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The Shadow Scholar - cheating on essays

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Scotty knows

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I would guess that a majority of these students are Asian, predominantly students on visas from China. From what I have seen most Chinese students at my school do not speak sufficient English, yet they magically have perfectly written essays. How do they do it?

Anyways good read but this is old news, known about this and many other outside the box sources of cheating since I first got to college.
 

IvyHopeful20

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The glass-half-full part of me hopes that the proliferation of online forums and other social communication outlets will make kids better writers.

I mean most posts on SDN at least show basic literacy.
 

hiyaman

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I would guess that a majority of these students are Asian, predominantly students on visas from China. From what I have seen most Chinese students at my school do not speak sufficient English, yet they magically have perfectly written essays. How do they do it?

Anyways good read but this is old news, known about this and many other outside the box sources of cheating since I first got to college.

Wow, you're an *******. In highschool I used to not speak french well yet I was still able to write coherent sentences. Speaking well does not equate to writing well in languages.
 
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the duck

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I would guess that a majority of these students are Asian, predominantly students on visas from China. From what I have seen most Chinese students at my school do not speak sufficient English, yet they magically have perfectly written essays. How do they do it?

Anyways good read but this is old news, known about this and many other outside the box sources of cheating since I first got to college.

racist.jpg
 
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startswithb

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This tells me that college degrees are rapidly losing their value. Hopefully these cheaters will be filtered out in the workplace. My mother was a marketing executive and has fired plenty of people with masters degrees and 4.0s for being utterly incompetent.
 

DoctorJDO

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This tells me that college degrees are rapidly losing their value. Hopefully these cheaters will be filtered out in the workplace. My mother was a marketing executive and has fired plenty of people with masters degrees and 4.0s for being utterly incompetent.
one of the comments is very accurate: "In the undergrad grapevine nothing spreads like news of professors who will let everything slide, or those like myself who demand "too much" (even if we take extra steps to help) and who always refer plagiarism cases. Even the worst student can usually find a path of least resistance to reach the degre". Essay service aside, I think finding the path of least resistance is very popular with pre-meds, who will do anything for an A grade. Think ratemyprofessor.com. Most of us are guilty of it, and in some way this might be responsible for a lot of 3.95 GPA Bio majors with 23 MCATs. The college degree is becoming an extension if high school
 

loveoforganic

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In a senior level psychology seminar writing credit class, someone copy pasted an entire wiki article. Without taking the hyperlinks out. =|
 

IvyHopeful20

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one of the comments is very accurate: "In the undergrad grapevine nothing spreads like news of professors who will let everything slide, or those like myself who demand "too much" (even if we take extra steps to help) and who always refer plagiarism cases. Even the worst student can usually find a path of least resistance to reach the degre". Essay service aside, I think finding the path of least resistance is very popular with pre-meds, who will do anything for an A grade. Think ratemyprofessor.com. Most of us are guilty of it, and in some way this might be responsible for a lot of 3.95 GPA Bio majors with 23 MCATs. The college degree is becoming an extension if high school

I'm totally in favor of grading based on percentile/curve - it doesn't say anything if 80% of the class gets As, but I think the "path of least resistance" is a whole another ballpark to actively cheating.
 

WorldChanger36

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Paper writing can be a real beast but it is a great way to express thoughts about the subject and get corrective insight. That article just goes to show that grades are not everything. Some premed may be able to pay a guy like this to write his essays and PS but he is on his own for the MCAT and med school. Unless there is some med school grad out there writing papers for med students... That would be scary:scared:....
 

loveoforganic

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i jas fanesh reddin arcticul.

i no c preblum.

u rite me pology?
 

HW51Revisited

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And the article specifically states that these are mostly graduate students. What good is a Masters degree if you can't write a coherent e-mail begging someone else to write your thesis for you?
 

gettheleadout

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Seriously though, how can any of these people succeed in the workplace regardless of what field they go into? They'll have degrees but get fired everywhere they work...in any case, that's scary.
 

solo75

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Wow, that's awesome. Can you say back up plan? :laugh:
 

getright

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Awesome article, cheating pretty much can't be stopped when assignments are completed outside of class. Scotty is also a racist douche bag.
 

jhamaican

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thanks for taking the time to share this article. Really insightful.
 
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RogueUnicorn

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Seriously though, how can any of these people succeed in the workplace regardless of what field they go into? They'll have degrees but get fired everywhere they work...in any case, that's scary.
from my experience out in "the world," it's getting in that's the hardest part..
 

juliedi

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Wow. This is surprising and disgusting. I'd expect this from some people (i.e. rich lazy undergrads, I know there were a bunch like that at my school), not that it makes it remotely acceptable. But doctorate students? Future educators? Seminary students? Papers on academic integrity? This is just sad.
 

surftheiop

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from my experience out in "the world," it's getting in that's the hardest part..

This is what I've heard/seen as well.

Also some physicians have mentioned this as a reason they dislike medicine, everybody with an MD behind their name gets a certain level of societal respect and a six figure salary regardless of if they actually provide competent care to their patients.
 

wristbandMD

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This was not quite a rush order, which we get top dollar to write. This assignment would be priced at a standard $2,000, half of which goes in my pocket.

Forget med school. I'm pretty sure I've found my calling!

Seriously, though. I know people who have paid about $100 for a paper, but I've never met anyone who would pay $2,000.

Also, the author notes that, "From my experience, three demographic groups seek out my services: the English-as-second-language student; the hopelessly deficient student; and the lazy rich kid".

I don't think what Scotty said is racist at all. The community college I attended was full of ESL students (particularly Asians) who bought papers.
 

MisterVeil

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The glass-half-full part of me hopes that the proliferation of online forums and other social communication outlets will make kids better writers.

I mean most posts on SDN at least show basic literacy.
My agree, in it is a great resourceful for literacy of the online frorums.
 

ElChamaco

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I'm sorry to say, I know the chronicle is a respected publication but I have extreme doubts that any human being can write 20-40 pages a day of high level work across dozens of disparate and technical fields. Writing that much, and doing the research to be able to write that much (PhD work after all requires research) takes a great deal of time and familiarity with a field. I don't doubt the existence of these kinds of businesses but there is no way that a single person does as much work as Mr. Deepthroat featured in this Chronicle article. There is definitely a lot of exaggeration and sensationalizing going on there.
 

FrkyBgStok

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YES!!! i finally found a way to complete my cell bio project. now i don't have to pay someone in my class to put my name on their group project. Win!
 

RogueUnicorn

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I'm sorry to say, I know the chronicle is a respected publication but I have extreme doubts that any human being can write 20-40 pages a day of high level work across dozens of disparate and technical fields. Writing that much, and doing the research to be able to write that much (PhD work after all requires research) takes a great deal of time and familiarity with a field. I don't doubt the existence of these kinds of businesses but there is no way that a single person does as much work as Mr. Deepthroat featured in this Chronicle article. There is definitely a lot of exaggeration and sensationalizing going on there.
he never claimed it was high level iirc. just acceptable.
 

hiyaman

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Forget med school. I'm pretty sure I've found my calling!

Seriously, though. I know people who have paid about $100 for a paper, but I've never met anyone who would pay $2,000.

Also, the author notes that, "From my experience, three demographic groups seek out my services: the English-as-second-language student; the hopelessly deficient student; and the lazy rich kid".

I don't think what Scotty said is racist at all. The community college I attended was full of ESL students (particularly Asians) who bought papers.

Scotty's comment may not have been racist per se but it definitely pissed me off. Just because someone may not speak fluently doesn't mean they can't write decently and it doesn't meant that they're cheating or buying papers. My parents came to the USA from china and they probably had accents and stuff but they could sure as hell write a paper, how else would they have gotten through PhD programs. Buying papers? We didn't have that kind of money to just spend 2k on a paper, ridiculous. Who would buy a 2k paper anyway? And why spend money for an education that you aren't getting?
 

Shaolin

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Isn't the interview process supposed to weed out these types of people? How can they even reach a point where they are fired if they are properly vetted?
 

mishaS

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This isn't terribly surprising. I do know people who have went this route, though usually it was because they were overloaded and didn't have time for a long essay on top of everything. Far more often than not they got completely screwed, spending hundreds of dollars on papers that were direct copy pastes from wikipedia and from online sources on the first page of a google search. Honestly, for many programs which don't primarily involve extensive writing, I think giving students who have an extreme talent for writing a very significant leg up over those who write with perfectly fine clarity and eloquence is unfair, and a poor filtering system. A student whose personal statement is only ok, but who in attitude would make a better doctor would be at a significant disadvantage compared to a peer who was an excellent writer and bull**** artist. That is not to say I support his kind of behavior, it is unethical, just that I think our system supports it by placing a very large emphasis on fantastic writing ability.
 

startswithb

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This isn't terribly surprising. I do know people who have went this route, though usually it was because they were overloaded and didn't have time for a long essay on top of everything. Far more often than not they got completely screwed, spending hundreds of dollars on papers that were direct copy pastes from wikipedia and from online sources on the first page of a google search. Honestly, for many programs which don't primarily involve extensive writing, I think giving students who have an extreme talent for writing a very significant leg up over those who write with perfectly fine clarity and eloquence is unfair, and a poor filtering system. A student whose personal statement is only ok, but who in attitude would make a better doctor would be at a significant disadvantage compared to a peer who was an excellent writer and bull**** artist. That is not to say I support his kind of behavior, it is unethical, just that I think our system supports it by placing a very large emphasis on fantastic writing ability.

You're arguing against the merits of communication ability? Really?
 

NickNaylor

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This isn't terribly surprising. I do know people who have went this route, though usually it was because they were overloaded and didn't have time for a long essay on top of everything. Far more often than not they got completely screwed, spending hundreds of dollars on papers that were direct copy pastes from wikipedia and from online sources on the first page of a google search. Honestly, for many programs which don't primarily involve extensive writing, I think giving students who have an extreme talent for writing a very significant leg up over those who write with perfectly fine clarity and eloquence is unfair, and a poor filtering system. A student whose personal statement is only ok, but who in attitude would make a better doctor would be at a significant disadvantage compared to a peer who was an excellent writer and bull**** artist. That is not to say I support his kind of behavior, it is unethical, just that I think our system supports it by placing a very large emphasis on fantastic writing ability.

Being able to communicate well is the foundation of any profession, but especially service industries like medicine. Most people that I know that are good communicators are also good writers. I'm not saying that's always the case, but I think it's common enough that it's a fair judgment to make.
 

mishaS

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Are you arguing that the person who is the most talented writer, who can write the most entertaining/engaging essay, is the also the most effective in their communcations skills? Again, if a profession requires a great deal of writing, it is understandable to put a very high emphasis on writing ability in the selection process, but I don't see this being of paramount necessity to a non academic doctor.
 

NickNaylor

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Are you arguing that the person who is the most talented writer, who can write the most entertaining/engaging essay, is the also the most effective in their communcations skills? Again, if a profession requires a great deal of writing, it is understandable to put a very high emphasis on writing ability in the selection process, but I don't see this being of paramount necessity to a non academic doctor.

Not necessarily, but in my personal experience very good writers are also very good communicators otherwise. It's not as if the two skill sets are completely unrelated.
 

RogueUnicorn

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Are you arguing that the person who is the most talented writer, who can write the most entertaining/engaging essay, is the also the most effective in their communcations skills? Again, if a profession requires a great deal of writing, it is understandable to put a very high emphasis on writing ability in the selection process, but I don't see this being of paramount necessity to a non academic doctor.
you don't think doctors write a lot? :laugh::laugh::laugh:
 

mishaS

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Being able to communicate well is the foundation of any profession, but especially service industries like medicine. Most people that I know that are good communicators are also good writers. I'm not saying that's always the case, but I think it's common enough that it's a fair judgment to make.

Again, I'm in agreement, but I think we're dealing with different types of communication. Also, I really didn't enjoy the feeling that I was handicapping myself by being honest in PS, while other people were more than willing to make things up as they went to make their PS's more engaging and cohesive. I'm not saying that we shouldn't have to write essays or personal statements, just that the high emphasis on these things does promote dishonestly.
 

NickNaylor

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Again, I'm in agreement, but I think we're dealing with different types of communication. Also, I really didn't enjoy the feeling that I was handicapping myself by being honest in PS, while other people were more than willing to make things up as they went to make their PS's more engaging and cohesive. I'm not saying that we shouldn't have to write essays or personal statements, just that the high emphasis on these things does promote dishonestly.

Are you raging against writing ability or lying about things?

Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk
 

mishaS

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Both I guess. Like I said, writing involves different intellectual abilities than person to person communication. I really don't think it's necessary to go into the differences between carefully thought out and reviewed communication and on the fly, instant response, communication.
 

Perrotfish

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you don't think doctors write a lot? :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Even at the handful of institutions where H&Ps have not devolved entirely into checkbox forms, the hastily scrawled medical gibberish which we record in patients' charts each morning, while technically composed of written words, does not actually require any understanding of sentence structure or grammer and is therefore not 'writing' in the sense that the written communication skills taught in college are necessary. Short answer: yes, doctors don't write very much and peope whose understanding of English is very limited can do the job of a physician very well.
 

Doc of the Walk

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Funny you should bring this article up, in my english class today we actually pulled a "persuasive" "essay" ( I put essay in quotations because it was anything but), that a student had copied and pasted and in the section that they pasted, there was a hyperlink to the actual site where they got it from :confused:
 

startswithb

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Even at the handful of institutions where H&Ps have not devolved entirely into checkbox forms, the hastily scrawled medical gibberish which we record in patients' charts each morning, while technically composed of written words, does not actually require any understanding of sentence structure or grammer and is therefore not 'writing' in the sense that the written communication skills taught in college are necessary. Short answer: yes, doctors don't write very much and peope whose understanding of English is very limited can do the job of a physician very well.

Charting is most certainly not the only written communication required. I've had the awesome job of scanning in documents at a physician's office and there are quite a lot of referral letters, which are very detailed and professional.
 
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