Experts say ‘predatory’ essay writing firms are thriving, and there’s no law to prevent them

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A CBC News investigation has revealed how fast and convenient it is to purchase a custom academic essay that can go undetected by university professors and plagiarism software.

The term paper was purchased through a self-described custom essay writing service that is based in Toronto but serves post-secondary students across Canada.

The real-life assignment was given by the Ryerson University school of nursing, which decided to analyze the essay that is purchased.

“It was very disturbing for me, because I would expect to see this paper,” said Corinne Hart, a co-employee professor of nursing at Ryerson, who assigns the essay in a year course that is third. “Now personally i think really suspicious about other papers.”

Academic integrity experts say companies that sell custom-written papers are proliferating across the country. online paper writer There are also concerns that the ongoing companies are becoming bolder and much more sophisticated as they grow.

“I see these as predatory companies,” said John Paul Foxe, director of Ryerson University’s academic integrity office.

“They’re going to go as far as to say, ‘with us, you’re not cheating, you’re not doing anything wrong, you won’t get caught. in the event that you engage'”

That practice has been dubbed “contract cheating” within the academic integrity field.

While universities and colleges do not allow students to submit work that’s not their very own, companies that sell custom essays are fully legal in Canada.

Essay company explains how exactly to hand it in

During a hidden camera interview at an essay writing store in Toronto, a representative said the business wouldn’t normally sell a paper to a student who meant to submit the paper because their own work.

The business, which can be one of many in Toronto alone, insists so it provides work with “research purposes” and buyers must sign a contract agreeing to not submit the work as their very own.

However, the employees member also explained how some minor alterations to the purchased essay would make it fit for submission.

“You simply take it and paraphrase it into the own words, that eliminates any issue with plagiarism,” said the employees member. “then you definitely can’t say you used someone else’s work as the own.”

The company guarantees that its papers are produced by native English speakers that have masters or doctorate-level degrees in relevant disciplines, and that each paper is a brand new and original piece of content tailored into the assignment that is specific.

The company said nearly all its customers use the purchased essays as helpful tips to help them produce their own work.

“A lot of individuals have no idea how to write papers, they don’t know APA format, and they do not know just how to cite things,” said the staff member.

In line with the company’s website, this has produced a lot more than 100,000 custom essays over the past 18 years.

“I’ve seen it around, i understand those who utilize it,” said University of Toronto student Fatima Zafar, standing near a light standard covered in an essay company’s flyers.

“Sometimes friends joke I don’t know if they’re for real or not,” said York University student Pedro Charneca about it, but.

The paper obtained by CBC News was written on the subject of gun violence in Toronto. It would not raise any red flags in a analysis that is brief nursing professors.

The essay was eight pages long, took 7 days to publish and cost $226 before taxes.

Hart said she likely will give it a B or B-, while nursing program director Nancy Walton said it looked to her like a B+ paper.

“If I had read this with no knowledge of it was even suspicious of being a contract cheating paper, it can not need occurred for me,” Walton said.

“we might never wish to believe that a nursing student is engaging in contract cheating, but i suppose . I must say I may not know.”

Academic integrity experts say too little awareness and research comes with managed to make it hard to combat contract cheating.

Every semester, the actual number of students buying papers is practically impossible to determine while essay writing companies plaster university and college campuses with flyers.

A 2018 study by Swansea University in Wales unearthed that contract cheating has been self-reported historically by 3.5 per cent of students. Foxe said he believes the nagging problem likely is much more widespread.

“I would personally expect it to be somewhat higher than that,” he said of the self-reported figures. “By virtue to the fact that these businesses are expanding during the rate they’re expanding, that tells us that these businesses have customers.”

Foxe said he regularly deals with contract cheating issues. In some recent cases, he said, the essay writing companies have even attempted to blackmail students by threatening to report them unless they pay additional fees.

While experts acknowledge that online access to these ongoing services is widespread, they state that cracking down on the businesses operating within Canada’s borders could possibly be effective.

The Academic Integrity Council of Ontario (AICO), a company that represents 30 universities and colleges, is calling from the provincial government to make essay writing services illegal.

“we are a little behind the changing times here in Canada,” said Amanda McKenzie, AICO’s former chair, who also works during the University of Waterloo.

McKenzie said laws essay that is targeting companies have been successfully introduced in New Zealand and Australia, where more than 70 post-secondary students were expelled in a contract cheating scandal in 2015.

She said companies in Canada should no be allowed to longer operate underneath the guise of providing “research” assistance.

“They know that students are going to take that material and probably around turn it and submit it,” McKenzie said. “It’s why the student came to them in the first place.”

Hart agreed, and said any measures to cut down on cheating and dishonesty must be pursued, particularly in a field where graduates have significant responsibilities for health insurance and public safety.

“As nursing students they are looking after people, and there is an expectation of ethics and of truth telling and all of those things that buying a paper basically negates.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities said officials are aware of the issue, but that it should be addressed by institutions and individual students in a statement to CBC Toronto. There are no intends to introduce legislation targeting the companies, the spokesperson said.