Getting Paid to Write Essays and Term Papers
Essays for Cash: Intro, Info and Ethics
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The internet has certainly made it easy for writers and students to connect; the paid essay writing service has been around for years now. This service is one in which a student pays someone else to write their academic essays, research projects or other school/university work for them, anonymously.
As a writer, you may have encountered this via a paid, organized business/website looking to recruit more writers into its ranks, or you may have stumbled on an ad from a harried student on Craigslist. Maybe a student has contacted you directly. Either way, the exchange exists, and, as a writer, you should know about it.
Students Who Need Academic Essays Written
So, who exactly are these students? From my experience, they tend to be desperate procrastinators, as evidenced by their late-night, hurried emails and rapidly approaching deadlines. I've also heard from several who simply lacked the self-confidence to tackle a big assignment. These are the ones who tend to reach out ahead of time, with a little leeway on the due date. Lastly, I gather some are simply spoiled and able to afford the service—why put themselves out when the ease of a credit card means they can do something else, something they want to do?
A former professor wrote about the practice at the Chronicle of Higher Education several years ago, noting that he sees three specific kinds of essay-buyers: “From my experience, three demographic groups seek out my services: the English-as-second-language student; the hopelessly deficient student; and the lazy rich kid.” That observation dovetails well with what I've seen, too.
This service exists for several reasons. On the surface, it’s because the dawn of the internet brought with it a special kind of plagiarism. Once students were able to post—and pluck—completed essays directly off the Internet, professors had to compensate in some way to attempt to protect the academic integrity of the classroom. Plagiarism-checker services like TurnItIn and Copyscape can compare a student’s text to (almost) the entire internet to catch copied work. Also, professors may also assign highly structured and specific essays with detailed instructions of what is to be included in the piece. It not only shows application of the curriculum learned but also (hopefully) makes it that much harder to just copy from the Internet. However, unscrupulous students can now get around this by hiring a writer or a service and providing the specifics of the assignment directly to them.
The Writer Who Sells Term Papers
So what does the writer that may engage in this business look like, exactly? And what’s in it for the writer? To answer this question, let’s look at this without the ethical argument for a moment (more about that below).
I’ll begin at a very personal level. The first time that I was approached to write a term paper floored me.
I received an email shortly after going public as a freelance writer in which a female college student asked me to write an essay on "Sense and Sensibility" for an English class. She stated that she was willing to pay me $400, as that’s how much of her birthday money she had left. The essay was due in two days. As an English major who 1) loved "Sense and Sensibility and 2) very much missed writing about and discussing books, this seemed like a dream to me. I knew I could pound out such an essay in a couple of hours, tops. Not bad money, and not an activity I would dread. So, you can see how this kind of arrangement can come to be for both players, right?
Of course, with any working writer, the major consideration here (again, leaving ethics aside for a moment) is financial. In the case above, I had already read the book (not to mention the fact that I’d previously dissected it in my past as a student).
I could have made more than $100 per hour in that early time in my career. Depending on the arrangement, due date, subject matter and other factors, there is a real possibility of making bank here for writers. On their end, many of these students seem to have credit cards, padded bank accounts or family willing to support them in whatever way necessary.
Lastly, I will say that there is another potential perk for the writer in this arrangement. In my practice of supporting and editing theses and dissertation students (a completely ethical service that I offer), I've found that working with the ideas, topics, and processes that my education is based on gave me a bit of a boost in my writing practice—“greased the wheels” a bit, so to say. After weeks and months of writing about my client’s products, writing about politics, or writing about writing (as I do here, I’ve found that approaching more cerebral topics is a nice change of pace.
The Freelance Writer’s Work
The way this particular service works depends on how the writer and student arrange the contract. For example, if the deal is made via one of the many “term paper writing” website-based companies, the contract, work, and pay would all flow through said company. However, if the arrangement is private, it’s a good bet that you’re arranging payment through Paypal or paper check, and delivering essays via Microsoft Word and email.
For the writer, there are a few challenges in this line of work. First, let’s consider the fact that you may not be dealing with the most honest of customers. After all, they are technically cheating. It seems to me that payment should be due up front and in full. Secondly, there is the situation of matching a student’s tone and voice. You may be a talented writer, but it stands to reason that your customer is not. How polished, exactly, should this work be? This will depend on the topic and level and is an interesting question in its right. Another issue is the research inherent in college-level work. Many writers in this business tend to heavily use Google Scholar, Wikipedia citations and Amazon’s book samples.
Writing Term Papers for Pay: The Ethics
Of course, this is the main question that comes up when writers talk about this line of work. A writer who does this is helping another person to cheat. It’s that simple. Also, although the work isn't illegal, the freelance writer should understand that this doesn't mean it’s free of consequences, either. Consider your reputation as a writer. Consider the impact this work may have on any community groups or board positions that you work within. Ask yourself what your cost would be, were it known that you engage in this kind of work.
One way that I've seen service providers get around the ethics question is by insisting that the writing they sell to students is simply a unique "model" essay that the student is supposed to use to help them learn. I’m willing to bet that all parties involved understand this is simply a ruse.
To present a somewhat balanced take on the ethical side of this service, I’ll share some of the other justifications I've heard through the years on the part of writers who provide essays for pay. The only potential excuse that flies in my book is when you’re absolutely in desperate need of the money. I get it. If your heat or light bill is due, I’m certainly not about to judge you for the way that you get that payment together.
Other writers have reasoned that the student will simply choose another writer to provide the service, so why bother? Some point to the fact that the writer isn't the cause of this particular problem, and that if any finger-pointing should be done, we should look at the education system that perpetuates such a practice.
Alternatives to Writing Student Essays
Look, as a book-lover and English major, I get the draw. I excelled at academics of this nature. I was one of the rare students who enjoyed the research and writing process. That’s why I’m in this career now. However, there are other ways to earn money by doing what we love.
Book reviewing is easily one of my favorite services. To this day, after a decade in this business, I get a thrill out of finding free books in my mailbox and reviewing them for others.
Also, many colleges are fine with upper-level students being supported in their writing process by editors. I've provided editing, indexing and research support to several Masters and Doctoral students. Individual institutions often have some guidelines on editorial services posted on their websites. Some colleges even keep a list of freelance editors to whom they refer their students.
Last, there are several magazines and websites that accept long form articles that are well-researched, interesting and provocative. Check the "Writer’s Market," or do a search within your particular niche area.
Getting Paid to Write Essays
The bottom line is that this is a service that people are willing to pay for—and it’s probably not going away anytime in the near future. The freelance writer must carefully gather the facts, but also follow their conscience. Good luck.
Essay/Term paper: Selling your used car
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Thesis: The majority of the American population has very little, or no understanding of the used car trade. A simple understanding on when and where to sell, how to get your car ready, writing a classified ad, negotiating, and making a contract.
With consumer demand rising and supply constrained by several factors, including the tendency of new-car owners to hang on to them longer, prices for used vehicles have been climbing steadily. According to one recent study, nearly three times as many shoppers now want to buy a used, rather than a new, vehicle. (Dalglish)
In trying to find the perfect buyer, your options include: new-car dealers, used-car dealers, and friends and strangers. New-car dealers are generally eager and ready to buy. They are incredibly picky about every aspect of a car"s condition. New-car dealers will be choosy about the make and model, preferring newer models in relatively good condition.(Makower) They will pay a relatively low price for the car. Used-car dealers are also eager to buy and incredibly picky about every aspect of a car"s condition. But they aren"t very choosy about the cars they buy. However, they will pay a rock-bottom price for the car. Friends and strangers are usually eager and ready to buy. They will be much less picky, and rely more on your word for information. They will be choosy about the car, but will already be interested in the car through your ad. You will get the best price, through negotiations, but you have to work harder. The best time to sell is in the springtime when the weather turns nice. Other good times are in September when kids are going off to college; and in the dead of winter, when there is no competition.
It is possible to turn the average used-car into a saleable commodity in just a few hours. You should dress up your car, regardless of the condition you normally keep it in. You want to make it clean, neat, and even smelling nice. You must do this to the entire car, inside and out, from one end to the other. Most car buyers understand that appearance is a good indicator of how well someone treated the car overall. Nine important steps to take are: washing and waxing, painting and touching up, cleaning your tires, a thorough cleaning of the interior, gather all the important documents, steam-clean under the hood, WD-40 anything that rattles or creaks, replace missing parts, and prepare a bill of sales. (Makower)
The art of writing a classified ad, is to cram a lot of information into a few words. The ads purpose is to get people interested in calling you, not to fully describe your car. Make the first few words stand out, the description is the most important part of the ad. Specifics are better than generalities. If you include the price, you will limit the number of callers you get. The most important things to cite in the body of the ad are: number of doors, mileage, condition, transmission, engine, accessories, price, and your phone number. (Robertson) When perspective buyers call, it is important to field any question they have directly. Don"t let anyone else in your house give out the information about the car. You need to have a pen and paper ready to take down phone numbers and set up appointments.
Negotiating for a car can be exhausting or it can be a fun profitable game. Some people don"t like to negotiate, and will do anything to get it over with, these are the kind of people that you will get the most money from. Without even knowing it you probably already have learned a lot about the process: standing your ground; giving in, but not too quickly or too much; not buying into others" manipulative games; compromising; and cutting your losses. First off, be prepared. You should know what your car is worth, its basic condition and problems, the minimum you want to accept for it, and be ready to sing over the car on the spot. Keep in mind that a "perfect deal" is one where neither party gets exactly what it wanted. (Makower) Every used-car buyer has a need to buy a car, and you must find out what it is. Your attitude will play a major role in the negotiations. You should be nice, polite, and low-key. If you get hot and bothered, you"ll lose control of your actions and the buyer. Simple put, the five basic steps for the seller are: your asking price, the buyer"s counteroffer, bargaining, last-minute strategies, and the deal.
An oral agreement is only as good as the paper it is written on, so make sure that all the details are put into writing. Make it clear that you are selling the car "as is." Don"t sign over your title or give your car to anyone until all the purchasing arrangements have been made. Make it clear that the buyer is responsible for all inspections and registration once they buy the car. (Makower) Most importantly, make copies of everything you sign. The bill of sale is the basic car-buying document that records the transaction. The following should be included: the date of the sale, year and make and model of the car, state registration, VIN number, odometer reading, amount sale is for, extra conditions, and the buyer"s and seller"s names and addresses and phone numbers. Make sure that each party gets a copy of the bill of sale.
A large percentage of the population uses the automobile regularly. The majority of the population, over 90%, has little or no understanding of the car buying art. (Robertson) Many people feel that selling their car themselves can be a real hassle. But, if you can realize that you will get several hundred dollars more than what a dealer might offer you, it just may be worth a little effort and time on your part.
Dalglish, Brenda. "Better Than New: used-car prices jump as consumer demand grows."
Maclean"s 10 Jul. 1995: 22-24
Makower, Joel. How to Sell a Used Car. New York: Perigee Books, 1988.
Robertson, C.B. How to Deal on an Automobile. Lyons: Blue Mountain Publisher, 1988.
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