DO a web search for “college assignment for sale”, and you’ll literally find dozens of
websites offering you a grade-guaranteed assignment. It’s become such a huge problem, the United States senate passed a bill prohibiting the sale and purchase of papers online last year, and British exam regulator Ofqual had an investigation into these sites six months ago.
The Ofqual investigation was particularly interesting – it commissioned six essays from three websites and found that the work delivered was of “exceptionally low quality”. Though they were all delivered on time, and only one showed signs of plagiarism, only one received a clear passing mark – a “B”. The rest either failed, or only just passed. Adrian, 21, a student in Malaysia, had an altogether more miserable experience when he bought two assignments online because he was feeling the pressure of multiple deadlines. “The first site turned out to be a scam. I paid RM60, but was only sent the first page of the assignment. After that, the website demanded more money for the rest,” he said.“After some research, I bought another from a more reliable website. This time, it was worth around 200 euros (about RM800),” he said, adding that the fee left him pretty much broke. “I figured since I was paying so much and I could email the writer, it would be easy to tell him what I needed for the essay. I was wrong!” He received his assignment a day before the deadline and was shocked that it wasn’t written according to his specifications. “The assignment was over the word limit and I couldn’t find the sources listed!” he said. When he tried emailing the writer, the email bounced. A panicked Adrian ended up starting from scratch the night before the assignment was due. He says he won’t ever buy an assignment again. “I’ve learnt my lesson. I doubted myself and felt pressure so I resorted to buying an assignment, and I feel bad that I had to go to that extent. Now, I just put less pressure on myself and start work earlier.” In response to the Ofqual investigation, one of the websites responded by saying the essays it sells are only meant to be for the students’ reference. “(They) are not designed to be handed in, and at UK Essays, we actively discourage this behaviour,” said the company, in a statement published by the BBC.