Friday, April 15, 2005


[Via Chris at Crooked Timber] Research shows that most ghostwritten student essays - essays that students have paid (usually) online sites to produce for them - are rubbish, just about managing to earn their purchasers third class or lower second class marks.

Well, setting aside the sort of reaction I should probably have ('good', 'serves them right' etc.), this suggests an excellent business opportunity. If most of the existing services are awful, they must rely on people for the most part only using them as a once-off affair. But what if a company was to set itself up as developing ongoing relationships with its cheating clients?

Suppose each person at our business takes on 10 to 20 students, each of whom would send in writing samples, the style of which this person would then mimic in producing essays. Couple this service with more time taken to research each answer, then the essays produced might actually be of a good quality, and the students will keep coming back. We can charge higher prices for a service that works, and moreover, the quality of essays would even improve as time went on, since we all know that most university tutors set the same essays over and over again, so that if one generation of student clients recommends the site's services to the next generation, sending their marked essays back to the company each time (for further research, naturally) corresponding improvements can be made and profits will skyrocket.

It's a million waiting to be made. Unfortunately, I have no interest in business, so it can remain a scheme in my head for when I fall on hard times.

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