Essay mills, outsourcing and black markets.

You know your higher education system is fucked when kids are spending $200 per plagiarized essay. Clearly, any kid spending that kind of money on an essay should not be in school and/or has too much money. Also, the grading process is inadequate.

But that’s not what got my goat as I read Dan Ariely’s score card on the major essay mills. It’s the fact that for $200, the customers are getting really, really bad essays:

Cheating by healers. Healing is different. There is harmless healing, when healers-cheaters and wizards offer omens, lapels, damage to withdraw, the husband-wife back and stuff. We read in the newspaper and just smile. But these days fewer people believe in wizards.

English is read and written by millions of available workers throughout the world. Let’s assume the essay assignment takes someone with a high school senior’s level of English literacy 10 hours to write. At $200 per essay, you’re talking an hourly wage of $20/hr. That appears to be considerably higher than what native English language teachers are making in much of the world.

I’d suggest this could be a growth industry abroad if it wasn’t based on the fragility of higher education in the U.S..

That the essay mills are producing such crap is a testament to how black markets function. To whom would a cheated consumer (cheating student) complain?