Eightface

by Dave Kellam

The story of someone who makes his living writing papers for students. He has worked on everything from admissions essays and undergraduate assignments to large graduate theses. In his words, “I’m a hired gun, a doctor of everything, an academic mercenary.”

You would be amazed by the incompetence of your students’ writing. I have seen the word “desperate” misspelled every way you can imagine. And these students truly are desperate. They couldn’t write a convincing grocery list, yet they are in graduate school. They really need help. They need help learning and, separately, they need help passing their courses. But they aren’t getting it.

For those of you who have ever mentored a student through the writing of a dissertation, served on a thesis-review committee, or guided a graduate student through a formal research process, I have a question: Do you ever wonder how a student who struggles to formulate complete sentences in conversation manages to produce marginally competent research? How does that student get by you?

Can’t say that I’m surprised by the article, but it is disheartening — I don’t see how any self-respecting graduate student could have someone else write their papers. It’s frustrating when you know people that work their asses off to produce solid work, while some idiot that they’re up against just dips into the bank. That said, I have to admit being amused by the thought of people paying to have ethics papers written for them.

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