How to Buy a Thesis: A Surprisingly Legal and Easy Road to a Degree

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How to Buy a Thesis: A Surprisingly Legal and Easy Road to a Degree

by Johannes C. Zeller

Finals are coming up and, as sure as the sky is blue, they will stir a flood of complaints to your Facebook newsfeed, from stressed-out college students. Complaints about inadequate material for exam preparation, about unnecessary homework assignments, about badly coordinated deadlines, about self-inflicted procrastination and, of course, about threatening student loan rates hovering like a black cloud over most students’ heads.

Imagine being able to eliminate this black cloud with a writing service that would take care of one’s academic papers and eliminate at least one worry away from a student’s mind.

Believe it or not, there actually is an array of providers for academic ghostwriting out there who offer exactly this: write university papers and homework assignments for someone else. But isn’t it illegal to have your bachelor thesis, dissertation or school essay written by a ghostwriter? Apparently, it is not:

Despite being considered unethical and leading to repercussions if detected by universities, academic ghostwriting does not represent illegal activity in the United States or the United Kingdom.Ghostwriter

So, it appears that while ethically questionable, academic writing services are absolutely legal in most places. It seems that an increasing number of students, as well as companies, take advantage of this legislative loophole.

“Ghostwriting is like doping. Technically it is cheating, but everybody does it,” says Dr. Thomas Nemet, CEO of ACAD WRITE, one of the at the most notorious and reputable international agencies for academic writing services that should not, and better not, be discovered by your professor.

Since 2004 Dr. Nemet has sold more than 8,500 university papers of all kinds, with an 80% increase in turnover every year for the past three years. Obviously, buying a thesis and, thus, swindling one’s way to a degree is in vogue. Partly, this may be attributed to the increasing pressure on both students and teachers that is prevalent in university education. “Most of our customers have to arrange their degree next to a full-time job. They get their papers started but then run out of time, then they come to us and ask for help,” Nemet stated in a recent interview.

Hiring a professional ghostwriter seems so easy that students under pressure apparently prefer taking the ethically questionable course to losing a semester and then having to increase their student loans. Plus, the process is remarkably simple. “First, the customer tells us what exactlyAcad Write they want and then they receive an estimate. If they agree to the conditions, we find the author capable of doing the best job,” Nement explains.

And, apparently, students are agreeing at astonishing rates–ACAD WRITE currently employs more than 350 ghostwriters, communicating through conference call and email, assuring users that the process is secure.

But what about the previously mentioned legal issues? “The legal situation was carefully checked by experts,” Nemet declares. Ghostwriting only becomes problematic if the student has to sign a declaration of authorship. But this, again, does not necessarily cause conflict because it is practically impossible to prove that a paper or homework assignment was not written by the person who claims to be the author. Another fact that can be attributed to lack of staff and resources in higher education.

Of course, most universities and colleges use programs like PlagScan or Turnitin to automatically check the papers handed in by students for plagiarism. Although the software will expose copy and paste jobs from academic journals, Wikipedia, or any work previously handed in by other students in an instant, it is unable to detect ghostwriting, provided the product is authentic and free of plagiarism.

Thus, it is very difficult for professors and teachers to distinguish between papers purchased from companies like ACAD WRITE and original work done by the students. “It has never come to my attention that any of our clients has gotten into trouble,” says Nemet.

Of course, quality has its price. With ACAD WRITE, the price for a 100-page MA thesis would be around $9,990 USD, breaking down to approximately $99 per page. However, considering that the average graduate leaves college with a debt of $28,400, that nearly 10 grand price tag might not seem so expensive after all.

As long as financial pressure remains a central concern for most students, providers of such writing services will continue to flourish–regardless of the moral qualms that come with buying a grade or degree.

Johannes C. Zeller is a freelance journalist with a strong interest in all issues related to technology and education. His PhD project investigating the influence of South Park on contemporary Internet culture is currently in progress. Follow him on Twitter here.

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Mark Barnes is the Founder of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series -- books and other series that provide right-now solutions for teachers and learners. Mark is the author or publisher of dozens of books, including Bestseller Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Join more than 150,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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