How Essay Mills are Destroying Academic Integrity of UK Students

ban on essay mills

It is a well known reality that contract cheating is a serious issue that impacts academic integrity of UK institutions. Also known as ghostwriting, contract cheating is the issue involved in hiring a third party to write an assignment or essay on students’ behalf. 

Essay mills have made significant progress of capturing students attention to hire them through online fake websites. If you google search “dissertation writing services in UK” you will get results from google that land you most fake essay mills websites claiming to be real UK based essay companies although they are not in reality. Mostly the chances are that you land on a website offering essay writing services that is run by a Pakistani or Indian who has never visited UK. These Indian and Pakistan scam websites offer highly unrealistic guarantees of A+ grades just to grab your hard earned money and once you make payment they will not bother to assist you and in the end you will get a copy paste work stolen from any dissertation or essay repository. 

Recently, more than 40 university chiefs  submitted a petition to the education secretary calling for a ban on so-called “essay mills”.  The university chiefs demanded the education secretary to made these companies illegal who offer contract cheating as these are undermining the academic integrity of UK institutions. Ironically, students who get caught cheating face academic penalties including disqualification whereas the services offered by the essay mills are not illegal.

Sam Gyimah, the universities minister, has said they are working on to completely outlaw the services. He further said:

I expect universities to be educating students about these services and highlight the stiff, and possibly life-changing, penalties they face.
“I also want the sector to do more to grip the problem, for example by tackling advertising of these services in their institutions and finally blocking these services from sending an alarming number of emails to the inboxes of university students and staff.
“I have been working with organisations across the higher education sector to bear down on this problem and this has already resulted in the likes of YouTube removing adverts for these essay mills, but legislative options are not off the table.”

How essay mills tempt students to buy essay online?

Targeting students at the right time: Essay mills mostly target students during the middle and end of their semesters.  They understand the pressure of looming deadline on students and it is the right time when students succumb to temptation of buying essays and dissertations. 

Using a false student names:

On most of the essay mills websites, false students names are published who bought essay from them and got A+ grades. These false claims attract new students to buy essays from them Some essay mills websites even publish the logos of prominent universities and claim that the students of these universities buy essays from them. 

What is the future of essay mills?

In some countries, essay mills have already banned whereas in some European countries legislative process is in progress to declare the websites offering essay writing services as illegal. The focus of legislative is on targeting the essay mills and not punishing students who buy essays from them. 

Recently, the Advertising Standards Agency banned adverts for an essay-writing company which failed to published on their website that the papers were not meant to be submitted by students as their own work.

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Iqra Fatima is an entrepreneur and freelance journalist. She writes on entertainment and showbiz news for various online publications. Reading and writing is her passion along with running an online store.