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 term paper was purchased through a self-described custom essay writing service that is located in Toronto but serves post-secondary students across Canada.
The real-life assignment was supplied by the Ryerson University school of nursing, which decided to analyze the essay that is purchased.
“It was very disturbing in my experience, because i might be prepared to see this paper,” said Corinne Hart, an associate at work professor of nursing at Ryerson, who assigns the essay in a year course that is third. “Now personally i think really suspicious about other papers.”
Academic integrity experts say companies that sell custom-written papers are proliferating in the united states. Additionally, there are concerns that the ongoing companies are getting to be bolder and more sophisticated while 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 as far as to say, ‘If you engage with us, you’re not cheating, you aren’t doing anything wrong, you won’t get caught.'”
That practice has been dubbed “contract cheating” within the academic integrity field.
While universities and colleges do not allow students to submit work that’s not their very own, companies that sell custom essays are fully legal in Canada.
Essay company explains how 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 business, which can be one of several in Toronto alone, insists so it provides work for “research purposes” and buyers must sign a contract agreeing not to ever submit the ongoing work as their own.
However, the staff member also explained how some minor alterations to the essay that is purchased make it fit for submission.
“You simply take it and paraphrase it to your own words, that eliminates any issue with plagiarism,” said the employees member. “then you definitely can’t say you used someone else’s work as the own.”
The organization guarantees that its papers are manufactured by native English speakers who have masters or doctorate-level degrees in relevant disciplines, and that each paper is a brand new and original piece of work tailored towards the specific assignment.
The business said lots of its customers make use of the purchased essays as helpful tips to assist them to produce their particular work.
“a great deal of men and women don’t know just how to write papers, they do not know APA format, and so they have no idea how to cite things,” said the staff member.
Based on the company’s website, it offers produced significantly more than 100,000 custom essays within the last 18 years.
“I’ve seen it around, I know those who use it,” 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 would not raise any warning essaypro flag in a brief analysis by nursing professors.
The essay was eight pages long, took seven days to write and cost $226 before taxes.
Hart said she likely will 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 might never want to genuinely believe that a nursing student is engaging in contract cheating, but I guess . I must say I may well not know.”
Academic integrity experts say too little research and awareness comes with managed to make it difficult to combat contract cheating.
Every semester, the actual number of students buying papers is practically impossible to determine while essay writing companies plaster university and college campuses with flyers.
A 2018 study by Swansea University in Wales found that contract cheating has been self-reported historically by 3.5 per cent of students. Foxe said he believes the nagging problem likely is more widespread.
“I would personally expect it to be somewhat more than that,” he said regarding the figures that are self-reported. “By virtue to the fact that these companies are expanding in the rate they are expanding, that tells us that these businesses have customers.”
Foxe said he regularly deals with contract cheating issues. In some recent cases, he said, the essay writing companies have even attempted to blackmail students by threatening to report them unless they pay additional fees.
While experts acknowledge that online access to these ongoing services is widespread, they state that cracking down regarding the businesses operating within Canada’s borders could be effective.
The Academic Integrity Council of Ontario (AICO), a company that represents 30 universities and colleges, is calling regarding the provincial government to make essay writing services illegal.
“We’re a little behind the times here in Canada,” said Amanda McKenzie, AICO’s former chair, who also works in the University of Waterloo.
McKenzie said laws targeting essay writing companies have now 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 beneath the guise of providing “research” assistance.
“They already know that students are likely to take that material and probably turn it around and submit it,” McKenzie said. “It is why the student came to them in the first place.”
Hart agreed, and said any measures to cut down on cheating and dishonesty should be pursued, particularly in a field where graduates have significant responsibilities for health insurance and safety that is public.
“As nursing students they truly are looking after people, and there is an expectation of ethics and of truth telling and all sorts of of those things that buying a paper basically negates.”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities said officials are aware of the issue, but that it should be addressed by institutions and individual students in a statement to CBC Toronto. There are no intends to introduce legislation targeting the companies, the spokesperson said.