Thursday, October 07, 2021

Satanic Essay Mills


The phrase completely unethical is a quote from the skills minister, Alex Burghart. While I have no love for the essay mills, having tangled with them previously on this blog, I also wonder whether the university system should share some responsibility for the emergence of this market.

If academic success depends on delivering certain items of coursework, as evidence that a student has achieved the course objectives, and yet those items of coursework are so standardized that they can be successfully churned out by someone who hasn't participated in the course, then perhaps the course objectives and coursework assignments haven't been thought through properly.

Another contributing factor is the amount of time the university staff will have spent with each student, and the amount of time to mark each essay. If this is insufficient, then the marker will have no way of knowing whether the authorship of a given essay is credible.

In summary, academic standards depend on a number of factors, including well-designed courses and proper engagement with students. If the universities try to cut costs by skimping on these elements of education, maybe it isn't so surprising that some students are tempted to cheat as well.


Essay mills: Contract cheating to be made illegal in England (BBC News 6 October 2021) HT @EeHRN

How students turn to essay mills to help them cheat (BBC Worklife, 29 March 2019)

More posts on essay mills

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