Outsourcing Homework: ‘Custom’ Essays for Sale, Talk of the Nation, NPR, April 14, 2009.
The counterfeit college essay has turned into a sophisticated money-making machine, invisible to plagiarism-detection software. What is new about this “industry” is that the writers can be in India or the Ukraine and sometimes the grammar and language usage gives that away. Also, the level of sophistication has increased to the point that an MIT engineering student ordered a custom dissertation complete with formatting requirements. Students pay from $15-$60 a page and the paper quality ranges from poor to excellent. Google “buy an essay” and you will find a list of these companies that allow students to turn in work that is not their own.
Tom Bartlett, senior reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education, investigated how essay mills are multiplying and going global.