Custom written essays are becoming increasingly popular with college students. They claim to offer original content at reasonable rates and lightening fast turn around times. But do they live up to the hype? This article will explain how these sites work and why it is a good idea to avoid them.

Most of these custom essay sites advertise for writers to churn out essays based on general or specific topics. Each writer is paid a small fee for their service and are therefore motivated to write a large number of essays to make it financially worthwhile. The service then sells these same essays to students at a profit. The papers are cheap to purchase because of the vast number produced and the low rate of pay for writers. This essay-mill type production leads to poor quality writing and research, lack of originality, and repetitive structure and ideas.

So who writes these essays? It is worth noting that no reputable academic would sell their work for little money or allow the copyright of their research to be sold anonymously. Most writers who produce content for these essay mills do not have the credentials or academic background to produce anything more than lower-level work. Many are simply other undergraduate students trying to earn a little money but who do not have many more skills than the students looking to buy an essay.

Custom essay writing mills frequently hook students by asking the question "Why Waste time writing essays or doing research?" This marketing approach cynically exploits the modern reality that students are busy people. With tuition fees rising, many students need second or third jobs, or may have other commitments that keep them from their studies. The main purposes of a university education are to teach students time-management skills, analytical thinking, and the ability to formulate and share ideas with others. Calling this a "waste of time" does a great disservice to those students who work hard and to those who choose what they perceive as the easy route.

Custom Essays and Plagiarism

Many students assume that their purchased essay cannot be detected by their professors or by the latest plagiarism detection software. The problem with this thinking is that if a student hands in two purchased essays in one class, they will likely be written by two different people with vastly different writing voices and approaches. This is very obvious to professors who are skilled at spotting a particular writing style and whether it is consistent across the semester. Professors also discuss student papers, how one in-class assignment was barely understandable, while a final essay was clearly expressed. This is only one key sign that the work is not the student's own.

The second problem is that custom essay companies will sell the same paper more than once; their goal after all is to make money and because they have a nation-wide or international customer base, can easily sell papers to different parts of the country. However, if a paper is sold multiple times and goes through any detection software such as turnitin, it may be flagged as plargiarized leading to serious consequences for the student.

Is Using a Custom Essay Writing Service Cheating?

Absolutely! Passing someone else's work off as their own is a breach of the Student Code of Conduct which is fairly consistent across all colleges and universities. Students are required to hand in their own work; failing to do so is a violation of the code. It is also considered a form of Academic Dishonesty which can have serious ramifications for future educational and work prospects. It may result in a letter on a student's permanent record at the least, or expulsion from school, at the worst.

Ultimately, this form of cheating is not worth the risk. While some students may get away with it once or twice, they could eventually lose their entire educational career. Some students may be better off assessing whether it is the right time to be at university. If they are too busy to do the work, it may be wise to take a break and save money or resolve those issues that are keeping them from their studies.