Essay Writing Services: Some Ethical Aspects of the Problem

There is an ethical side to essay writing services. Almost every educational institution in America considers it to be cheating. Cheating in many respects is wrong, but usually only if it affects other people. If you are outwitting someone else for personal gain then it is more obviously ethically unsound if the other person suffers as a result. However, if you use an essay writing service, then you gain a better grade for your essay, and the school itself gains a slightly better reputation too, so whom is getting harmed?


The Two Instances where there may be Harm

There are possibly more than two ways that one student using an essay writing service is going to negatively affect another person, but the two most obvious are thus: If the students are graded on a curve, then the essay will throw the curve in a manner that it may not have done otherwise. This will mean that hardworking students will not receive the grade they may have done if a student had not thrown the grading curve.

The other instance where using an essay writing service may cause harm, is that it cheapens the qualification itself. A student who cheats and gets a high grade will cheapen all the hard work and effort that the student who did not cheat did. Worse still, if the institution is found to have a high number of cheaters, and this is made public, then the value of the hard working student’s qualification will plummet.

Essay Writing Services Exist!

The ethical side of essay writing services seems to be tarred by the fact that many people still refuse to believe that they exist. How can one person take an ethical stance on a problem, when so many others do not even perceive the problem?

People struggled with the problem during the “Great Leap Forwards” in China from 1958 to 1961. People were taking an ethical stance on the millions who were dying, whilst leaders (political and otherwise) in other countries were blissfully unaware of the severity of the problem and were in no mood to try to find out. Even today, historians can only estimate the death toll of between 18 million and 45 million.

Essay writing services have the same problem, where people are taking a moral and ethical standpoint, and others are unwilling to accept the problem; which may be why no official government research has been done into just how many essays are not written by the students in America.

They are Everywhere in the World

The problem that many ethical people face is that nothing can be done about essay writing companies. The ones that serve America are dotted all around the globe. How can one take an ethical stance on a concept that is clearly not just an American problem?

Only a Small Portion are Based in America

If the money for these essays were not leaving the country, would it make it more ethical? If the money were taxed by the American government, would essay writing services suddenly become more ethical? Since it is not illegal to buy and sell essays, the moral anger should be aimed at the students who use them to cheat. Professor Richard Gunderman in his article for The Atlantic magazine said that:

These services have names such as, and claims that “70% of Students use Essay Writing service at least once [sic]” and boasts that all its writers have M.A. and Ph.D. degrees.

So, American students are the ones that people should be angry at if they have an ethical problem with their actions. Demand creates supply.

The Writer could be Anyone

It could be a good person or a bad person. It could be a complete moron or could be a highly educated person with time on his/her hands. The money you pay is not representative of the writer you get, as even degree qualified people will work for little money.

Getting Caught will Land you in Trouble

Ethically sound or not, if you are caught to have been using an essay writing service, you will be removed from your course and may even have all your credits stripped from you.

It can Affect the Grading Curve

You can throw the grading curve and keep good students from their preferred college. If this happens then it is surely very ethically unsound. The fact that a cheater is keeping a hard worker out of college is not what America is all about.

It gives Richer Students a Massive Advantage

A richer student will already have all of the technology and home settings that enable them to do well in school. Essay writing services give them a further advantage because they are then able to purchase their essay and do even better than a student who cannot afford to buy one.

It can be used by People on a Visa so they can Work Illegally

This is probably one of the biggest ethical problems. People come to America on an education visa but instead take an illegal job. They then purchase their essays so that they can continue to remain in the college, whilst still working and not paying tax.


It is unethical and quite a few fronts, however, it can be used for ethically sound reasons. We cannot control luck, which means that essay writing services may help to plug the gaps that bad luck creates. If you are ill for three weeks, then an essay writing service may ensure you do not miss your deadlines (just be careful whom you buy from). A purchased essay can be used as a guide so you do not cover topics that are not relevant to the project.

Author bio: Korah Morrison, former student and aspiring blogger at Blogoloola.

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