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 word 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 supplied by the Ryerson University school of nursing, which consented 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 third year course. “Now I feel really suspicious about other papers.”
Academic integrity experts say businesses that sell custom-written papers are proliferating in the united states. Additionally there are concerns that the companies are getting to be bolder and more sophisticated because 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 so far as to express, ‘with us, you’re not cheating, you aren’t doing anything wrong, you’ll not get caught. if you engage'”
That practice happens to be dubbed “contract cheating” in the integrity field that is academic.
While universities and colleges don’t allow students to submit work that’s not their particular, companies that sell custom essays are fully legal in Canada.
Essay company explains how exactly to hand it in
A representative said the company would not sell a paper to a student who intended to submit the paper as their own work during a hidden camera interview at an essay writing store in Toronto.
The company, that will be one of many in Toronto alone, insists so it provides work for “research purposes” and buyers must sign a contract agreeing not to submit the act as their own.
However, the staff member also explained how some minor alterations into the purchased essay would make it fit for submission.
“You just take it and paraphrase it into the own words, that eliminates any issue with plagiarism,” said the staff member. “then you definitely can’t say you used someone else’s work as the own.”
The company guarantees that its papers are manufactured by native English speakers that have masters or doctorate-level degrees in relevant disciplines, and that each paper is a brand new and original good article tailored to your specific assignment.
The business said a lot of its customers use the purchased essays as a guide to help them produce their own work.
“A lot of people do not know just how to write papers, they do not know APA format, and so they don’t know simple tips to cite things,” said the staff member.
In line with the company’s website, it has produced significantly more than 100,000 custom essays within the last 18 years.
“I’ve seen it around, i am aware those who put it to use,” 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 topic of gun violence in Toronto. It failed to raise any warning flags in a brief analysis by nursing professors.
The essay was eight pages long, took 7 days to write and value $226 before taxes.
Hart said she likely would give it a B or B-, while nursing program director Nancy Walton said it looked to her like a paper that is b.
“that it was even suspicious of being a contract cheating paper, it would not have occurred to me,” Walton said if I had read this without knowing.
“We would never want to believe that a nursing student is engaging in contract cheating, but I guess . I really may well not know.”
Academic integrity experts say a lack of research and awareness comes with caused it to be hard to combat contract cheating.
While essay writing companies plaster university and college campuses with flyers every semester, the actual amount of students buying papers is practically impossible to determine.
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 regarding the self-reported figures. “By virtue of the fact that these businesses are expanding in the rate they may be expanding, that tells us why these businesses have customers.”
Foxe said he regularly deals with contract issues that are cheating. In a few recent cases, he said, the essay writing companies have even essay writing service tried to blackmail students by threatening to report them unless they pay additional fees.
While experts acknowledge that online usage of these ongoing services is widespread, they state that cracking down on the businesses operating within Canada’s borders might be effective.
The Academic Integrity Council of Ontario (AICO), an organization that represents 30 universities and colleges, is calling from the provincial government to make essay writing services illegal.
“we are a bit behind the changing times here in Canada,” said Amanda McKenzie, AICO’s former chair, who also works in the University of Waterloo.
McKenzie said laws essay that is targeting companies have already been successfully introduced in New Zealand and Australia, where significantly more than 70 post-secondary students were expelled in a contract cheating scandal in 2015.
She said companies in Canada should no longer be allowed to 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 to begin with.”
Hart agreed, and said any measures to cut down on cheating and dishonesty should always be pursued, especially in a field where graduates have significant responsibilities for health and safety that is public.
“As nursing students they’re caring for people, and there’s an expectation of ethics as well as truth telling and all of those ideas that buying a paper basically negates.”
In a statement to CBC Toronto, a spokesperson when it comes to Ministry of Training, universites and colleges said officials know about the issue, but so it should always be addressed by institutions and individual students. There are no intends to introduce legislation targeting the ongoing companies, the spokesperson said.