Bellerbys Economics - Mr Stephenson

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bored with Essays

Are you bored with writing essays? Are you worried about the 10,000 word dissertation you will need to produce at University?

Don't worry - help is at hand!

It's now possible to buy essays, coursework, dissertations and so on from many websites for very small sums of money - sometimes as little as £5.

Here's one of the most professional:

http://www.ponyal.net/index.htm

This has got many universities worried, including Oxford, where recently it was suggested that more than half the students had used such services in the last year; and the examining boards who are facing a coursework crisis as it becomes increasingly common knowledge that most items of GCSE and A-level coursework are 'bought in' or done by friends of the family (see personal case below). Plagiarism is also a problem with students using copy-and-paste to fill out their work with material from some of the world's greatest economists.

Does it matter?

Well, on the one hand, it doesn't matter. One of the most important skills in the modern world is information management. Information is sometimes called the sixth factor of production. Being able to identify the most appropriate information from the mountain of info on the web is in some ways to be applauded. Secondly, none of us is truly original in our thinking - we build on the knowledge and views of others. Thirdly, in modern business, focussed, problem-solving teamwork is more important than individual decision-making and creativity - working together with someone on a piece of coursework may simply be more efficient than producing two individual pieces.

But on the other hand, if you don't say where the information came from, you are cheating - passing on someone else's views as your own; secondly, you may just be lazy - getting someone else to do your work for you - so you may be credited with a level of commitment that you don't actually have (X-inefficiency). Thirdly, it becomes difficult, perhaps even impossible, to access someone's individual ability and research skills where you can't decide who the true author of a work is.

The strangest case I have come across myself was when I was teaching A-level Computing. A student handed in her A-level project - a superb programme in GBASIC predicting future pressures on natural resources from population growth - with a front page that said, "Most of all, I would like to thank Alfred, my servant, for all the time he put into this - who would have thought he knew so much about computers! - Thanks Alfred - you're a star!!"

2 Comments:

  • interesting, actually when I was tring to access the webpage that you referred above, it was blocked by Bellerbys !
    ok, ,,,then I am forced to do all the essays by myself.unfortunately.

    By Anonymous cindy, at 6:18 pm  

  • I've ordered my dissertation from www.coursework4you.co.uk and found it really good, so I'd reccomend it to other students.

    By Blogger Sarah, at 2:18 pm  

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