The Ethics of Buying College Work

The Ethics of Buying College Work

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The Ethics of Buying College Work


With the advent of the internet, more written material is being published than ever before, including essays written to fulfill college assignments. Is it any wonder that many students, ill-prepared by a culture of quick-fix solutions, choose to buy essays available online and submit them dishonestly as their own work? No. It's predictable.

Some say that only a jaded person would draw such conclusions. Perhaps. Nonetheless, the number of websites offering the quick sale of term papers to desperate students is exhaustive. The sites devoted to the dubious cause of relieving stressed out students who, for one reason or another, cannot write their own papers are glitzy, attractive, enticing. Jaded or not, my contention that more and more college students will plagiarize to get a college degree is based on my own quick investigation. If demand drives the market, an increasing number of students must be pouring dollars into the plagiarism business. Why?

The answer is simple. More students than ever before in history are attending college, and the standards that once applied, such as during my grandfather's era, no longer do. College students no longer have to master basic writing skills in order to be accepted by the best universities, let alone open door schools that cater to the needs of modestly literate high school graduates. In short, many college students are incapable of writing well enough to make convincing arguments, let alone well-researched, documented term papers. Freshman college students do not represent an academically elite body of students any longer. Freshman college students today are made up in large part of yesterday's unskilled laborers. I venture to guess that most of my fellow college students would have been sent out by their parents to lives of hard labor had they lived seventy-five years ago. Today, they are sent to college as a prerequisite to working in just about any field, even those that don't genuinely rely upon the skills one might gain in a traditional liberal arts and sciences education.

Furthermore, students don't believe that they will ever "need" communication skills. The first question that one student asked in a college-level writing class that I took at a community college while I was still in high school was "Why do I need this course?" The teacher was taken aback, obviously feeling that the answer was self-evident.

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However, most teenagers have worked, mostly in service-related businesses, and few have been called upon to write. The only time students are required to write (and probably read) is in academic situations. Failure to write well does not seem to be a handicap to most students. In real life situations, they are rarely called upon to do it. When English teachers tell their classes that they will have to know how to write for the future, they are echoing years of educational prophecy that never comes true. So, when students are forced to write, many have litte compunction about stealing the ideas and words of another, because the written word has no authentic meaning to them. They don't value it. It's regarded as a stupid requirement.

The last reason that I feel that internet plagiarism is predictable is that we now live in a world of information sharing. It's the information age, afterall. "Sharing" is the key word--not "generating." The internet, which is a marvelous tool, diminishes the value we place on "the word." The written word is transitory, impermanent, quickly erased. In my grandfather's day, creative ideas were published in books that were housed in libraries, which were carefully organized for the sake of the public good. No ideas are cheap, even free.
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