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By The Quiet Voice

Ethical dilemmas concerning college research papers

Ethical dilemmas are a large part of a college student's life. With each passing day, the average student will feel pressure from one direction or another concerning their life choices. One of the most crucial and possibly character-defining aspects is the essay or research paper. In high school, such papers are considered a bore and are often put off by many students until the last minute. In college, it is no different really, except for one very important thing: college students are known to purchase their papers.

While it sounds unethical and completely against anything that an upstanding university would allow, sites exist that allow a student to hire out their assignments to professional freelance writers. A great many individuals might cry foul and call this another form of plagiarism, but the companies that have devised such services have done well to protect their writers and their clients so far.

Such companies operate under the premise that they are providing a valuable service to college students and other individuals who either do not have the time, the ingenuity, or the desire to write such papers themselves. There is some validity to the fact that some individuals, professionals mostly, do not always have the time or the know-how to write their own speeches, letters of intent, or even PowerPoint presentations, but the problem of ethics remains. In college, it is important to perform as required, which includes writing the papers assigned.

There are a number of pros and cons for this practice, several of which include the following.


1) It employs writers who might otherwise be forced to remain unemployed or under-utilized.

2) Such services can be highly lucrative and help writers to build a reputation through their work.

3) It is a time-saver for students and professionals who are stacked with homework and/or work and cannot complete their tasks on time.

4) It is an easy to use service and requires little effort on behalf of the client.

5) The writer has a great deal of freedom in how they write.


1) A rejected order pays nothing to the writer despite the effort.

2) Clients are free to cancel their order at any time for any reason without paying.

3) It contributes, in a small way, to the illiteracy and lack of knowledge possessed by college graduates.

4) Many argue that there is a serious breach of ethics in accepting a purchased paper.

5) A client is not guaranteed a good grade no matter how much they paid for their paper.

This is a lucrative service, but not a perfect one. It requires time and patience on the part of both the client and the writer, and also requires that client and writer work together. For some freelance writers, this type of writing is seen as a waste of their talents and time, as in the opinion of many, it allows college students to pass off the work of others as their own, no matter if they are known for producing subpar or average work. In short, accepting purchased papers is an expensive and potentially risky proposition that is in no way ethical, but remains profitable.

Article sources

"Ethical Issues in Research and Writing." Publish, Not Perish. 2006. Web. 29 July 2016.

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