The spring 2006 Texas Tech University coupon book is being passed out on campus today as classes begin.

Spring 2006 TTU campus coupon book

In the table of contents near the end, current coupon book recipients can see there should be a page between the Texas Tech Book Store and Vertex, for “Unique Term Papers.com.”

Coupon book table of contents

The distributor is now tearing this coupon out of the book before giving it to students, but here is the original:

Coupon for plagiarism

Ready to start a new semester? Those wanting to profit from easy digital dishonesty certainly are. In the environment of pay-to-plagiarize, advanced planning has financial rewards. According to the website, term paper costs are:

7+ days advance notice – $15 per page
5-6 days advance notice – $18 per page
3-4 days advance notice – $21 per page
2 days advance notice – $24 per page
1 day advance notice – $27 per page
Overnight Service – $30 per page

Do you know anyone who is writing for businesses like this one? That would make an interesting podcast discussion. My related question to teachers and faculty would be: How are you authentically assessing your students this semester? Hopefully it is not primarily through a term paper assignment the student could farm out to a 3rd party company. Students need to both learn to write well and practice writing regularly. In some ways, online instruction which includes a large amount of individual and group discussion can lend itself to being a more authentic learning environment than many classrooms where the instructor is lecturing to a passive audience of students.

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One Response to Coupon to plagiarize

  1. Conn McQuinn says:

    I recently spoke with an ed tech director for a local district that had to deal with a home-grown version of this problem. The district has been providing distance learning opportunities for some of their high school students, and it was discovered that one enterprising young person was taking pay to do online assignments for other students.

    I see several lines of defense to this kind of activity. First, teachers need to be aware of the possibility and look for sudden changes in the quality of student work. (That’s how this was uncovered.) Second, schools should more explicitly discuss ethical issues such as this. Lastly, and most importantly, we should make the work of students so engaging that they wouldn’t even consider letting someone else do it for them.

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