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(The prices/offers of Custom-Written Essay Services detailed in this article are for informational purposes only.  I do not condone or recommend the use of such offers and accept no responsibility for those who choose to.)

Students are put under a fair bit of pressure, it’s reasonable to say.

tutorhubEssays, exams, reports, lab write-ups, dissertations, theses, research, group projects, reflective pieces, presentations, displays… It’s small wonder that student support centres, mental health centres and university doctor’s surgeries are overflowing with stressed students in today’s further education world.

Thankfully for some, pressure can be relieved.

Recently there has been a rise in the prevalence of so-called ‘custom written essay services.’  To paraphrase, they are basically companies who, for a fee, will offer to write your essay for you.  These are mainly written by people who claim to be knowledgeable in the subject.  It cuts out the work and you get to hand in the work pain-free on time.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

First of all, it would be a good idea to assess what these companies offer you – I went to a couple of websites to see what they could offer me for different types of work:

(I have deliberately not included the names of the companies that I have used – I do not wish to be appearing to advertise or endorse them.)

  • The first site I visited offered me essays ranging from reflective reports to an entire dissertation. They offered me an assignment of a standard 2,000 word length, written in a week for £350.  When it came to a dissertation, they could give me a ‘first-quality’, 11,000 word piece for £1,700.  This was to be written in a month.  The second company could do the same work for a similar amount.

  • Both websites had full guarantees that the work would be of the quality specified – if the work didn’t match the grade you paid for then you get your money back.

  • All of the sites claimed that if your paper was accused of plagiarism then you would immediately get your money back.

  • Both sites promised that your privacy and that your details would never be disclosed.

As you can see, it all seems too good to be true.  However, allow me to blow this all open for you…

  1. You can write a piece that you believe is perfect… but the mark will be down to the marker.  I would never trust someone if they promised a grade.  They don’t know your tutor and how they will interpret ‘your’ work.  Heck, on one occasion even I didn’t know who was marking my paper.  The notion that you can order a piece of work that is guaranteed to be of a certain standard is ridiculous.  And anyway, surely the ghost writer will want to write the best work they can and not some half-baked job just because you paid less.  Crooked in the extreme.

  2. It’s all very well offering a money back guarantee if you’re caught plagiarising, but it doesn’t disguise the fact you’re in deep trouble.   The notion that they promise to be 100% plagiarism free is complete and utter nonsense – it’s pure luck.
    Think of it this way: if you are ten days from hand-in and you buy a guaranteed first-class essay… what’s to say it’s going to be unique?  Do you really think that even the best of writers will be able to write a first-class 10,000 word dissertation in 10 days scratch?  Of course not – your lovely essay will likely be written using chunks of other essays that the author has already written.
    If nothing else, being caught plagiarising work is likely to fail you the module… what kind of comfort is your money back going to be?
    So I’ve failed the module and am ready to stand in front of the academic offences committee for a hearing… but it didn’t cost me anything to get into this mess.

  3. Your privacy is not guaranteed if it goes far enough. – If you are accused of plagiarism by a university or author, companies claim that their information is governed by the Data Protection Act, this ‘guaranteeing’ your privacy.  However, what they don’t say is that your privacy is not guaranteed if a court order is taken out to force the release of the information – there are specific clauses in the law that allows the publication of such material if it is relevant to a civil or criminal case.

If nothing else, custom written essays are plagiarism, end of!

Plagiarism is as serious academic offence.  The wilful passing on of someone else’s work as your own (whether in part or in full) is universally condemned by all areas of academia.

Universities have different policies as to how to combat plagiarism and what happens if you are accused of it:

  • One of the most popular methods of detecting plagiarism is through a checker such as TurnItIn, a service that checks through your work to see if there are unreferenced elements to your work or if it is similar to someone else’s work.  You may be required to either submit an electronic copy of your work at the deadline or may have to keep a copy of your work for later analysis (note, being asked later doesn’t mean you are under investigation, it likely just means you were part of a random sample they want to check.)

  • If you are accused of plagiarism you should be informed before the work is returned to you with a mark.  You should also be told how to appeal the decision if you believe there has been a mistake.

  • Thankfully, the consensus is that you will always have a chance to defend yourself and you are innocent until proven guilty.  If there has genuinely been a misunderstanding, such as a case of accidental plagiarism, then you will be able to provide evidence that it was not intentional.

  • In all cases, your Student Union (if you are a member of it) will offer you support and will probably offer you a representative to take to any hearings that you have to attend.

  • If you have found to be guilty of plagiarism the most likely outcome is that you will fail the piece of work (and usually you won’t be allowed to retake it.)  If you’re a final year student and you’ve plagiarised your dissertation, you could well fail your final year.  You won’t be able to graduate with an Honours classification (meaning you’ll likely be only able to pass the degree.)  At worst, you could find yourself thrown off your course.

I urge you not to risk it – whilst custom written essays may seem tempting, there are many pitfalls and I would highly recommend you steer well clear.

9 Comments

9 Responses to “Custom-written essay services are plagiarism: Don’t risk being caught!”

  1. scolaire75

    Would you autorise me to cite your article in a post in the Facebook group ‘Tutors-live Users’ (which I co-administrate)?

    Jean-Yves Rollin

    Reply (0) (0)
    • mjhansford

      No problem – please cite Mike Hansford, Tutorhub as the author.

      Reply (0) (1)
  2. Jackie (@Jackie66825887)

    There should be no need for any student to buy essays. If they are not managing their time on their studies then maybe their priorities are wrong. If they cannot put an essay together without relying on someone else’s work then maybe they should not be at University in the first place? However it could be a good source of income for the more academic of the students who can sell to these companies but the “possible” minority of serious students who have real pride in their work would not put a price on it for others to take the credit. It could be damaging for the top writers later on if they become published and then run the risk of being accused of plagiarism of their own work!

    Reply (1) (0)
    • mjhansford

      All of the companies I looked at guarantee that their writers hold degrees in their relevant fields. I would assume that this would exclude the majority of students.

      I have to agree with you though. If your priorities are wrong then this is a tempting option but by no means the right one.

      Reply (1) (0)
  3. FAQ On Writing A Good Essay

    This is an interesting, well argued post. I like it. Some important considerations when writing. Informative article and great reminder of using the three elements of persuasion. I need to reread it. Thanks Author!

    Reply (0) (0)
  4. Alex

    Why people always blame students for choosing essay writing services? Why not look at the lecturers too? Most of the students that are using these services are international students and being an international student myself I have to admit that some assignments are actually too hard and the support that you get from the lecturer is most of the times useless or sometimes they don’t even try to help you. So don’t blame students for everything

    Reply (0) (2)

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