Essay Mills – A Cautionary Tale
The pressure of academic deadlines is something that every student faces during their college career. The pressure can be so intense that some stoop to using essay mills. Essay mills are, unfortunately, legal companies who write essays for students in exchange for a fee, usually based on essay length and due date.
These companies appeal to the anxiety of stressed out college students on deadlines and it may sometimes feel like an easy solution to lighten the load a little by using the services of one of these companies. But, is it worth it?
Perhaps a student could gain a better grade with a moderate-to-good-quality paper by using one of these services, but there are also huge risks involved:
The essay mill never delivering a paper: Picture this – a student has a deadline of a few days, gets caught up in work for other classes and totally forgets about the paper. He or she reaches out to an essay mill, pays upwards of $200.00 for a standard-issued paper, but the deadline comes and goes. No paper is delivered, and it never will be. The mill has shut down the account and cannot be contacted. It’s the perfect crime!
The essay mill blackmailing the student: According to The Guardian, there have been cases of blackmail from these types of organizations. “[Students] have been asked to send more money to avoid having their names handed over to the university.”
The essay mill writing a low quality paper: Students who use essay mills are most likely using them as a last resort. Still, receiving a paper which hardly makes sense, strays off topic or is littered with grammatical errors but having to pay steep prices is probably not what the student had in mind. Some companies promise grades no lower than a B, but then deliver Cs and Ds.
Failing a course or not receiving a degree: While essay mills are not yet illegal, each institution uses its own discretion when they catch someone who uses such a service. The institution can decide to fail that student and/or to completely expel him or her.
National Union of Students (NUS) Vice President for Higher Education Sorana Vieru urges “those who are struggling to seek support through their unions and universities rather than looking to a quick fix, and be aware that using these websites could cost not only money but jeopardise their qualifications.”
Weigh in — Have you caught students submitting a paper mill essay? Have you used this kind of service as a student?