If, in a moment of either sheer curiosity or utter desperation, you happen to Google any phrase along the lines of “essay writing help”, “term paper help”, or “homework help”, chances are you will be greeted with results page upon results page of websites—a recent Google search yielded 86.6 million hits. These websites claim to provide reliable, top quality, and expert assistance for your academic paper needs, whether the written piece you require is high school-level, university-level, masters-level, or doctoral-level. The businesses that you chance upon in that one sitting comprise but a small portion of the booming global marketplace for essay writing services that prevails today.
The purpose of this blog post is not to defame or demonise the essay writing service industry. Multiple articles and reports by various authors all over the globe have already done this. The aim of this piece of writing is to look past these things and explore two interesting topics related to this matter: (1) what factors could have contributed to the rise of such an industry; and (2) the rationale that explains why students avail of essay writing services?
What factors contributed to the rise of the essay writing industry?
Let’s take a closer look at the underlying factors that are behind the birth and subsequent rise of the essay writing industry. The foremost thing that comes to mind is the universities that students attend, as well as the current educational system that governs them. At first, it may sound ridiculous—how could the very institution that punishes such unethical acts have a hand in promoting essay writing services? As it turns out, this occurred, and presently occurs, in two ways. The first is the increasingly obvious commercial and profit-oriented nature of many universities. The cost of education nowadays is so steep that it is not atypical for an individual to invest thousands of dollars into his or her schooling. Universities have been accepting more and more applicants, but lack the necessary resources with which to properly educate these people. Few, if any, escape, untouched and free, from towering student loans. Many students need to work part-time or full-time jobs just to come up with money for tuition fees. In such circumstances, time becomes an incredibly scarce resource. But most of all, the price of failure mutates into an expense that nobody can afford. For some students, the only logical path is to avail of an essay writing service, many of which promise high-calibre academic papers to be submitted by your deadline. After all, such an action involves but another transaction, which fits well into the business-like relationship students share with their schools.
The second way that educational institutions contribute to the growth of essay writing services is the prevalent overemphasis of grades over learning, and assignment completion over quality. This is common in profit-focused universities, where the same assignments are usually reused year after year after year. In an educational institution’s quest for prestige, immense pressure is constantly heaved onto students to excel and to get top marks. Plagiarism is vehemently discouraged and severly punished. In response to this, scores of pupils have turned to essay writing services to get the best marks for the least amount effort, whether their motivation has been lack of time, laziness, or pragmatism. Apparently, essay writing services have partly been borne of the ills of our contemporary educational systems.
However, they are not the only ones responsible. The society that we live in also has a part to play in this. It has become popular, widespread, and even acceptable for people of fame or note—such as actors, singers, musicians, business moguls, politicians, and artists—to hire ghostwriters to write their memoirs or books for them. These ghostwriters do all the work, but do not see their name on the final, published output. They do not get recognition. Rather, they see someone else’s name on the cover. A culture of paying someone else to fulfill your responsibilities for you was thus propagated. It is not highly unlikely, then, that this culture gradually extended itself to the field of education.
In addition, in a society that tends to undervalue purely academic research work, many graduates are finding it difficult to find a well-paying and sustainable occupation. Most have worked in various part-or full-time research assistant positions, only to find that the salary is not enough to cover their daily and monthly needs. Then—either inadvertently or purposefully—a significant number of academics turn to writing others’ academic papers for money. Say what you will about the essay writing industry, but you cannot obscure the fact that it is a booming and lucrative business. In 2016, the essay writing industry was estimated to be worth US $150 million. In England, the same industry was valued at £100 million in the same year. From a rather simplistic economics perspective, these academics-turned-businesspeople are merely meeting a growing and irresistible demand, and are giving consumers exactly what they want.