15 November 2012
A BBC investigation has revealed the growing trade in essay writing services which offer to provide students with custom written work which they can simply add their name to and hand in to university and college tutors as their own work. Whilst these services claim to provide sample work for research purposes only an undercover journalist has found that students are encouraged to hand this work in as their own.
These recent findings concur with research carried out by PlagiarismAdvice.org which also found that in many cases work provided is of poor quality and has more than likely been taken from a range of web sources without proper attribution. The widespread use of plagiarism detection software, such as Turnitin within universities means that students using these services are not only likely to be out of pocket financially, but are taking a huge risk with their academic careers. Most universities and colleges have procedures in place to address this form of malpractice and students found using essay writing services are likely to be accused of plagiarism, and face serious sanctions.
PlagiarismAdvice.org has been working in this area for over 10 years to promote academic integrity from students and assist universities and colleges with strategies to prevent this kind of plagiarism and malpractice. The service provides a range of free resources on approaches to encouraging original and rewarding assessment tasks from students and policy guidance for instititions to address plagiarism and malpractice.