The New York Times checks the quality of term papers for hire — the cheapest costs $9.95 a page — in a story that suggests cheaters will not prosper.
Using her own name and her personal e-mail address, an editor ordered three English literature papers from three different sites on standard, often-assigned topics: one comparing and contrasting Huxley’s “Brave New World” and Orwell’s “1984”; one discussing the nature of Ophelia’s madness in “Hamlet”; and one exploring the theme of colonialism in Conrad’s “Lord Jim.”
A small sample, perhaps, but one sufficient, upon perusal, to suggest that papers written to order are just like the ones students write for themselves, only more so — they’re poorly organized, awkwardly phrased, thin on substance, but masterly in the ancient arts of padding and stating and restating the obvious.
Professors at elite colleges — Amherst and Harvard — say they’d give a D or F to papers of this quality. It would be nice if the reporter had asked someone at a less elite school.