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Re: [xmca] FW: The Shadow Scholar - He writes your students' papers.

He he he

But i face this problem of fake articles and students that can't write a

"But teacher, why don't you make an oral test instead of write an article"?

It really scares me what they will do after college! I already had a series
of discussions with the course coordinator and we will try many new things
this year!


On Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:16 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> No, I found the story so compelling that I immediately believed it.
> Why fake an article about faking articles?
> andy
> Wagner Schmit wrote:
>> And in some cases these Graduate students become Professors! At least in
>> Brazil through fraudulent Professor selections for Public Universities our
>> by "friendship" in Private Universities.
>> Some people already asked me if i would like to write their papers and
>> etc,
>> but despite my very low payment as a temporary collaborator professor, i
>> denied!
>> And i have many students in a private college that can't write anything
>> with
>> coherence or comprehend an average academic text, but they will become
>> elementary teachers in Brazil, teaching kids how to "read and write", i do
>> my best to change this, but money and "friends" always wins.
>> In the public University it is not so bad, but things are getting ugly
>> every
>> year, now that what matter for a  professor in Brazil is the number of
>> papers you and your students write in an year to get funding.
>> I wonder who read all these articles.
>> You think this is fake Andy?
>> Wagner
>> On Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 6:17 PM, David H Kirshner <dkirsh@lsu.edu> wrote:
>>> Not a propos of anything, this is both amusing and disturbing.
>>> David
>>> ****************************
>>> >From the Chronicle Review [A Weekly Magazine of Ideas/Chronicle of
>>> Higher Education], Friday, November 19, 2010, pp. B6-B9. See
>>> http://chronicle.com/article/The-Shadow-Scholar/125329/
>>> ****************************
>>> The Shadow Scholar
>>> The man who writes your students' papers tells his story
>>> By Ed Dante
>>> -------------------------------
>>> Editor's note: Ed Dante is a pseudonym for a writer who lives on the
>>> East Coast. Through a literary agent, he approached The Chronicle
>>> wanting to tell the story of how he makes a living writing papers for a
>>> custom-essay company and to describe the extent of student cheating he
>>> has observed. In the course of editing his article, The Chronicle
>>> reviewed correspondence Dante had with clients and some of the papers he
>>> had been paid to write. In the article published here, some details of
>>> the assignment he describes have been altered to protect the identity of
>>> the student.
>>> ---------------------------------
>>> The request came in by e-mail around 2 in the afternoon. It was from a
>>> previous customer, and she had urgent business. I quote her message here
>>> verbatim (if I had to put up with it, so should you): "You did me
>>> business ethics propsal for me I need propsal got approved pls can you
>>> will write me paper?"
>>> I've gotten pretty good at interpreting this kind of correspondence. The
>>> client had attached a document from her professor with details about the
>>> paper. She needed the first section in a week. Seventy-five pages.
>>> I told her no problem.
>>> It truly was no problem. In the past year, I've written roughly 5,000
>>> pages of scholarly literature, most on very tight deadlines. But you
>>> won't find my name on a single paper.
>>> I've written toward a master's degree in cognitive psychology, a Ph.D.
>>> in sociology, and a handful of postgraduate credits in international
>>> diplomacy. I've worked on bachelor's degrees in hospitality, business
>>> administration, and accounting. I've written for courses in history,
>>> cinema, labor relations, pharmacology, theology, sports management,
>>> maritime security, airline services, sustainability, municipal
>>> budgeting, marketing, philosophy, ethics, Eastern religion, postmodern
>>> architecture, anthropology, literature, and public administration. I've
>>> attended three dozen online universities. I've completed 12 graduate
>>> theses of 50 pages or more. All for someone else.
>>> You've never heard of me, but there's a good chance that you've read
>>> some of my work. I'm a hired gun, a doctor of everything, an academic
>>> mercenary. My customers are your students. I promise you that. Somebody
>>> in your classroom uses a service that you can't detect, that you can't
>>> defend against, that you may not even know exists.
>>> I work at an online company that generates tens of thousands of dollars
>>> a month by creating original essays based on specific instructions
>>> provided by cheating students. I've worked there full time since 2004.
>>> On any day of the academic year, I am working on upward of 20
>>> assignments.
>>> In the midst of this great recession, business is booming. At busy
>>> times, during midterms and finals, my company's staff of roughly 50
>>> writers is not large enough to satisfy the demands of students who will
>>> pay for our work and claim it as their own.
>>> You would be amazed by the incompetence of your students' writing. I
>>> have seen the word "desperate" misspelled every way you can imagine. And
>>> these students truly are desperate. They couldn't write a convincing
>>> grocery list, yet they are in graduate school. They really need help.
>>> They need help learning and, separately, they need help passing their
>>> courses. But they aren't getting it.
>>> For those of you who have ever mentored a student through the writing of
>>> a dissertation, served on a thesis-review committee, or guided a
>>> graduate student through a formal research process, I have a question:
>>> Do you ever wonder how a student who struggles to formulate complete
>>> sentences in conversation manages to produce marginally competent
>>> research? How does that student get by you?
>>> I live well on the desperation, misery, and incompetence that your
>>> educational system has created. Granted, as a writer, I could earn more;
>>> certainly there are ways to earn less. But I never struggle to find
>>> work. And as my peers trudge through thankless office jobs that seem
>>> more intolerable with every passing month of our sustained recession, I
>>> am on pace for my best year yet. I will make roughly $66,000 this year.
>>> Not a king's ransom, but higher than what many actual educators are
>>> paid.
>>> Of course, I know you are aware that cheating occurs. But you have no
>>> idea how deeply this kind of cheating penetrates the academic system,
>>> much less how to stop it. Last summer The New York Times reported that
>>> 61 percent of undergraduates have admitted to some form of cheating on
>>> assignments and exams. Yet there is little discussion about custom
>>> papers and how they differ from more-detectable forms of plagiarism, or
>>> about why students cheat in the first place.
>>> It is my hope that this essay will initiate such a conversation. As for
>>> me, I'm planning to retire. I'm tired of helping you make your students
>>> look competent.
>>> It is late in the semester when the business student contacts me, a time
>>> when I typically juggle deadlines and push out 20 to 40 pages a day. I
>>> had written a short research proposal for her a few weeks before,
>>> suggesting a project that connected a surge of unethical business
>>> practices to the patterns of trade liberalization. The proposal was
>>> approved, and now I had six days to complete the assignment. 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.
>>> A few hours after I had agreed to write the paper, I received the
>>> following e-mail: "sending sorces for ur to use thanx."
>>> I did not reply immediately. One hour later, I received another message:
>>> "did u get the sorce I send
>>> please where you are now? Desprit to pass spring projict"
>>> Not only was this student going to be a constant thorn in my side, but
>>> she also communicated in haiku, each less decipherable than the one
>>> before it. I let her know that I was giving her work the utmost
>>> attention, that I had received her sources, and that I would be in touch
>>> if I had any questions. Then I put it aside.
>>> >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.
>>> For the last, colleges are a perfect launching ground-they are built to
>>> reward the rich and to forgive them their laziness. Let's be honest: The
>>> successful among us are not always the best and the brightest, and
>>> certainly not the most ethical. My favorite customers are those with an
>>> unlimited supply of money and no shortage of instructions on how they
>>> would like to see their work executed. While the deficient student will
>>> generally not know how to ask for what he wants until he doesn't get it,
>>> the lazy rich student will know exactly what he wants. He is poised for
>>> a life of paying others and telling them what to do. Indeed, he is
>>> acquiring all the skills he needs to stay on top.
>>> As for the first two types of students-the ESL and the hopelessly
>>> deficient-colleges are utterly failing them. Students who come to
>>> American universities from other countries find that their efforts to
>>> learn a new language are confounded not only by cultural difficulties
>>> but also by the pressures of grading. The focus on evaluation rather
>>> than education means that those who haven't mastered English must do so
>>> quickly or suffer the consequences. My service provides a particularly
>>> quick way to "master" English. And those who are hopelessly deficient-a
>>> euphemism, I admit-struggle with communication in general.
>>> Two days had passed since I last heard from the business student.
>>> Overnight I had received 14 e-mails from her. She had additional
>>> instructions for the assignment, such as "but more again please make
>>> sure they are a good link betwee the leticture review and all the
>>> chapter and the benfet of my paper. finally do you think the level of
>>> this work? how match i can get it?"
>>> I'll admit, I didn't fully understand that one.
>>> It was followed by some clarification: "where u are can you get my
>>> messages? Please I pay a lot and dont have ao to faile I strated to get
>>> very worry."
>>> Her messages had arrived between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Again I assured her I
>>> had the matter under control.
>>> It was true. At this point, there are few academic challenges that I
>>> find intimidating. You name it, I've been paid to write about it.
>>> Customers' orders are endlessly different yet strangely all the same. No
>>> matter what the subject, clients want to be assured that their
>>> assignment is in capable hands. It would be terrible to think that your
>>> Ivy League graduate thesis was riding on the work ethic and perspicacity
>>> of a public-university slacker. So part of my job is to be whatever my
>>> clients want me to be. I say yes when I am asked if I have a Ph.D. in
>>> sociology. I say yes when I am asked if I have professional training in
>>> industrial/organizational psychology. I say yes when asked if I have
>>> ever designed a perpetual-motion-powered time machine and documented my
>>> efforts in a peer-reviewed journal.
>>> The subject matter, the grade level, the college, the course-these
>>> things are irrelevant to me. Prices are determined per page and are
>>> based on how long I have to complete the assignment. As long as it
>>> doesn't require me to do any math or video-documented animal husbandry,
>>> I will write anything.
>>> I have completed countless online courses. Students provide me with
>>> passwords and user names so I can access key documents and online exams.
>>> In some instances, I have even contributed to weekly online discussions
>>> with other students in the class.
>>> I have become a master of the admissions essay. I have written these for
>>> undergraduate, master's, and doctoral programs, some at elite
>>> universities. I can explain exactly why you're Brown material, why the
>>> Wharton M.B.A. program would benefit from your presence, how certain
>>> life experiences have prepared you for the rigors of your chosen course
>>> of study. I do not mean to be insensitive, but I can't tell you how many
>>> times I've been paid to write about somebody helping a loved one battle
>>> cancer. I've written essays that could be adapted into Meryl Streep
>>> movies.
>>> I do a lot of work for seminary students. I like seminary students. They
>>> seem so blissfully unaware of the inherent contradiction in paying
>>> somebody to help them cheat in courses that are largely about walking in
>>> the light of God and providing an ethical model for others to follow. I
>>> have been commissioned to write many a passionate condemnation of
>>> America's moral decay as exemplified by abortion, gay marriage, or the
>>> teaching of evolution. All in all, we may presume that clerical
>>> authorities see these as a greater threat than the plagiarism committed
>>> by the future frocked.
>>> With respect to America's nurses, fear not. Our lives are in capable
>>> hands?-just hands that can't write a lick. Nursing students account for
>>> one of my company's biggest customer bases. I've written case-management
>>> plans, reports on nursing ethics, and essays on why nurse practitioners
>>> are lighting the way to the future of medicine. I've even written
>>> pharmaceutical-treatment courses, for patients who I hope were
>>> hypothetical.
>>> I, who have no name, no opinions, and no style, have written so many
>>> papers at this point, including legal briefs, military-strategy
>>> assessments, poems, lab reports, and, yes, even papers on academic
>>> integrity, that it's hard to determine which course of study is most
>>> infested with cheating. But I'd say education is the worst. I've written
>>> papers for students in elementary-education programs, special-education
>>> majors, and ESL-training courses. I've written lesson plans for aspiring
>>> high-school teachers, and I've synthesized reports from notes that
>>> customers have taken during classroom observations. I've written essays
>>> for those studying to become school administrators, and I've completed
>>> theses for those on course to become principals. In the enormous
>>> conspiracy that is student cheating, the frontline intelligence
>>> community is infiltrated by double agents. (Future educators of America,
>>> I know who you are.)
>>> As the deadline for the business-ethics paper approaches, I think about
>>> what's ahead of me. Whenever I take on an assignment this large, I get a
>>> certain physical sensation. My body says: Are you sure you want to do
>>> this again? You know how much it hurt the last time. You know this
>>> student will be with you for a long time. You know you will become her
>>> emergency contact, her guidance counselor and life raft. You know that
>>> for the 48 hours that you dedicate to writing this paper, you will cease
>>> all human functions but typing, you will Google until the term has lost
>>> all meaning, and you will drink enough coffee to fuel a revolution in a
>>> small Central American country.
>>> But then there's the money, the sense that I must capitalize on
>>> opportunity, and even a bit of a thrill in seeing whether I can do it.
>>> And I can. It's not implausible to write a 75-page paper in two days.
>>> It's just miserable. I don't need much sleep, and when I get cranking, I
>>> can churn out four or five pages an hour. First I lay out the sections
>>> of an assignment-introduction, problem statement, methodology,
>>> literature review, findings, conclusion-whatever the instructions call
>>> for. Then I start Googling.
>>> I haven't been to a library once since I started doing this job. Amazon
>>> is quite generous about free samples. If I can find a single page from a
>>> particular text, I can cobble that into a report, deducing what I don't
>>> know from customer reviews and publisher blurbs. Google Scholar is a
>>> great source for material, providing the abstract of nearly any journal
>>> article. And of course, there's Wikipedia, which is often my first stop
>>> when dealing with unfamiliar subjects. Naturally one must verify such
>>> material elsewhere, but I've taken hundreds of crash courses this way.
>>> After I've gathered my sources, I pull out usable quotes, cite them, and
>>> distribute them among the sections of the assignment. Over the years,
>>> I've refined ways of stretching papers. I can write a four-word sentence
>>> in 40 words. Just give me one phrase of quotable text, and I'll produce
>>> two pages of ponderous explanation. I can say in 10 pages what most
>>> normal people could say in a paragraph.
>>> I've also got a mental library of stock academic phrases: "A close
>>> consideration of the events which occurred in ____ during the ____
>>> demonstrate that ____ had entered into a phase of widespread cultural,
>>> social, and economic change that would define ____ for decades to come."
>>> Fill in the blanks using words provided by the professor in the
>>> assignment's instructions.
>>> How good is the product created by this process? That depends-on the
>>> day, my mood, how many other assignments I am working on. It also
>>> depends on the customer, his or her expectations, and the degree to
>>> which the completed work exceeds his or her abilities. I don't ever edit
>>> my assignments. That way I get fewer customer requests to "dumb it
>>> down." So some of my work is great. Some of it is not so great. Most of
>>> my clients do not have the wherewithal to tell the difference, which
>>> probably means that in most cases the work is better than what the
>>> student would have produced on his or her own. I've actually had
>>> customers thank me for being clever enough to insert typos. "Nice
>>> touch," they'll say.
>>> I've read enough academic material to know that I'm not the only
>>> bullshit artist out there. I think about how Dickens got paid per word
>>> and how, as a result, Bleak House is ... well, let's be diplomatic and
>>> say exhaustive. Dickens is a role model for me.
>>> So how does someone become a custom-paper writer? The story of how I got
>>> into this job may be instructive. It is mostly about the tremendous
>>> disappointment that awaited me in college.
>>> My distaste for the early hours and regimented nature of high school was
>>> tempered by the promise of the educational community ahead, with its
>>> free exchange of ideas and access to great minds. How dispiriting to
>>> find out that college was just another place where grades were grubbed,
>>> competition overshadowed personal growth, and the threat of failure was
>>> used to encourage learning.
>>> Although my university experience did not live up to its vaunted
>>> reputation, it did lead me to where I am today. I was raised in an
>>> upper-middle-class family, but I went to college in a poor neighborhood.
>>> I fit in really well: After paying my tuition, I didn't have a cent to
>>> my name. I had nothing but a meal plan and my roommate's computer. But I
>>> was determined to write for a living, and, moreover, to spend these
>>> extremely expensive years learning how to do so. When I completed my
>>> first novel, in the summer between sophomore and junior years, I
>>> contacted the English department about creating an independent study
>>> around editing and publishing it. I was received like a mental patient.
>>> I was told, "There's nothing like that here." I was told that I could go
>>> back to my classes, sit in my lectures, and fill out Scantron tests
>>> until I graduated.
>>> I didn't much care for my classes, though. I slept late and spent the
>>> afternoons working on my own material. Then a funny thing happened. Here
>>> I was, begging anybody in authority to take my work seriously. But my
>>> classmates did. They saw my abilities and my abundance of free time.
>>> They saw a value that the university did not.
>>> It turned out that my lazy, Xanax-snorting, Miller-swilling classmates
>>> were thrilled to pay me to write their papers. And I was thrilled to
>>> take their money. Imagine you are crumbling under the weight of
>>> university-issued parking tickets and self-doubt when a frat boy offers
>>> you cash to write about Plato. Doing that job was a no-brainer. Word of
>>> my services spread quickly, especially through the fraternities. Soon I
>>> was receiving calls from strangers who wanted to commission my work. I
>>> was a writer!
>>> Nearly a decade later, students, not publishers, still come from
>>> everywhere to find me.
>>> I work hard for a living. I'm nice to people. But I understand that in
>>> simple terms, I'm the bad guy. I see where I'm vulnerable to ethical
>>> scrutiny.
>>> But pointing the finger at me is too easy. Why does my business thrive?
>>> Why do so many students prefer to cheat rather than do their own work?
>>> Say what you want about me, but I am not the reason your students cheat.
>>> You know what's never happened? I've never had a client complain that
>>> he'd been expelled from school, that the originality of his work had
>>> been questioned, that some disciplinary action had been taken. As far as
>>> I know, not one of my customers has ever been caught.
>>> With just two days to go, I was finally ready to throw myself into the
>>> business assignment. I turned off my phone, caged myself in my office,
>>> and went through the purgatory of cramming the summation of a student's
>>> alleged education into a weekend. Try it sometime. After the 20th hour
>>> on a single subject, you have an almost-out-of-body experience.
>>> My client was thrilled with my work. She told me that she would present
>>> the chapter to her mentor and get back to me with our next steps. Two
>>> weeks passed, by which time the assignment was but a distant memory,
>>> obscured by the several hundred pages I had written since. On a
>>> Wednesday evening, I received the following e-mail: "Thanx u so much for
>>> the chapter is going very good the porfesser likes it but wants the
>>> folloing suggestions please what do you thing?: "'The hypothesis is
>>> interesting but I'd like to see it a bit more focused. Choose a specific
>>> connection and try to prove it.' "What shoudwe say?"
>>> This happens a lot. I get paid per assignment. But with longer papers,
>>> the student starts to think of me as a personal educational counselor.
>>> She paid me to write a one-page response to her professor, and then she
>>> paid me to revise her paper. I completed each of these assignments,
>>> sustaining the voice that the student had established and maintaining
>>> the front of competence from some invisible location far beneath the
>>> ivory tower.
>>> The 75-page paper on business ethics ultimately expanded into a 160-page
>>> graduate thesis, every word of which was written by me. I can't remember
>>> the name of my client, but it's her name on my work. We collaborated for
>>> months. As with so many other topics I tackle, the connection between
>>> unethical business practices and trade liberalization became a subtext
>>> to my everyday life.
>>> So, of course, you can imagine my excitement when I received the good
>>> news: "thanx so much for uhelp ican going to graduate to now".
>>> *********************************************
>>> __________________________________________
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> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> Joint Editor MCA: http://lchc.ucsd.edu/MCA/Journal/
> Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
> Videos: http://vimeo.com/user3478333/videos
> Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857
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