GRADE A CHEATS; PEOPLE INVESTIGATION Exposes the Pupils Buying Essays from Abroad for as Little as Pounds 15

Article excerpt

Byline: Nada Farhoud; Karen Moss

CHEATING students are going online to buy tailormade essays that earn top grades when they hand them in as their own.

The work is often prepared by highly qualified youngsters abroad - who are delighted to be paid as little as pounds 15.

Soaring numbers of lazy GCSE, A Level and degree students are taking advantage of dozens of websites offering help with preparing coursework.

The sites say the essays they offer are simply a "learning resource" for guidance.

But some offer a money-back guarantee that the buyer will get the grade they want.

And because the essays are individually written, teachers or tutors are unlikely to spot plagiarism - even if a student copies the work word for word.

An A Level English teacher who alerted The People to the problem said: "It's ridiculous the amount of cheating that goes on. Kids are no longer simply copying each other's homework.

"These sites are so sophisticated it is virtually impossible to detect plagiarism."

With exam season approaching, parents will be shocked by The People's findings.

The teacher agreed to pose as a student and go on to website EssayBay. He asked for help with a 1,000-word answer to an A level English Literature question on Jane Austen's Emma. Within an hour 11 graduates from countries including the Philippines, Kenya and India had responded.

Fewer than half of the replies were from Brits. One writer promised to deliver an answer in two days for pounds 26.50.

Another said they could do it in three days for pounds 28.27. Our "student" accepted an offer from a 25-year-old Filipina graduate to complete a B grade essay in two days for pounds 22.

The woman, who writes under the name girlfriday, said she was trying to save to pay for law school. She has written 30 online essays in three months.

But Essaybay says she is not a "verified writer" - meaning it has not checked her identity, address or qualifications.

But the teacher said: "Her essay was really good. I would definitely give it a B grade. I gave her examples of previous essays so she could write to my style."

Our investigation proved that graduates with Masters degrees and even PhDs are ready to take part in a bidding war to earn what is little more than pocket money for British students. Cheats can even choose the grade they want for a paper.

A site called School Papers and Essays boasts it can provide essays at Philippines prices. …