Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why Even Bother? I'll Tell You Why!

I was searching on the NY Times website for the article I mentioned in my previous post and I was presented with two (paid) links that advertised assistance in writing your papers (actually, it was the word assignment that flagged it; note to self, ignore advice to stop tweaking your site and add something about assignments). Being curious about my competition and how they sell themselves, I clicked on both their sites. They are actually sites that write a student's paper, essay, thesis, dissertation, MBA project, etc FOR THEM. That's right. For a price, you could have your dissertation written for you.

At first, I was really, really depressed. Why should they pay me, when for less, they can have someone else write their papers for them? But then I found a few good reasons right on their sites.

Reason one: It's not a good idea to buy services from a company that has ethical reasoning like this:

"All our papers are provided for research purposes, therefore you are not cheating. Once we write the paper for you it becomes you possession. We guarantee you 100% confidentiality and 100% plagiarism free papers. In no way it can be considered a cheating."

Really? Apparently the definition of cheating is different in the U.K. It's not, but really, it's a bit of moral and ethical acrobatics in order to make you feel better for slacking off and, yes, cheating.

Reason two, "The Hassle of University Papers," according to one paper mill's website:

"Putting in time and effort to get a good university level essay, thesis, dissertation or Term Paper done is a difficult especially when the assignment is difficult. A sound university essay, thesis, dissertation or Term Paper needs effort, devotion and an idea as well as meticulous knowledge of the subject.

"University essay, thesis, dissertation or Term Paper is an area of expertise and this website modestly helps students globally with their university essay, thesis, dissertation or Term Papers. There are many websites out there that can provide you with the best written university essay, thesis, dissertation or Term Paper that would totally comply with your specifications and help you advance. Students who cannot take out time or carry out researchers will be delighted to use our services that provide only the best university essay, thesis, dissertation or Term Papers for them at an affordable price."

It's probably NOT a good idea to buy a paper from a business who writes blog posts like this. But isn't that part of the problem today with higher education, or education in general? University is HARD. I don't like to work HARD. I want to have FUN. Right. Chat online live right now with someone who will write poorly and yet still convince you to use their service. All credit cards accepted.

This ties into reason three: Why are you even here? Seriously, the entire point of higher education is education. Learning. The good is hard. If your education is worth it to you, then you will be willing to work hard and do what is necessary for the greater good of your career or educational goals. No, it's not easy, but you can take the easy way out or you can use your resources to find a way to do the best that you can, not the best that some stranger can do for you in two hours (or less!). Give someone a fish; teach them to fish. Do you want to learn to fish? Or do you just want to eat?

I'll help you fish. I know that there are students out there who want to learn. I have to believe that.


  1. I explicitly allow cheating. Sort of. If a student can make it through my 15-minute talk on why it's the stupidest thing they could ever do, then I figure they are choosing the much more important thing to learn that I outline, i.e., the lesson of investing an enormous amount into an endeavor over fours to then meeting colossal failure and having to start at square one when it is much more costly and painful.


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