Things will never be the same again, for me. If we are what we write, then forever there is no knowing who we are. Am I even who I claim to be, and are these words written by me at all, or by someone with no name who charges for helping the misplaced incompetents?
The request came in by e-mail around 2 in the afternoon. It was from a previous customer, and she had urgent business. I quote her message here verbatim (if I had to put up with it, so should you): "You did me business ethics propsal for me I need propsal got approved pls can you will write me paper?"Do read this essay. The details and anecdotes should shock you. If for no other reason than marveling at the incapability of American students (how difficult can it be to use a spell-checker? Answer: nigh impossible).
I've gotten pretty good at interpreting this kind of correspondence. The client had attached a document from her professor with details about the paper. She needed the first section in a week. Seventy-five pages.
I told her no problem.
It truly was no problem. In the past year, I've written roughly 5,000 pages of scholarly literature, most on very tight deadlines. But you won't find my name on a single paper.
But if this person cashes in on the apparently rampant cheating in American academics, I find it less apparent to decide where the blame for this disastrous state of affairs lie. As he says:
I work hard for a living. I'm nice to people. But I understand that in simple terms, I'm the bad guy. I see where I'm vulnerable to ethical scrutiny.Rather than blaming anyone, I personally prefer to think ahead to when I will (hypothetically) be reading papers written by students myself. It really should not be much of a trouble to test whether the student is at all capable of writing, for instance by having them do it once while in class.
But pointing the finger at me is too easy. Why does my business thrive? Why do so many students prefer to cheat rather than do their own work?
Given the nature of the essay, it of course becomes imperative to question its veracity in the first place. If the author can make up stories about any subject, and write them well, then why not his own story? Could this simply be some aspiring writer's term project? Or, how about a meme-based virus? Educational malware? Can we trust that his business is as booming as he contends, and that he writes papers on ethics for the ethically challenged on a regular basis?
Yet, contemplating human nature and the current (permanent?) state of financial affairs, I don't doubt that there is at least a market for this kind of cheating. Given the suspicion, I wonder if other businesses won't now crop up to root out these dens of academic deceit. Like removing access to guns from people who are naturally homicidal, so I find it does make sense to eliminate the access to professional sources of cheating.
I wonder what he charges for blog posts...