The Shadow Scholar: The Man Who Writes Cheaters' Essays

#Education

Thu, Jan 13th, 2011 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

Students cheat. And people like Ed Dante, a professional hired gun -- or is that a hired pen? -- take advantage of it. Dante works for a company that generates thousands and thousands of dollars every month by churning out original essays that students can then claim as their own. He has written a master's degree in cognitive psychology, a Ph.D. in sociology, and a handful of postgraduate credits in international diplomacy, just to name a few. Very, very few. Dante is a doctor of everything, an academic mercenary who provides a service for someone in any classroom professors cannot detect, cannot defend against and may not even know exist.

You would be amazed by the incompetence of your students' writing. I have seen the word "desperate" misspelled every way you can imagine. And these students truly are desperate. They couldn't write a convincing grocery list, yet they are in graduate school. They really need help. They need help learning and, separately, they need help passing their courses. But they aren't getting it.

For those of you who have ever mentored a student through the writing of a dissertation, served on a thesis-review committee, or guided a graduate student through a formal research process, I have a question: Do you ever wonder how a student who struggles to formulate complete sentences in conversation manages to produce marginally competent research? How does that student get by you?

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