Thursday, November 18, 2010

Writing for Hire -- When Students Are the Clients

Chagrined, that's what I am. My husband, who has been blogging about communications issues for nearly seven years, spotted a first-hand account of a custom-essay writer in the Chronicle of Higher Education that I had missed. He posted a piece about it yesterday, so now I am playing catch up.

Read this and weep. This guy works for a custom-essay company whose employees write original essays on demand. That means that it's likely the student won't be caught through standard plagiarism software since nothing is being directly copied. Most of this guy's business is from graduate students, sometimes ESL students who seemingly don't feel up to the task of writing a major paper.

Some kids will always be more sophisticated in their writing than others. Some may not be stylish writers, but will be able to do a good job in developing an argument in response to a question, forming strong supporting arguments and creating a persuasive tone.

Others, lazy or feeling inadequate, may pay for papers by ladies of the write. (So sorry...) This situation gives me a new appreciation for the need for a writing portion on standardized tests.

Have any of you found sure-fire ways to boost writing skills? Not sure how to squeeze parent-given writing assignments into an already crowded schedule. Guess I will be counting on teachers to hold our students to high standards -- and help them understand how to master this critical skill.

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