore outsourcing ("off-shoring").

Obviously EssayFraud doesn't explicitly encourage students to pass off outsourced essays as their own work. However, it is difficult to see why any students would be willing to pay anyone for "research" unless they were intending to commit some kind of fraud. (Is there a clue in the name of the company?)

And it is perhaps when people are intending to commit untrustworthy acts themselves that they are most vulnerable to being ripped off by others.

[Update] I should have made clear that Essay Fraud is a watchdog organization, which invites membership applications from bona fide American research organizations. Essay Fraud does not itself sell services to American students or have foreign competitors, but it appears to represent the interests of companies that do so. I apologize to Essay Fraud and its members for this misunderstanding, which I hope I have now corrected.

Links: Essay Fraud, Essay Fraud 2.