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Are Essay Mills committing fraud? An analysis of their behaviours vs the 2006 Fraud Act (UK)
International Journal for Educational Integrity, Volume: 13, Issue: 1
Swansea University Authors: Michael Draper , Phil Newton
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DOI (Published version): 10.1007/s40979-017-0014-5
Many strategies have been proposed to address the use of Essay Mills and other ‘contract cheating’ services by students. These services generally offer bespoke custom-written essays or other assignments to students in exchange for a fee. There have been calls for the use of legal approaches to tackl...
|Published in:||International Journal for Educational Integrity|
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Many strategies have been proposed to address the use of Essay Mills and other ‘contract cheating’ services by students. These services generally offer bespoke custom-written essays or other assignments to students in exchange for a fee. There have been calls for the use of legal approaches to tackle the problem. Here we determine whether the UK Fraud Act (2006) might be used to tackle some of the activities of companies providing these services in the UK, by comparing their common practises, and their Terms and Conditions, with the Act. We found that all the sites examined have disclaimers regarding the use of their products but there are some obvious contradictions in the activities of the sites which undermine these disclaimers, for example all sites offer plagiarism-free guarantees for the work and at least eight have advertising which appears to contradict their terms and conditions. We identify possible areas in which the Act could be used to pursue a legal case but overall conclude that such an approach is unlikely to be effective. We call for a new offence to be created in UK law which specifically targets the undesirable behaviours of these companies in the UK, although the principles could be applied elsewhere. We also highlight other UK legal approaches that may be more successful.
contract cheating plagiarism fraud essay mill Fraud Act QAA
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences