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I've found a jaw-dropping page that offers to write essays for you (link redacted to avoid promoting them).

Quotes:

SWAMPED WITH WRITING ASSIGNMENTS?

EXCEL AT ACADEMIC PAPER WRITING WITH OUR HELP

And the "help" means...

HOW IT WORKS:

1 Submit task details

2 We find an expert

3 You get top-level paper

More details:

WHAT CAN WE DO

Our team consists of 40+ experts in academic disciplines. Peer-reviewed research, editing, proofreading, gathering sources and tutoring and writing - we can help you with any kind of daily challenge or struggle that college and university students face.

And the icing on the cake:

24/7 ASSISTANCE. URGENT DELIVERY. 100% LEGAL.

Is this site real (and legal)? This image

("ethics" !!!!!) suggests that the site is a parody...

  • 1
    Not surprised. There is a lot of this sort of thing around. And yes, it is likely legal most everywhere. – Buffy Jul 12 at 19:51
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    500 words is so laughably short ... – Azor Ahai -him- Jul 12 at 23:32
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    For "legal" you should state your jurisdiction. – user111388 Jul 13 at 17:13
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Typically such paper-writing sites are "legal" in the sense that they say that the essays written serve only as "example" and are not to be used for assessment. Of course, you know, the clients know and the company knows that this is highly unlikely, but unfortunately, there is no way to legally enforce the academic integrity that such services undermine.

Maybe it will change in future, but for now, all that remains is for students to undergo a viva or to be examined under controlled conditions. Under Corona conditions, the latter is difficult to protect from cheating, either, at least without significant breaches in privacy (discussed in other questions on SE).

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    Even if the service were explicitly labeled as for use in assessment, wouldn't it still be legal? It is obviously an expulsion-level breach of academic conduct at any reputable university, but at least in the US I don't think you can be sent to jail for cheating at school. Against the rules isn't the same as against the law. – amalloy Jul 13 at 4:13
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    @amalloy Perhaps "legal" is not the right word, but I assume not making such a disclaimer makes them vulnerable to litigation. It is hard to say whether this would work in the US (free speech etc.), but I assume that in Europe there may be routes towards that. For example, in Germany devices that warn drivers of radar traps are - as far as I know - not legal. Now, I don't know whether it is use or possession, but one could imagine that not only use, but possession thereof might be punishable. As far as I know, we are in legal no-man's land here. – Captain Emacs Jul 13 at 9:02
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    I suspect the company's lawyers know better than you do whether they need a disclaimer to avoid litigation. I don't really follow the German radar detector analogy at all. – amalloy Jul 13 at 20:06
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    @amalloy Precisely because I expect their lawyers to know the risks, it strikes me that all major such companies I am aware of try to claim that they provide the work for educational purposes only. So they clearly see a risk you do not see ("..wouldn't it still be legal?") Second, radar: for certain items different levels of illegality exist: use, possession, purchase, attempt of purchase. The particular use of an essay written to spec may be critical in judging its legal merit. In a litigation, it might make a difference whether it is created "as example" or "as submittable homework". – Captain Emacs Jul 13 at 22:04
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    Oh, I see. I misunderstood what disclaimer you were talking about. Yes, that makes sense. – amalloy Jul 13 at 22:28

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