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Is It Legal to Use Essay Writing Services Online?

— October 29, 2019

A purchased essay can be utilized as a compilation of reliable materials to quote in an essay from sources such as books, articles, and other discipline-related studies.

The eternal holy war over whether it is ethical to use someone’s help with your writing seems endless. Like any argument, there are two opinions: on the one hand, there are teachers and professors who do not tolerate any kind of cheating, while on the other hand, there are students who feel overwhelmed with their academic load and turn to essay writing services.

Let’s consider the opinions of both parties to see if there can be any middle ground between them. To help you with that, we’ve interviewed a professor and a student from a university.

Does ghostwriting mean plagiarism?

Professor: Yes. It’s absolutely unacceptable when a student submits a paper that was written by someone else. Pretending that an essay or any other academic work was completed by you when it wasn’t is definitely [academic] malpractice. Writing skills are very important for students, as they help to nourish research and analytical skills. I can even say they are crucial for the future careers of students. 

Yet, I agree that sometimes there are too many writing tasks in colleges and universities. I must admit if a student gets a couple of essays in minor disciplines and a research paper in his or her major, it’s better to focus on the latter. I don’t mean he or she should give up on writing those essays or hand in a paper written by another person. I want to say that getting a model paper can be a life-saver for a student. Of course, he or she should use it as a sample for writing an essay on his or her own.

Student: Officially, yeah. I know students should work on their homework on their own. But sometimes I’m really pressed for time and have no chance to do research or to dive into a topic properly. I would appreciate it if someone could help me to do a study. I would be able to examine it and write something similar on my own. I mean, if I use such paper as an example for my own writing, I don’t think it’s cheating.

Have your students ever handed in papers written by someone else?/ Have you ever used a paper writing service?

Professor: I can’t be 100% sure, but when a student turns in a paper that drastically differs from his or her regular work, it’s suspicious. I would definitely question if this person has written this assignment on his or her own.

Fountain pen on black lined paper; image by Aaron Burden, via
Fountain pen on black lined paper; image by Aaron Burden, via

Student: To be honest, I did it once. I was studying for tests for my major and had to write an essay in English 101 by the next day. I was more afraid to fail the tests rather than be caught cheating. And to tell the truth, I didn’t submit that essay as is. I just spent less time studying the topic or looking for sources.

Do you think that essay writing services make students lazy?

Professor: It’s not applicable in every case. If a student pretends a paper written by someone else is completed by his or her own, it shouldn’t be tolerated. This means a person doesn’t consider studies important enough. And if a student regularly orders papers from essay writing services, the educational institution should think about expelling him or her. Because no one can get a degree for you.

But I can also understand the pressure of the academic load we put on students. Maybe it’s time for colleges and universities to reimagine the number of writing tasks that are given out. Because a student can work hard on his or her coursework, dissertation, or term paper and have dozens of essays to turn in along with it. Don’t get me wrong, I still think each person should work on all those assignments himself or herself. But, getting a sample that demonstrates a good piece of writing and using it as a source of inspiration can make sense when a student is really pressed for time.

Student: Well, everyone should work hard. Studies have nothing to do with having a pleasant walk in the park. Anyone who enters a college or university should understand the responsibility for doing his or her best to graduate successfully.

At the same time, sometimes it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all those assignments. And it’s not about laziness. It’s about the almost inhuman amount of things you need to complete at once. That’s why I think asking someone for providing an exemplary essay can be a solution. But only if a person really uses this essay as an example.

Let’s wrap everything up

So, as you might have already understood, getting help from a professional essay writing service like AdvancedWriters, for instance, shouldn’t be treated as plagiarism if a student uses a sample completed by such a company to inspire his or her own writing. It can also be utilized as a compilation of reliable materials to quote in an essay from sources such as books, articles, and other discipline-related studies. Finally, a student can even cite some pieces of the work received from a paper writing service if he or she formats them in a proper way. So, this way, it wouldn’t be considered academically dishonest.

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