I chatted with a former professional essay writer and I shared most of her views. These are her confessions and I hope you enjoy the read.
I considered myself to be great in writing essays, so maybe I could finally benefit from that talent. I applied for a position as an essay writer for Best Essays and a few days after I got it, I decided to quit my office job for a marketing firm.
With time, the enthusiasm dropped and I realized that professional writing services had an undermining effect on today’s educational system. I read a publication in The Atlantic once and the article made a huge impact: now I’m out of that industry and I’m already an ESL teacher, I thought to share a few of my findings.
Initial Impressions: It Was Great To Be An Essay Writer.
At first, I believed I was helping students become better writers. They were going to use my content as foundation for their own research, and they would develop the ideas further. Truthfully, some went ahead to become better writers themselves, improving on their content and research abilities, but some just made seeking professional writing a habit.
I have to say the company I worked for did not convince students to buy papers there. It was strictly their own decision, and we were providing the products they asked for.
Why Students Need Essay Services
Maria, one of the first customers I worked for, needed a review of The Count of Monte Cristo. She told me she liked reading, but the volume of work the professor imposed was too much. I remember what she said: “If I read and analyze all these books, when will I find time for the other papers? When will I study for the exams?” That was a genuine concern.
Robert, another student I remember, liked the work I delivered, so he specifically requested my assistance for several other projects. As he explained, he didn’t want to go to college in the first place, but he had to deal with the great expectations of his successful parents.
Students have many reasons for using an essay writing service. Some of them are lazy; others are too busy or have poor time-management skills; some are parents; others have a part-time job; and most of them have no idea how to write academic papers. Most of the students who buy papers online are non-native English speakers from Eastern Europe and Asian countries, but Americans and Australians also place many orders. The percentages of males and females in the base of customers are almost the same (52% are male and 48% are female). Interestingly, 65% of the first-time users returned to buy more papers.
College students are not the only ones who need essays as 40% of the customers are between 25 and 34 years old. MA and PhD candidates also need assistance with writing a dissertation or a thesis paper and that in itself, isn’t a bad thing.
The Problems With The Academic Writing Industry
I noticed a few glitches in the system. Now the work for a writing agency is very flexible. A writer can take as much work as they can handle. The pay is never a problem; as long as you work well, you get good money.
One day, as I logged into my profile, I noticed there were no orders delegated to me. I contacted the superior to ask if there were any available projects, and I got an answer I didn’t expect. The website’s positions in Google search results dropped. The competition built links to our website under misleading anchor text, such as “porn essay” or “payday loan.” Since Google can ban sites from niches like payday loans, gambling, and porn, black hat marketers are often building such links with the goal to get competitive websites banned.
The company managed to take those bad backlinks down, and the website was back in business. After some time, there was another incident that showed how corrupt online marketers could get. I got a request for revisions. I had been working with the student before and he was happy with the work I delivered. This time, he was furious about the bad quality he received. We exchanged a few messages before I realized; that paper was not written by me. The competitors had created an identical website with a very similar domain name, and tricked our loyal customers to order papers there. They got plagiarized content and no refunds. That was a shame.
During the high seasons (fall and spring), there are almost 7,000 people looking to buy papers online, monthly. The keyword planner marks the competition for this keyword as “low” because these services don’t have access to advertising campaigns. Google banned such adverts back in 2007. Regardless of that action, the essay writing niche is still very competitive and growing stronger than ever. Its little wonder competitors are using whatever means necessary to gain mileage.
The situation with the scamming service presenting a plagiarized paper as something I wrote was the drop that spilled the cup. I realized I could help students do better with their tasks through other means, hence the career change. Now, I’m working as an ESL teacher.
Many would say that the essay writing niche is unethical and I would agree. But I believe these essay providers can devise a means to help students actually become better at writing and carrying out their academic goals or assignments. It may seem as a bad business strategy, but it is value added.
It was an interesting experience, to say the least. I enjoyed researching and writing, and I focused on the fact that I was learning something new every single day. However, I can help students become better professionals in a different way.
Why Do Students Feel As If They Need Them?
I recently had the opportunity to speak with a former writer for a prestigious essay writing service and his experience in the industry.
"I have witnessed the steady growth of this industry for years. When I became part of the team for Rush Essay, I thought we would be writing academic content for students with below-average capacity. I was in for a surprise. We got orders from all types of students - lazy ones who only want to find an easier way out of a messy situation, as well as really smart young people who simply couldn't find the time to do their own work.
I was convinced that students who got into Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford, Cambridge, and other prestigious US and UK universities would work much harder than the ones admitted to "secondary" schools. In fact, they do work hard; and that is the exact reason why they cannot afford to fail. In some cases, the assignment's requirements are so complex that it's difficult for the students to understand what the real question is. The struggles of ESL students are even greater; it is nearly impossible for them to produce degree-level academic content. Since the charges for plagiarism are serious, they have to rely on essay writing services as a solution that provides unique content by the given deadline."
Some statistics - Who buys papers online?
The essay writing industry is a source of interesting statistical data. California, New York and Texas are the most popular regions where orders were coming from. Stanford, UCLA, Berkeley, NYU, Columbia, University of Houston, and other institutions from these states are known for their competitive systems. A student who hopes to graduate from one of these universities usually needs to rely on "unorthodox" methods to deal with all challenges imposed by the professors. Since academic writing is becoming one of the most prominent aspects of the educational system, the constant development of the custom-writing industry is clearly justified.
The most popular types of content requested from custom-writing services are essays, research papers, and MA thesis. Students have an abundance of essays and research papers to write, so there is nothing unusual in the fact that professional writers mostly deal with these types of assignments. When it comes to subjects, students most commonly struggle with projects for Business, English language, and Management courses.
According to those within the industry, buying papers is a necessary reaction to serious underlying issues in the educational system. All college and university professors will tell you the same thing: to them, the act of purchasing papers online is no different than plagiarism. However, some argue that the issue is more complex than that claiming, that the content completed by professional writers is not plagiarized. It is completely unique, well-researched and properly-referenced. When a customer buys this type of product, he has the right to use it as a source for another paper, or simply submit it as his own. The teacher may suspect that the student didn't write a particular paper, but there is no way to prove such claims. Higher education is an industry on its own. Universities accept more applicants, including international students who don't have the needed grasp of the English language to write extraordinary academic content. On the other hand, they don't provide effective support that would enable these students to fit into the system.
The benefits of using custom-writing services are immense for foreign students. In addition, students with part-time jobs, older students who have families and those who are going through tough personal struggles simply need help to go through all challenges they face. The rapid growth of the custom-writing industry is a symptom of the great weaknesses within the educational system, which put students through a great deal of stress and emotional struggle.
What About The Moral Argument?
We all know the definition of cheating is, and simply saying that the work is more challenging for most or that they may not receive enough support from educators, or have enough time to dedicate to the work does not change the definition of cheating, or make it right in any way. Speaking from both ends of the argument, there are those that feel as if these services are creating lazy students and helping to grow an unprepared workforce.
Writing is a vital skill that is applied in many areas of life, especially for those who are entering the workforce, whether they are doing so as an employee or a business owner.
With communications being a vital skill for anyone entering the workforce, our education system recognizes this and strives to prepare our students by requiring them to improve this skill through writing assignments. By outsourcing the work, students, are depriving themselves of the opportunity to strengthen their communications and writing skills.
Are professors and teachers that difficult to reach that so many prefer to risk the stiff penalties of being caught cheating, rather than asking for help? There are many other options available for international, and any other student that may be struggling to keep up, from study groups, to programs within schools and Universities, such as writing centers. What they do require, however, is that the student actually make an effort, by simply making the decision to apply themselves.
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