The Dangers of Essay Mills vs Academic Coaching Benefits
Google “essay help,” and you’ll find dozens of links to so-called “academic writing services.” What they are, though, are companies who will charge you extortionate fees and write your essays, assignments, and dissertations for you. If that seems too good to be true, that’s because it is! Essay mills are not what they claim to be, and you should avoid them. Our blog explores why academic coaching is a much better option.
While these sites are quick to assure students that their business is entirely legal, an article in The Telegraph (2017) has a different view entirely. They call essay-writing services “contract cheating.” The sites get away with offering to write essays on the basis that students should not submit the essays they buy as their own work – but if you’ve spent £175 on an essay, are you going to spend time putting it in your own words?
So Are the Essay Mills Legal?
Technically, because of their disclaimers, then yes, they are. Certainly, if you read their websites, they claim to be legal, What’s more, they don’t accept responsibility for the consequences if students submit work as if it’s their own. However, contract cheating is still cheating, when push comes to shove. While it can be tempting to get someone else to do the hard work so that you can graduate with first class honors, the problem is that you won’t have the skills that match your degree certificate. In life beyond university, you’ll quickly regret not learning the skills you need for success.
Recently, there’s been talk of making legislation that will make essay mills illegal, but it will take time to get those kinds of laws passed. Until then, there seem to be more and more of these writing sites popping up.
My Experience With an Essay Writing Service
I applied to one of these essay writing sites as a writer – not because I have any intention of writing for them, but because I wanted an inside view. What I’ve discovered has shocked me, if I’m honest. I kind of expected that undergraduates would be paying for essays, but in many of the briefs that I’m offered (but never bid for), the students are post-graduates. Yes, post-graduates are using essay mills to earn their qualifications!
Recently I opened an email with a brief from a Ph.D. student. They were wanting a chapter of their dissertation writing – and were enquiring about the writing of further chapters. Shocked doesn’t come close to describing my reaction. I mean, if you get to the doctoral stage, surely you should be writing your own work! (Obviously, you should write your own essays at all stages, but undergraduates have more of a reason for cheating, Ph.D. students most certainly don’t!).
Something needs to be done to stop this happening – and quickly! How many PhD-holders out there have doctoral degrees that they haven’t earned?
How is Academic Coaching Different?
It’s quite normal to find university workloads overwhelming. That’s a big reason why students turn to essay writing services to help them cope. But there are other options. Academic success coaching will support you to build the skills and resources you need to write your essays. Additionally, you’ll be able to handle your workload and confidently graduate with all the skills you need.
Academic success coaching is like private tuition, but rather than focusing on a specific subject; I teach you tricks and techniques that will make essay writing seem less like a nightmare. You’ll learn time management and critical reading and writing skills. I’ll also show you how to structure your essay for the best grades, and much more. Plus, I can give you help with proofreading and editing, your dissertation, and help you cope with stress at uni.
If you want to discuss how academic coaching can benefit you, get in touch!