Wednesday, December 1st, 2010...9:48 am

Academic Mercenary: Essayist for Hire

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The Shadow Scholar: The Man Who Writes Your Student’s Essays Tells his Story

The author Ed Dante writes custom papers through an online essay mill. Students provide the parameters of the assignment; he does the research and writing. Dante never uses the library; Google Scholar and Amazon provide his research materials.

I’m a hired gun, a doctor of everything, an academic mercenary. My customers are your students. I promise you that. Somebody in your classroom uses a service that you can’t detect, that you can’t defend against, that you may not even know exists.

Though he has a public school B.A. in English, he writes across the disciplines (he names pharmacology, ethics, public administration and accounting, among others.) He writes everything, from discussion board postings to graduate theses for private schools. All of the disciplines have cheating students, but theology, nursing and education are the biggest offenders.

Cheating Goes Global as Essay Mills Multiply

Author Barlett interviews students who used a custom essay provider.

One student went to the essay mill to “get ideas;” her essay disappointed her professor. Another student wanted catchy phrases, but the essay she purchased needed extensive editing. A religion student at JMU had no ethical problem with buying a paper, saying “you don’t have time to do research on some of these things.”

Illegal: misdemeanor in Virginia to sell essays

Related articles:

Also transcript of live chat with Ed Dante

Interview with a Ghost Writer

Ghostwriter Behind Student Papers

Books on Cheating in JTCC Library:

Cheating in school :  what we know and what we can do by Stephen F. Davis, Patrick F. Drinan, and Tricia Bertram Gallan

Guiding students from cheating and plagiarism to honesty and integrity by Ann Lathrop and Kathleen E. Foss.

Comments welcome!

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