Essays for hire lack in quality

Keith Cousins

Now, for a marginal fee, students can have their essays written for them, and given back to them as quickly as their pocketbooks enable. An online company, Custom Essays Plus, provides such an option through their essay-writing service for college students of all types.

Saddleback College’s Student Handbook, however, is clear on its plagiarism policy for its students, and this policy is explicitedly listed as a part of the academic dishonesty clause.

Academic dishonesty is described in the handbook as, “including, but not limited to, falsification, plagiarism, cheating or fabrication, which compromises the integrity of an assignment, a college record or a program.”

A subsection of the policy also states that, “submitting as the student’s own work any academic exercises (e.g., written work, printing, sculpture, etc.) prepared totally or in part by another” is forbidden, and students may be disciplined if found guilty of any of these acts.

Barbara Sendaba, executive assistant at the Office of the Vice President for Student Services, regularly sees the perpetrators of plagiarism in her office.

“During finals week we see a surge in plagiarism,” Sendaba said. “After more than one occurrence, the student would be called into our offices unless the instructor is adamant about pursuing disciplinary action.”

For a first offense, a student’s name is noted in the records as having plagiarized an assignment; further instances warrant acadamic suspension and expulsion.

Custom Essays Plus, however, attempts to skirt such academic policies of both Saddleback College and other colleges with similar policies.

According to a disclaimer found on their Web site, “provides custom-made essay, writing, and rewriting services inclusive of research material for assistance purposes only. The term papers should be used with proper reference and are not meant to replace actual assignments.”

The writers of the papers even sign legally-binding contracts stipulating that once the work they do is transferred to the purchaser, so is ownership of that work. This means that legally, it’s the student’s paper.

“I’m sure that if it was actually A+ quality, I would have heard more about it,” said Brad Regalbuto, undecided, 19. “If it were this easy, more people would be using sites like this. I don’t recommend it at all. Why trust a site that might plagiarize? That stuff might get you expelled.”

Saddleback College history instructor James Seaman has seen plagiarism of all types during his time at the college.

“Sadly, I encounter plagiarism usually two or three times a semester,” said Seaman. “At the beginning of each class, I tell students how disrespectful of a practice it is, and I detail the ramifications for such odious behavior, yet some students still insist on thinking it’s somehow okay to plagiarize or that I’m naive enough to not catch them.”

With a Web service such as Custom Essays Plus, the job of detecting academic dishonesty is made much harder, but still not impossible.

“It can be hard to catch such plagiarism, but students don’t realize that after reading countless papers on any given topic [professors] may assign, we can rather easily notice the rather tell-tale signs of what may be a purchased paper. It does not take much investigation on our part to catch such students red-handed once we become suspicious,” Seaman said.

The Lariat recently utilized the services of Custom Essays Plus to have a short paper written on the decline of the Ottoman Empire. Our next issue will feature comments from Saddleback College instructors on the quality of this essay.

“I’ve never done it, and the way that looks, I don’t think I ever will,” said Omar Azizi, 22, communications, upon viewing an example from the site.


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