Term-paper writer

As a struggling writer, Nick Mamatas supported himself by writing term papers for “dumb clients,” (use  simple English and underline the thesis statement), chemistry majors trapped in poetry class and well-educated immigrants with poor English-language skills.

. . . I know why students don’t understand thesis statements, argumentative writing, or proper citations.

It’s because students have never read term papers.

Imagine trying to write a novel, for a grade, under a tight deadline, without ever having read a novel. Instead, you meet once or twice a week with someone who is an expert in describing what novels are like. Novels are long stories, you see, that depict a “slice of life” featuring a middle-class protagonist. Psychological realism is prized in novels. Moral instruction was once fairly common in novels, but is now considered gauche. Novels end when the protagonist has an epiphany, such as “I am not happy. Also, neither is anybody else.” . . . Start writing! Underline your epiphany.

There’s another reason I never felt too badly about the job, though I am pleased to be done with papers. The students aren’t only cheating themselves. They are being cheated by the schools that take tuition and give nothing in exchange.

Of course, students who buy their term papers aren’t giving anything of themselves — except their credit card numbers.

About Joanne


  1. tim-10-ber says:

    Imagine the “top 24” high school in the country having never done term papers or research papers until last year? If they in fact did them. My son did not do a research paper his sophomore year.

    Yet, my son who went to private high school did numerous research papers. My tuition dollars were very well spent!

    So…how can high schools only be ranked on the number of AP classes and tests students take? Why are public schools, heck all schools, not honestly evaluated on the quality of their curriculum and effectiveness of teachers? Geez…

  2. And this is why I give my freshman composition students sample essays with the assignment sheet for every paper I assign. If they don’t read them, that’s not my problem.