A CBC News investigation has revealed how fast and convenient it would be to purchase a custom essay that is academic can go undetected by university professors and plagiarism software.
The expression paper was purchased through a custom that is self-described writing service that is situated in Toronto but serves post-secondary students across Canada.
The real-life assignment was provided by the Ryerson University school of nursing, which decided to analyze the purchased essay.
“It was very disturbing in my experience, because I would personally expect to see this paper,” said Corinne Hart, an associate at work 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. There are also concerns that the companies are becoming 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 will go so far as to say, ‘If you engage with us, you aren’t cheating, you aren’t doing anything wrong, you may not get caught.'”
That practice happens to be dubbed “contract cheating” within the integrity field that is academic essay writing.
While universities and colleges do not allow students to submit work that’s not their particular, 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, that will be one of several in Toronto alone, insists so it provides work for “research purposes” and buyers must sign a contract agreeing to not ever submit the act as their very own.
However, the employees member also explained how some minor alterations to the purchased essay would make it fit for submission.
“You just take it and paraphrase it to your own words, that eliminates any issue with plagiarism,” said the staff member. “Then you can’t say you used another person’s work as your own.”
The company guarantees that its papers are produced by native English speakers who have masters or doctorate-level degrees in relevant disciplines, and therefore each paper is a brand new and original good article tailored into the specific assignment.
The organization said lots of its customers utilize the purchased essays as helpful tips to help them produce their very own work.
“a great deal of people do not know simple tips to write papers, they don’t know APA format, plus they have no idea how to cite things,” said the employees member.
In line with the company’s website, it has produced more than 100,000 custom essays over the past 18 years.
“I’ve seen it around, I know people 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 about any of it, but I’m not sure if they are for real or not,” said York University student Pedro Charneca.
The paper obtained by CBC News was written on the subject of gun violence in Toronto. It failed to raise any warning flags in a analysis that is brief nursing professors.
The essay was eight pages long, took a week 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 B+ paper.
“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 think that a nursing student is participating in contract cheating, but i assume . I really might not know.”
Academic integrity experts say too little research and awareness even offers made 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 discovered that contract cheating has been self-reported historically by 3.5 per cent of students. Foxe said he believes the problem likely is much more widespread.
“I would personally expect it to be somewhat higher than that,” he said for the self-reported figures. “By virtue of the fact that these companies are expanding in the rate they truly are expanding, that tells us that these businesses have customers.”
Foxe said he regularly deals with contract issues that are cheating. In certain 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 usage of these services is widespread, they say that cracking down regarding the businesses operating within Canada’s borders could be effective.
The Academic Integrity Council of Ontario (AICO), an organization that represents 30 universities and colleges, is calling in the provincial government to make essay writing services illegal.
“We’re a little behind the occasions here in Canada,” said Amanda McKenzie, AICO’s former chair, who also works at the University of Waterloo.
McKenzie said laws targeting essay writing 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 already know that students are going to take that material and probably turn it around and submit it,” McKenzie said. “It is 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 insurance and safety that is public.
“As nursing students they’re looking after people, and there’s an expectation of ethics as well as truth telling and all sorts of of those actions 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 aren’t any plans to introduce legislation targeting the ongoing companies, the spokesperson said.