In some of my random web-browsings between experiments in the lab, I happened to come across a website belonging to a company that writes documents for people. Documents of the more serious variety, more specifically theses and essay-style papers. Theses!!! I kid you not, they even clarified that they will write portions if not all of a master’s or doctoral thesis for you for a price. I was rather shocked to stumble across something like this! Granted, I was aware of sites in my past that advertised to write high school and college essays for you. Seriously though, come on, most instructors can tell when it’s not your writing. You have a style…it’s not necessarily easy to mimic unless you already have impeccable writing skills to start with!

What really startled me about this was two-fold. Firstly, they actually have the gall to state that they have an assortment of writers that include masters and doctoral degree holding individuals who specialized in writing and such, but that it also includes former professors and doctoral holders that encompass all of the sciences as well. Granted, some of the other fields out there such as literature are likely a little less expansive in nature due to the repetitious focus on certain literary pieces. However, the sciences as a whole is an ever expanding field, that I hardly feel can be summed up and/or tracked by 300’ish of these professors/doctoral “editors.” The amount of expertise and focus that would be necessary to go into a doctoral thesis just seems like it could not be summed up in an adequate time frame to have someone write your thesis for you. This is not simple regurgitation of existing work either; they go to the trouble to glorify the fact that they write an unique and individual document just for you. This is only a smaller half of the disturbing nature of this work.

There must be people who actually pay for this service…and a substantial number at that. My follow up to that site found discussion boards that argued for and against even more of these sites!

Really…you’ve put 3,4,5, hell even 7 years of your life into this work! Is it really so difficult to write it all up and give that work the recognition that it deserves??? I am unfamiliar with the majority of university guidelines for the writing of a thesis. In my departmental program, however, it is stated that the writing of a thesis summative of the doctoral candidates work is one of the requirements for conferral of a doctoral degree to the student! Frankly as I stated before, I don’t think the work could be done justice unless the person who was most intimately involved in the generation of that work was the one who wrote it. Anything less than that would just be the student giving up on that degree. I’m fairly certain that most institutions would find that to be in violation of the graduate ethical guidelines of the department, if not the university.

Why would someone really want to jeopardize their hard work over something like this? Granted, spending a couple months writing your thesis is not exactly child’s play, but you’ve already spend X number of years working towards this. Why the sudden change of heart?

I guess I will just add this to the growing list of concerns about the dilution of the graduate student population…more and more I see sub-standard acceptance and/or graduation of candidates when realistically they should have been scrutinized more closely. Not to be an elitist as I am far from the idealistic and brilliant graduate student, but I really do worry with the ever-growing doctoral-bearing population (which isn’t necessarily all deserving of the degree) and the way basic science research is being funded through NSF and NIH right now.