Essay Writing Industry Demystified
If you were to walk into a college or high school classroom and ask the students how many of them have ever hired someone to write an essay for them, how many would you expect to raise their hands? Let's assume they're being honest in this scenario. In a classroom of 30 students, do you think you'd see 5 hands? Do you think you'd see 7? You'd actually see about 21 hands.
Statistically, 70% of high school and college students will use an essay writing service at least one time in their academic careers. And these essays don't come cheap. While some students will only order a piece of an essay or a small paper for about $20, others may purchase dissertations costing $7,000 or more!
Does that surprise you? It can certainly be alarming to learn the sheer number of students who reach out to essay writing services, especially when you consider the cost. Today, these services are more prevalent than ever, but it's worth noting that their activities are completely legal. Students can easily sign up online through websites that essentially guarantee them good grades. That's the number of students who would say they are not enthusiastic writing essays, to be honest. Due to such huge volumes, more and more students began to face fraud tactics and to lose their money. This is one of the reasons why this review blog was created.
Here's some background information on the essay writing industry. The most popular subjects for essays are English, History, Nursing, and Management. High School, Undergraduate, and Master's students purchase the most essays each year. PhD students also purchase papers occasionally, but they don't compare to the lower academic levels.
Students in Virginia, Massachusetts, California, and Illinois purchase more work than students in any other state. Both native English speakers and ESL students take advantage of custom writing services. Some students hire essay services for editing or proofreading, and some hire them to write their whole paper.
Why students buy essays?
The recent rise of essay writing websites raises a lot of questions. First of all, why do students buy essays? Do they think the work doesn't matter, and so they hire others to take on the tedious work they don't want to do? Are they overwhelmed by the workload, and purchasing essays is just a natural response to being unable to juggle so many things at once? Are they just lazy? The truth lies somewhere in the middle.
In extremely prestigious schools, students often feel an overwhelming amount of pressure to succeed. In these cases, paying several hundred dollars a few times a year is a small price to pay for sanity. Some students feel that they understand the material, and they don't need to write out an essay to prove it.
There is an underlying assumption that they will not need the writing skills that they'd gain by writing the essays on their own. They might feel that hiring someone to write their papers will free them up to study harder, or get involved in equally important extra-curricular activities that can bolster their resume and lead to more opportunities after graduation.
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Another compelling reason students hire professionals to write their papers is that they simply do not have the time. We live in a tremendously competitive world. Students know that they need to get a college education to be successful adults. Increasingly, an undergraduate degree isn't enough to differentiate oneself, so more and more students are attending graduate programs.
College tuition has been on the rise for the last few decades, with no foreseeable end in sight. Because students know that they need to get the degree, they are willing to do whatever it takes to get good grades and graduate with distinction. But since they are taking on monstrous amounts of debt to pay for just a small portion of their college loans, students are often working 20-40 hours each week in addition to taking on a full-time class schedule and can not cope with deadlines.
If a student is in class from 8-3, and then that student has to work from 4-10, when will he find the time to write a 10-page essay? When will he find time to go to the library to find sources?
In these cases, it's easy to understand the logic behind hiring another person to write your paper. In the example above, this student might fully understand the topic. He might be at the top of his class. He might even see the value in writing the essay and desire to do it on his own. But when it comes right down to it, he has no choice. He can quit his job, which would force him to drop out of college. Or he can hire someone to write the paper for him, get a solid grade, and be able to continue his education.
Alternatively, If a student always writes her own papers, she might feel that hiring someone to write one paper is not indicative of her college experience or skills, and so she might not give it too much thought. Each student's situation is unique, and each student stands to gain or lose something different.
Who write papers?
On the other side of the equation are the professional writers who create high-quality essays for other people without ever getting the credit. Why would people with Master's degrees and PhD's choose to write essays for others? Surely, this isn't what they had in mind when they were in school themselves.
The reasons vary from writer to writer. But one reason is that they may have found themselves in low-paying, dead-end job. They can continue to feel undervalued, or they can write essays for $20-$80 per page! If they are writing a paper with a “references,” or “works cited,” section, they can make an additional $1/source. Some writers might choose this career out of an underlying vengeance for an educational system that they feel has deceived them and left them with a pile of debt and no means to pay it off.
Some writers are simply intrigued by the concept of writing essays for hire. If you are an especially gifted writer with a skill set in a hotly desired area of study, becoming a professional essay writer can be tremendously fulfilling. You can use your skills to help students better themselves and succeed in school.
Because there are so many understandable reasons why students might choose to hire someone to write their essay, some writers view their work as noble and necessary. The reasons why people choose to become essay writers are as diverse as the reasons students choose to hire them.
Is the practice of hiring an essay writing service ethical? It's hard to say one way or the other. We have a great blog post that analyze this issue in 4 viewpoints. While it's not considered plagiarism (plagiarism implies stealing another's idea and claiming it as your own- essay writing services are paid for original work), some people argue that it's a form of cheating.
Unless a pre-written essay isn't well-referenced and full ownership rights are not turned over to the student, the chances of plagiarism is high and that's the only time a student will commit "academic cheating". Therefore, it's important for them to understand what plagiarism really is, and its possible repercussions in their academic performance.
But until the educational systems in place offer an alternative for students who feel that they are trapped in a corner, it's unlikely that these websites will disappear anytime soon. We need to have deeper conversations about what students expect from their school and their education. We need to talk about the cost of college, and ways to allow students to attend without breaking the bank.
by David Anderson
David Anderson is the founder of IHateWritingEssays. He hates the idea of companies baiting unsuspecting individuals with fraudulent services. Starting from school, he too, struggled to find a helping hand when it comes to writing assignments. Over time, he focused on publishing comprehensive reviews and helping students find reliable essay services. Thus, the review site came to be – serving as the "voice and the iron fist" of an industry expert.