I came across a wonderful little website ‘flashpapers,’ I would link to it in the post but I don’t want to be connected with them in any way. This website claims it will give you a fully customized paper just in time for finals!
I’m sure this is an expanding market, where teams of highly educated outsourced third world employee’s labour away to give Johnny or Lucy a paper just in time for finals. But, the risk of being charged with plagiarism or academic fraud far outweighs the gains. I’ve been offered extravagant amounts of money to write papers and pass students as a teaching assistant and lecturer. In my college tutoring business I’ve also been offered money from my own students to just ’solve their paper problem’. Each time I’ve refused, first because it is fundamentally wrong and second because of the possible ramifications.
What happens when you are caught cheating
Although I’m sure most university students all get that flyer at the beginning of the semester outlining what plagiarism is and why it’s wrong, the majority of students don’t actually know what happens to you if you are caught plagiarizing. I’ll start by defining how plagiarism is confirmed. Other than using software which can scan papers for plagiarized content which is illegal in some schools, there are three steps.
Step 1: Your professor or TA suspect’s plagiarism while marking your paper and throws the suspected content into the search engines (google scholar, journal databases etc) to find if the content is directly copied.
Step 2: If the content is not found online but plagiarism is still suspected, the paper is given to a second reader (usually a TA) who is told to look over the paper for inaccuracies.
Step 3: If the 2nd reader comes to the same conclusion then the paper is officially suspected of plagiarism and the best punishment is decided.
There are three possible outcomes once plagiarism is suspected and confirmed.
Outcome 1: The student is confronted, if he/she confesses then the matter is dealt with unofficially with either the student taking a failing grade on the paper or even the entire course but not permanent mark is left on the final transcript.
Outcome 2: The student confesses but it is not his/her first offence. In that case formal charges may be brought against the student where the student can be suspended for the semester and in most cases a permanent record of plagiarism is placed on the student’s transcript. (Just as a side note, if this happens to you, grad schools won’t accept you, you won’t be able to get a government job and you’re all around screwed, so don’t do it)
Outcome 3: The student says they are innocent, a formal investigation is levied and a tribunal of professors and sometimes student representatives is formed to investigate the accusation. If the student is found guilty (I haven’t heard of many cases that have found the student innocent) they usually have the year or degree completely taken away from them. The lesson here is to confess, you’ll get off much easier if you do.
Why it’s better to fail then to plagiarize
With companies like ‘flashpapers’ who can create custom papers for you, it is becoming increasing easy to cheat and many of you might think of trying this as an alternative to failing your paper. You may even think that this is a victimless crime, as nobody will know you cheated, and unfortunately you’d be right.
Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I believe university isn’t a place to just to get a mark but to actually learn. Remember that education, much as life is about the journey not the destination and taken a short cut is not only wrong but I guarantee you’ll regret it eventually.
For those companies that are selling these papers.
Shame on you and get an honest job.
Liam McIvor Martin
For those that want to hire honest academic help go check out my online tutoring program.