"echeat.com" - I kid you not

(from Blog '66, 2008 / former URL: http://hatlie.twoday.net/stories/4584084/)

I just discovered - unfortunately, a student paper led me to it - echeat.com, one of those sites that sells papers to students. The language on the site is interesting. It reads,

Welcome To Echeat.com. There is no reason to cheat or plagiarize when struggling with an essay. We offer over 60,000 well written model essays to assist students writing a paper for school. We guarantee that you'll find an essay on your topic quickly or we'll write a brand new customized example essay on your topic ..TODAY!!

All pre-written model essays and term papers are only $9.95 p/pg with a FREE Bibliography or Work Cited page. All essays are available for same day delivery via e-mail or fax. Receive the help that you deserve, search through our essays and order one NOW!!!

First, they name the site for cheating. Then, the first thing they say is that you don't need to cheat! They offer "model essays," giving the site visitor the strong impression that the point is to give you a kind of outline, something to paraphrase perhaps. For one thing, if you don't cite it, paraphrasing is still cheating (and if you do cite it, any prof worth his salt will nail you for trusting this source). More importantly, it is OBVIOUS the service will not be used to paraphrase or get ideas. Most people who use a site like this will simply copy and paste their essay and turn it in to their school or college. It reminds me of those music pirating sites or lude pornography disguised as art: The real purpose is obvious, but labeling it with another purpose somehow makes it different.

When I decided to try the "service," I entered my dissertation topic ("Riga") as a search term. Here is what it told me:

We have sooooooooooooo many papers that would help you! We just didn't find anything based on your specific search criteria. Please try your search again with different key words. If none of the results are appropriate, use the "Customized Essay" option to have us custom-create a NEW paper on ANY subject YOU specify! Regardless of your selection, we CAN help YOU complete your own paper...FAST!!!!

Students: If you are struggling with your paper, get REAL help. The kind of help will depend on the problem:

DON'T use echeat.com. Short cuts like that will not help you in the long run and may get you VERY busted in the short run.

Here are some quotes from the discussion forum at echeat:

That last one reflects an unbridled _arrogance_ that is hard to fathom. It is based on the assumption that the speaker already knows everything that is worth knowing. This person has a _total_ lack of curiosity or desire to learn.

Added in 2016: This posting attracted some comments - both from those who had experience as teachers or friends of cheaters who got caught and from those who are fans of online cheating. This was the most telling:

Oh wah wah wah wah wah wah wah, get over yourselves. If I wanted to waste my time writing some stupid piece of shit thats not even going to help me in the real world, why the hell would I? I'm not going to be constructing, researching, and outlining every single piece of literature that I write. Writing this ridiculously long essays and papers are a waste of time and effort. I'm a musician and constructing essays isn't going to help my musical career. My grammar is just fine. If the students wanted to copy a paper, big deal, then make them do a presentation on it that way they at least have to study the material anyways. You really only do have one life, and I hate wasting my time on crap that doesn't mean much to me.

Those kinds of remarks reflect the very attitude I am talking about at the end of the post with my remarks on arrogance. If you already know everything, then drop out of college. If you can already predict exactly what you will need to know or need to be able to do in 10 or 15 years - go into business. In the meantime, open your mind a bit. Let some curiosity creep in. You might find you like it.

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