Thinking locally on cheating globally

There was an announcement last week on an Associated Press site that runs press-releases . It was by a PR agency promoting “a professional essay writer service”

Not, you understand, that the Polish registered provider offers to actually write essays for clients. Rather, “all products are provided solely as examples to research, reference, and/or for you to learn how to properly write a paper.”

But the products provided will help and students could pass them off as their own work.  “Once you have placed an order and paid for it, a professional essay writer will start researching your topic immediately. They’ll find relevant facts, analyse the findings, and write a polished, meaningful essay that will bring you an ‘A’ grade,” the service’s website states.

The puff-piece was not written by the immensely influential Associated Press news service and is clearly marked as “paid content.” So, unless AP takes the promo down there is probably not much that can done to stop students anywhere, including Australia, reading it.

It demonstrates how hard it will be for the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency to stop offers for such services from off-shore.

Last month TEQSA CEO Alistair Maclean told the Commonwealth Parliaments Joint Committee of Public Accounts, “we will be announcing very shortly court orders blocking websites offering academic cheating services,” (CMM March 12). The Commonwealth’s Prohibiting Academic Cheating Services Act forbids publishing/broadcasting an advertisement for an academic cheating service to students in Australia.