Skip to comments.Term paper company irks profs, students
Posted on 03/28/2011 5:53:28 AM PDT by rhema
The college senior in Colorado felt cheated when for $23 per page she ordered a custom-written term paper from a Twin Cities company and it wasn't delivered on time.
Never mind that she was cheating by passing off a paper written by a stranger as her own. She complained to the Better Business Bureau about Essaywritingcompany.com, owned by Jordan Kavoosi of Farmington.
"I ordered it, and they were supposed to have it back to me within four days," she told the Watchdog. "I constantly emailed. Nobody replied to me. Then (Kavoosi) calls me and says under no circumstances am I going to get a refund."
It wasn't the first complaint filed against the company, which has resolved most of those registered with the Minnesota BBB.
But President and CEO Dana Badgerow calls Kavoosi an "entrepreneur who is skating on the thin edge of legality, and for sure he's plunged into what we think is unethical behavior."
The Watchdog, whose favorite part of academic life was writing term papers, asked Kavoosi if he had any problem with making a living by enabling students to commit academic misconduct that, if caught, can result in failing grades or worse.
"It doesn't bother me at all. I just see it as a business. It's as if I was selling shoes," Kavoosi said. "I just chose something that would make money ... and was kind of catchy and would help people out.
"People are too busy, and that's why we exist."
His Colorado client, who said she has disputed the credit card bill for her term paper, would agree with that.
She has used Essaywriting company.com and other such companies because, she said, "I work full time and I go to school full time and I'm a single parent. Lack of time, basically."
Dubious claims specifically the one guaranteeing an "A" grade prompted the BBB to go "secret-shopping." For $40, the BBB purchased a two-page paper titled "The Ethics of Advertising to Children," then took it to Dan Wackman, a professor in the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication who teaches the topic.
He gave it a "C."
Wackman knew that it was purchased from a company, but that didn't affect his grading, he said. He had concrete reasons to mark it down: It cited unidentified sources, it was unfocused and it failed to refer to recent dramatic changes affecting the topic.
Every class syllabus at the U is required to have a section on academic misconduct, including plagiarism and cheating, Wackman said. Each instructor denotes a consequence such as getting an "F" on the assignment or flunking the entire course.
But that's not the only bad consequence of buying a term paper, he said.
"When students skip the steps of actually doing the work, which is when the learning occurs, they're cheating themselves," he said. "That woman is cheating herself. It's her own loss."
Exams don’t always provide the instructor with a comprehensive view of the student’s material understanding. Written exams would show that a student can answer a question from a text by regurgitating the text. Rote memorization was taught for a long time, and kids have learned by it but don’t develop comprehensive understanding of the subject matter through critical thinking skills whereas term papers can identify a student’s ability to form coherent ideas and give a view into the mind of the person.
I’ve been languishing in my Master’s degree studies due to health issues, and I can tell you that writing my thesis has become one of the most difficult endeavors I’ve undertaken; however, I’ve never considered cheating or having someone else write it for me. I want this piece to be demonstrative of my ability to think critically, impart new ideas, and add to the existing literature in my field of expertise.
To cheat on a term paper just to pass and get the piece of paper only demonstrates that you’re of questionable moral character and will eventually come back to bite you in the ass. How many examples are there out there of students caught years down the road? Why bother with the constant worry. If you can’t handle the workload, perhaps that course of education isn’t for you.
In what country? Not in America.
You know, if this company had been around 25 years ago and selling political speeches, Dopey Joe Biden might have been able to plagiarize his political speeches without being so blatant about it. He might have even been able to get the democrat nomination for POTUS or VP without having to be Zero’s little lapdog.
I have no sympathy for that lazy, cheating student.
But, you can still be Vice President of the United States under the "first post-racial president".
As a teacher, I’m not too wound up about cheating.
In my programming classes, cheating is almost as hard as the work itself. Sneak one by me, and it’s just that much longer and that much more money before you slam into the brick wall of ignorance. The piece of paper at the end (if you get that far) won’t help you do the actual work in the real world. If you’re doing so badly you need to cheat, the difference between what I know you know vs what you hand in will be obvious. If you hand in another student’s work, I’ll notice that it’s the same, right down to the misspellings, erratic punctuation, and unique mistakes - even if you replace names and rearrange the content. Cheat, you get a zero; learn your lesson and do your work and I’ll overlook it; lie to me again and you’re out (which in irony won’t be my call because you’ve already failed yourself).
If you cheat in school, just leave already. It’s way too expensive to come out having not learned.
Have I passed known cheaters? Yes. Sometimes it’s not worth my effort to flunk them. I’m not worried, because they will suffer the consequences: you cannot survive the next course if you do not grasp the prerequisite material; there comes a point where you won’t even know enough about this complex subject matter to cheat effectively (and if you were smart enough to, you didn’t need to). By the time you get mired in your own deception-fueled ignorance, you’ll have committed to spending tens of thousands of dollars with nothing to show for it. You reap what you sow. Karma (as a natural phenomenon, not obtuse mysticism) happens.
Oh, BTW: on the final exam, don’t buy the answers on-line. I know. Save your money, you’ll need it.
I thought for sure these were still booting offenses.
I was just wondering whether there would be an opportunity to buy canned essays for this class.
Yeah, that worked well . . .
All of these comments were plagiarized from me.
You're only fooling yourself. I've observed cabals of cheaters from programming classes. Bright but too social. They pooled their resources while individual classmates followed the rules and were left to drown. It's far harder for an individual to compete against a group. The collective skill of the cabal skewed the apparent progress of the class. It was a bubble. Leaders of a cabal mastered the art of schmoozing professors and engaged in a charm offensive which deflected scrutiny.
As the phrase goes, "I was born at night but not last night."
There's a reason double-blind testing is a pillar of scientific rigor. He knew it was purchased making him tainted. His grading is rendered meaningless by the foreknowledge. His "concrete reasons" are irrelevant.
I don’t mind people studying together to learn. Question is whether they submit their own work. Don’t do the work, don’t pass. Hand in something identical to someone else and it’s obvious. There is no “compete against the group” as there is no curve. Schmooze all you like, everyone will get the same treatment.
As I noted, even if you do cheat and do pass you’ll still fail in the long run, at very high cost. I’m not worried.
What I would do with group projects is after it is turned in, I’d have a one-on-one with each team member asking them specifically what their contribution was, and ask certain questions about what was turned in that could only be answered had they actively worked on it. If they don’t answer satisfactorily, they fail.
Not if there is objective error.
If the question was “What is 2+2=?” and you KNOW the answer was purchased (say, because the submission includes the URL TestAnswersFor25Bucks.com/What_is_2+2=?), if the answer is 3 then regardless of obvious bias you can still give an objective grade of 0 for concrete reasons.
(Not joking about the URL.)
I’m not talking about group projects.
On the books? Yes.
In reality? No.