back in the good ol’ days of studenthood( I graduated on or about 1980) I spent many hours typing all night a paper that was due the next morning, or trying to convince a prof to accept it a day late.
Sure , I was irresponsible,–but at least I did my OWN work. I spent long hours in the library looking at lots of sources and finally at the last minute put together a coherent 5 , 10 or 15 pages of research.
Back then, there were a few shady companies that advertised in the local paper offering “research assistance”. But the mechanics of it made such cheating difficult. (Snail mail, you had to order weeks in advance and pray it arrived before your deadline, and that it would be relevant to your professor’s assignment, etc.)
Today, we have the net. And it just now occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, a few students might actually be dishonest. So I googled “term paper”, and discovered that there are only enough sites out there to provide for the needs of several million dishonest students.
So 2 questions:
Professors–how do you check that students are actually writing their own papers?
And students–how tempting is it to you?(well, okay, I’ll let you keep your private secrets–just tell me what the “other” students in your dorm do)
How widespread is it?