EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part 2 of a 2-part series on contract cheating. In part 1, EdTech went undercover to see what students post on academic cheating sites.
The shadow industry of contract cheating — where students hire a third party from the internet to do their coursework — is not a new phenomenon. But the number of students who turn to such services, as well the number of websites that offer them, have rapidly increased during the pandemic. And even cheaper artificial intelligence bots that can produce essays are gaining traction among desperate students.
An EdTech investigation found that some academic cheating sites have invested in automation technologies that can efficiently match students to an academic ghostwriter with the expertise to cover that topic. To protect themselves from legal trouble, some homework help sites can also automatically add lines such as, “I need a sample draft to help me study,” to student requests that specifically state they are asking for a homework ghostwriter to complete the assignment for them.