Professional Essay Writing Services – Avoid at all costs!
There are now over 100 essay writing companies in action around the globe. They may have names like ‘professional essay writing service’, or ‘trusted custom essays’ or even ‘student help services’. Students who are struggling with their course, or with the English language, may be tempted to make use of these services for their coursework.
However, the reality is that the sites are offering nothing more than ‘contract plagiarism’ mainly to students in higher education. Plagiarism is of course a student conduct offence, which the University of Glasgow takes very seriously. Students who submit plagiarised work can find they are investigated, their marks reduced and even in some cases unable to complete their degree.
What exactly is a professional essay writing service?
A professional essay writing service, or ‘essay mill’ is any service which offers to write your essays or assignments for you. They may be pretty straight-forward and openly offer to write your essay for you in exchange for a fee, or they may provide what they call ‘model’ example essays for you to use.
Some other websites are less upfront about what they are offering, and may claim to be offering proofreading services in exchange for a fee. But sometimes what is described as ‘proofreading’ can itself easily become an essay writing service.
Sample essays or ‘free’ examples of work
Some of the professional essay writing service website will show you samples of work under different subject categories. They may include these as a ‘taster’ in order to tempt you to buy. So you might think that if you are not paying for the work, it can’t be so bad, right? Wrong! Remember that if this is not your own work, and you pass it off as your own, that constitutes plagiarism.
Directly translating an essay from a website which is in another language into English.
You might find that some sites will offer tailor-made essays in many different languages. But don’t be tempted to take an essay and translate it into English. If you find an essay or assignment written in non-English and then translate it into English, this is still not your own work, and therefore plagiarism
Be wary of any sites which offers to correct spelling or grammar. Some of the websites are legitimate and may be OK to check the odd word or phrase, but again best be on the alert for anything suspicious, especially if you feel you are being hooked indirectly into paying for a service.
If you have problems with your writing, you should consult the services already offered by Glasgow University, so speak with your tutor, adviser of studies or consult the University's Student Learning Development team.
What is so wrong with professional essay writing services?
The websites may look professional, safe and perfectly legitimate. They may make promises and statements saying things like ‘100% plagiarism free’, confidential and quality guaranteed. They may claim to help you ‘eradicate plagiarism’ and that this would be ‘not cheating’! The last thing they want to do is to raise your suspicions about what they are actually trying to sell to you.
The sites often seem glossy and very attractive to students. However, sometimes on closer reading you will find spelling or grammar mistakes within the text. They may claim to advertise their services as cheap, simple to order, and most importantly the products claim to be ‘plagiarism free’. They use phrases such as ‘clear and transparent’ and ‘fair use policy’ and ‘consultation service’.
But don’t be fooled. Buying, using, copying, commissioning, or in any way passing off anybody else’s work as your own is definitely plagiarism, and is against the University’s Code of Student Conduct. If you get caught, then the Student Conduct Committee can impose the greatest sanctions including expulsion.
Examples of how companies target students
Students are targeted directly on social media, by spam emails to their student addresses, and in some instances by being given flyers in and around campus by individuals working for these companies. These companies are never authorised to give out these materials on campus.
The University is aware of a long list of companies offering these services, so if you buy their services you are likely to be caught. It is not worth the risk.
Where can I get help with my writing?
If you are struggling to meet deadlines, or have fallen behind with your work and are tempted to use an essay service, then it is very likely that you need help. The University has a number of support services to help you. You can get subject-specific help, or help with your writing, from teaching staff, your Adviser of Studies, and Student Learning Development Service.
If you are struggling with health or personal challenges outside of University, and are really struggling to meet deadlines, then check the University’s absence policy and good cause rules. Also, check your course handbook to find out how you can ask for an extension of time to complete the work.
You are also welcome to come in confidence to us at GUSRC Advice Centre to talk about your problem in the first instance. Other support services include Disability Service, or Counselling and Psychological Services.
Students who are approached or invited to write essays for a fee.
Lastly, there is the other side. Who does all the writing of these essays and assignments for the online companies? After all, they could not make money without using the writers who work for them. The essay mill companies use or exploit professional essay-writers from all around the globe to get them to do the writing.
If you are a senior student, particularly a PhD or Masters level student, you might be approached by professional sites to write essays for other students in return for a fee. Again, no matter how tempting, or flattering this is, you should avoid becoming involved. Writing essays for others either for a fee or for free is against the Code of Student Conduct.
To add insult to injury, there have been many reports of students who were never paid for the work which they did.
Remember – The University strongly discourages the use of proofreading and essay-writing companies by students.
If you see any publicity for commercial essay writing services on University premises, you are encouraged to report it to the Student Conduct Team at the University. You should be extra vigilant when asking for assistance from anyone other than a member of University staff.