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Everything Has a Price: The Impact of Custom Writing Services on Education

Antonio Tooley

Without a doubt, the advent of the World Wide Web opened great opportunities that people could only dream about during the days of brick and mortar business.

Whereas one would usually go to stores and fall in line to buy products like airline tickets and retail merchandise such as bags or shoes during the pre-internet days, now one can conveniently purchase these things online.

Even services have been revolutionized with the digital shift.

Need a wedding invite design? Purchase one of the templates at Etsy. Need to have all your paperwork and appointments organized? Hire a virtual assistant.

But there is one controversial online service niche that is in close scrutiny these days: custom writing services.

Related Article: Why Companies Are Choosing Freelancers Over Full-Time Employees

The Rise of Custom Writing Services

The backbone of the market economy is the law of supply and demand.

In most cases, demand will drive the price up in conditions of inadequate supply, thus encouraging the creation of more suppliers. The custom writing services industry is no different.

Back in the day, it would have been difficult to find out the market competition without extensive market research. Today, you can do simple competitive analysis by typing in a phrase or word, and the search results will tell you how popular that particular search is.

If you search for custom writing service and essay writing service in Google, you'll receive around 75,200,000 and 40,900,000 results respectively. Hence, many sites are offering these services because of the huge demand.

Interestingly enough, type in buy thesis and you get around 79,800,000 results. This is a very telling indicator of the demand for this coursework requirement. As the final requirement to get a diploma, failure to complete the thesis paper is a major setback for students. All those years and hard work they put in to attend classes will be for naught if they cannot complete this academic paper. Because not everyone can be good at writing and research, it is no wonder that a lot of students opt to buy their thesis papers online.

Lucrative Business Opportunity for Writers

This high demand for custom writing services makes it a very attractive living for many freelance writers.

A typical five-page essay paper order goes for about $150 paycheck, not bad at all for an experienced writer. Many of these academic writers usually hold M.A. or Ph.D. degrees in different fields, but being part of the academe simply did not give them what they needed especially in terms of finances. Hence, they chose to parlay their skills to mentor students in a more direct fashion, and profit from it as well. 

The days of the starving writer archetype is gradually going passe as most wordsmiths choose to be pragmatic and get into the custom writing services industry. This gives them autonomy in terms of their workload, as they can easily decide how much work they would like to do as a freelancer.

Plus, they can set their own work schedules because they simply need to submit their output within the time frame provided by their client. No need to spend long hours in commute, and no set 9 to 5 job schedule.

Best of all, as indicated by our above example, freelance academic writers get paid well doing what they do best. This is a results-based performance management at its finest set-up.

If you're considering an outsourced writing service, be sure you have a plan already set to use content marketing to drive new customers.

Convenient Choice for Students

For students, the huge number of services available gives them a veritable feast of options. Not all writing services deliver the same quality of writing. Among the millions of results from your search, you will certainly find a few that will do more than give you a paper, and at rates within the reach of most students.

Edugeeksclub, for example, offers professional proofreading and editing services to polish your paper for $5.99 a page. The site claims to employ people with “years of experience in the academic editing field and know what it takes to get a flawless dissertation or thesis” and it seems to be a valid one.

Professional editors can also make sure that your work is free of plagiarism. If you need help with a research proposal, the site even offers that service. For a paper out of whole cloth, you can hire a freelance academic writer to do it for you for as little as $19.99 a page, properly referenced and formatted in your preferred style.

Without having to slave over their coursework, students can easily outsource their academic papers to custom writing service providers and focus their time and energy in activities they are competent in or enjoy doing.

The Morality Issue

Most children in the US are driven to succeed by parents and society. They start on this high achiever track very early, some as young as 2 years old, and from that point until they graduate from college, the pressure is on.

The pressure to do well not only in school but also in enrichment and extracurricular activities can get overwhelming thereby leading to student fatigue and burnout. In many cases, students buckle under the stress and resort to cheating to get ahead.

Cheating in its many forms happens at all educational levels, but especially in high school and college. This is when students become more competitive and the academic burdens become heavier. More than 75 percent of all college students admit to cheating at least once in an exam, 84 percent admitted to cheating on written assignments, including paying someone else to do it, and 85 percent believe that it is the only way to get ahead.

High achievers are especially vulnerable. In 2012, a Harvard professor noticed that half of his class, (about 125 students), turned in their final exams that were suspiciously similar. It led to an investigation that rocked the prestigious university to its core. It seemed that even the best of the best thought it was acceptable to cheat to get ahead because everybody was doing it, and many did not even believe what they were doing constituted cheating. For example, many students copy from websites without citing the source, which is a form of cheating.

The Blame Game

Some academics blame the Internet, with its easy access to custom writing services, for a large part of student cheating behavior. However, this is not borne out by historical data. A study carried out by a Columbia University doctoral student in 1963 revealed that even back then, three-quarters of college students admitted to cheating in some form.

Looking at the situation from a historical perspective, good quality writing services have always been in demand even before the Internet. Getting somebody to do your book report for a fee is just as easily done around the lockers or in the cafeteria of any school on the planet. Therefore, it would be unjust to blame the Internet for the proliferation of cheating among students. The Internet just gives students better and convenient options. It has certainly made it easier for students and writers to connect for their mutual benefit.

Essay writing services have become increasingly popular because they are convenient. Many students simply do not have the time to do their own proofreading, create their own citations, or even do the research for all their subjects.

The Realities of Academic Life

The sad truth is, many students consider essays and term papers as make-work assignments they simply have to do to get a good grade.
In many cases, they are absolutely correct, so few see any real value in them in their academic pursuits. In the perspective of the decision matrix, these papers are “not important, but urgent.” In order to manage their time, they turn to others to do the work for them.

Still, a good number of students have to contend with language skill barriers. Edugeekclub manager Eric Collins observed that the US hosts a great number of foreign students, a majority of which have a poor command of English.

“Students from universities across the country use our writing services, even those from Harvard, UC Berkley, and Columbia. Most are academically competent; they just have a hard time expressing themselves. We help them do that,” he said.

When asked about the morality issue, Collins does not believe they are encouraging students to cheat. “We are in the business of producing high-quality content to serve as a guide for those who need it, and we do so on demand. What they do with the paper is entirely up to them. We certainly don’t encourage them to turn in the paper as their own.”

Related Article: 10 Top Freelance Websites


Professional writing services have been unnecessarily demonized when all they do is fill a demand.

Businesses routinely employ people to do their research for them, so why is it so bad that students do the same thing? However, there is a fine line between guidance and connivance. Good service providers guide them by showing what high-quality work looks like, and provide advice on how students can create their own papers. If students choose to skip a step and turn it in as their own, the burden is on them and the educational system that teaches them that it is okay as long as they aren’t caught.

The educational system typically demands more than the students can manage. With limited time available to do everything they need to do, it is natural for them to ask for help. As long as they create original content, it is not wrong of them to ask a professional service to give them a hand.

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Antonio Tooley Member
Antonio is a blogger and consultant who provides writing assistance to job seekers. He loves writing about marketing, education and productivity. He's also crazy about riding his bike and bumping into new people (when he's on foot).