Manuscript with arrow icon Book and magnifying glass icon Cross-check icon Process checklist icon Reputation ribbon icon Graduation cap icon Question speech bubble icon Headset call icon Mobile phone call icon Login arrow icon B+ Paper Icon Becoming B+ Paper Icon Checkmark Paper Icon Feedback Speech Bubble Icon Feedback Double Speech Bubble Icon Similarity Check Icon Professional Development Icon Admin Training Icon Instructor Training Icon Student Training Icon Integrations Icon System Status Icon System Requirements Icon Menu Icon Checkmark Icon Download Icon Rubric Icon Prompt Icon QuickMark Set Icon Lesson Plan Icon Success Story Icon Infographic Icon White Paper Icon White Paper Icon Press Release Icon News Story Icon Event Icon Webcast Icon Video Icon Envelope Icon Plaque Icon Lightbulb Icon Insights Lightbulb Icon Training Icon Search Icon User Icon Privacy Icon Instructor Icon Instructor-1 Icon Investigator Icon Admin Icon Student Icon Voice Grammar Icon Turnitin Logo (Text and Icon) Icon Facebook Icon Twitter Icon LinkedIn Icon Google Plus Icon Lightbulb Icon Binoculars Icon Drama Masks Icon Magnifying Glass Icon Signal Check Indicator Bars Red Flag Icon Analysis and Organization Icon
Contact Sales

Contract cheating is any work someone does for a student (whether paid or unpaid or as a trade for services) that they then represent as their own. It can be:

Contract cheating is a form of academic misconduct, even if it isn’t an act of plagiarism. It is an extreme behavior that students undertake at great risk. So what is going through students’ heads when they engage in contract cheating?

That’s an excellent question. You know who has the answer? Essays mills.

In a brief ten minute search of Essay Mills’ websites, we observed messaging that was either nurturing or empathetic:

  • “Take a Break From Writing Essays”
  • “Essay Writing Made Easy: Do Not Stress Yourself with Academic Writing Pressures When We Can Deliver the Best for You”
  • “The Professional Essay Writing Service for Students Who Can’t Even”
  • “Taking Care of You Every Step of the Way”
  • “Relax. Your Wish is Our Command.”

Or, it reassured students that purchasing a paper was normal, not deviant, behavior:

  • “100% Plagiarism-Free Essays”
  • “Providing Students with Original Papers Since 1997”
  • “Key to Your Academic Success”
  • “Satisfied, Returning Customers”
  • “Today, a Lot of Students Yearn to Connect with Cheap Custom Essay Writing Service [sic]”

These messages contain words that a stressed student under deadline might be thirsty to hear. Who isn’t receptive to the words “care” or “relax” or “easy” while under pressure? These are nods of reassurance. These are empathetic messages that essay mills send out to students. In parallel, essay mills also influence students into thinking contract cheating is normal and prevalent, which they enforce with messages like “plagiarism-free” and “returning customers,” as well as testimonials from said customers.

Want to address contract cheating at your institution? Learn more about Turnitin Originality.