Mary Brown: Higher pay encourages cheating students

As a retired academic, I do occasional proof-reading or editing – the latter involves making ­suggestions for ­better explanation of the writer’s ­arguments.


I am sometimes approached by students having difficulty with developing good writing skills, or who are the victims of inadequate supervision by ­university staff, and then I will give them more help with research techniques.

What I would not do is write an essay or dissertation for them. Yet it seems that there are plenty who will, for an appropriate fee.


Many institutions now assess students through a mixture of exams and supervised reports, ­giving individuals who suffer from exam stress a means of showing what they can do without pressure. But this has also opened the door for unprincipled academics to benefit.


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