In Summary
  • From the point of view of the agencies, the business is legitimate, lucrative and is backed by a steady and popular demand.

  • The agencies will do all the legwork, craft the thousands of words needed to impress any supervisor, proofread the work and endeavour to beat any anti-plagiarism software.

  • Students who contract writing agencies or essay mills to do the work for them are cheats and should not be allowed to graduate.

While buying dissertations or theses is not a new phenomenon in Kenya and across the world, the rate at which the trend has gained traction and become prosaic should be worrying to both the academic world and the job market.

The trend is known as contracting cheating, where students at masters or doctorate level hire an agency or individual to write their research papers for them and which they hand in to the universities as their own original work.

From the point of view of the agencies, the business is legitimate, lucrative and is backed by a steady and popular demand. It is about brainy, well-schooled and jobless individuals taking advantage of the scramble for higher degrees to earn a living.

EDUCATION

The expansion of higher education in Kenya has given rise to a ritualised qualification-earning rush, where people simply go to school to increase their chances of getting a job or earn a promotion at whatever expense. 

And because the goal is simply to impress the job market, the tendency to take shortcuts in what should be a rigorous academic process is too tempting to resist.

The agencies will do all the legwork, craft the thousands of words needed to impress any supervisor, proofread the work and endeavour to beat any anti-plagiarism software.

The problem is on the other side of the coin. Students who contract writing agencies or essay mills as they are commonly called, to do the work for them are cheats and should not be allowed to graduate.

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