Teaching Assistants (TAs) frequently trade tips for discovering plagiarism in the papers they grade. While google has made it easy to catch the lazy copy-paste form, many of us recognize that cheaters with financial resources can buy term papers. The following chat occurred on TopMarkEssays.com, an essay mill which charges +$10/page for custom writing and bills itself as “among the premier essay writing companies in the world”.
Operator Henry has joined the chat.
Henry: Hello may I help you
Jay: So… uh… where did your writers go to school? Where’d they get their degrees?
Jay: I’m wondering if they used this service to get through their programs and graduate.
Henry: May I know why you come with such accusations [That's a nice thing to say about your customers. -ed]
Jay: I can’t help but notice that your homepage is filled with errors.
Jay: You know, the kind I discover when grading papers.
Jay: “The greatest advantage when you order a customer paper with us is that we follow all instructions.”
Jay: A “customer paper”?
Jay: “I will defiantly place another order with you soon. Thanks”
Jay: “Defiantly” place?
Henry: Did you place a paper with us
Jay: How much to check if any of the papers I’m grading came from your service?
Jay: You know, you guys could make good money going in both directions.
Henry: what do you mean?
Jay: You can charge to write the papers, and then charge institutions to check whether the student wrote the paper themselves.
Henry: Good business idea but not applicable
Jay: If you’re really sharp, you could even go into the outsourced TA business I read about in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Jay: Trifecta, man.
Jay: Charge for writing the papers, charge for grading them and charge for catching the cheats.
Henry: what do you mean
Henry: How many papers are you marking from our websites [No surprise that there's more than one website, but I wonder how many of these apparently different companies are just re-brands of the same service . -ed]
Jay: How much do I have to pay to get the names of everyone at my institution who’s bought a paper from you?
Jay: What’s the price? $100 per person?
Jay: How about $300 for repeat customers?
Jay: What’s the matter, Henry? Has nobody ever asked to buy your customer list?
Jay: Well, I’m asking. How many customers do you have? 3000? At $300 each, that’s $90,000 cash. Not bad.
Jay: Sorry $900,000 cash.
Henry: We have business ethics with our customers
Jay: Are your business ethics not of the same caliber as your academic ethics?
Henry: and why do you ask?
Jay: It’s not like you’re selling a good product, Henry. Let’s be honest, there is a grammatical error in the first sentence of your homepage: “We understand you are working or you have other commitment that makes it difficult for you to achieve the best in your academic work, and we offer you the solution.”
Jay: That should be “commitments”, plural.
Henry: Why do you criticize that website. Do you want to order
Henry: I mean you want to order a research paper?
Jay: You sell a service to help people cheat and help them commit the highest crime in academia, but you won’t sell me your customer list because you have “business ethics”? Really, Henry?
Henry: Please let me transffer you to management
It’s probably best that we end here.