Is it legal to write someone's dissertation for him?

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LanceGary
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Is it legal to write someone's dissertation for him?

Post by LanceGary » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:00 am

I received the following ad in my email:

"For years, Master Papers has been acclaimed the world over for offering:

- Academic essays, coursework, dissertations and theses on any subject and perfectly written to your instructions
- Editing and Proofreading service to ensure your document is polished before submission
- Resumes, CV's and cover letters composed by experienced and knowledgeable writers
- Webpage design and content writing for IT projects for any audience at any level of complexity
- Admission and Grant application writing that get positive results every time "


I know that it is fraud to present someone else's work as your own when writing a thesis. But is it really legally fine to get paid to
write someone else's thesis?


Lance

martin-k
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Re: Is it legal to write someone's dissertation for him?

Post by martin-k » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:09 am

I don't think spammers (you said it was an "ad in the e-mail") care for legality... :wink:
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LanceGary
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Re: Is it legal to write someone's dissertation for him?

Post by LanceGary » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:23 am

martin-k wrote:I don't think spammers (you said it was an "ad in the e-mail") care for legality... :wink:
So does that mean that it is illegal?

Lance

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Re: Is it legal to write someone's dissertation for him?

Post by martin-k » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:27 am

Bad place to ask for legal advice. IMO, yes.
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Re: Is it legal to write someone's dissertation for him?

Post by LanceGary » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:43 am

martin-k wrote:Bad place to ask for legal advice. IMO, yes.
Oh - I don't intend to offer to write anyone's thesis. I am an academic and I am just angry that such people temp students to commit fraud. If not illegal then it seems to me to be like punishing drug users for taking drugs, but ignoring the drug dealers.

Lance

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Re: Is it legal to write someone's dissertation for him?

Post by jimjutte » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:39 pm

Absolutely not!! Morally or legally. It is out and out fraud. That is the equivalent of writing another person's exam. However, I guess "offering" the service is akin to offering an illicit drug. You can offer, but until you actually produce the good, you haven't committed a crime.
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Re: Is it legal to write someone's dissertation for him?

Post by jimjutte » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:41 pm

Normally Martin, I would agree with you. Asking for legal advice in a forum is a bad idea.... however in this case, you just happen to have an academic (me) familiar with this area. I'm just surprised the question needs to be asked.
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Jim

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Re: Is it legal to write someone's dissertation for him?

Post by LanceGary » Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:57 pm

jimjutte wrote:Absolutely not!! Morally or legally. It is out and out fraud. That is the equivalent of writing another person's exam. However, I guess "offering" the service is akin to offering an illicit drug. You can offer, but until you actually produce the good, you haven't committed a crime.
Thanks for your answer. I don't think producing the essay or thesis can be a crime - after all it is perfectly legitimate for a student to write an essay or a thesis - it is the handing of the essay or thesis (where these are paid for by the student) over to a student knowing that the said student will pretend that they are his work that must be the crime. I imagine the company will simply say that they were producing example study material or the like, and had no idea that the student would be so evil as to misrepresent their work. And I imagine that it would be difficult to prove otherwise.

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Re: Is it legal to write someone's dissertation for him?

Post by jimjutte » Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:33 am

I am not sure I am following the logic in your argument. However, it is quite simple. If an individual is not the sole writer of a dissertation, they don't get a doctorate. If they pretend to, but purchasing someone else's work, they have committed fraud. It another person is a party to that act, then they are an accessory to the crime. Not sure where you are going with this, but it's really quite straight forward in Canada. All professors and grad students at the universities that I have attended are required to know this and sign that they have read the policy statement regarding such acts.
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Jim

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Re: Is it legal to write someone's dissertation for him?

Post by LanceGary » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:13 pm

jimjutte wrote:I am not sure I am following the logic in your argument. However, it is quite simple. If an individual is not the sole writer of a dissertation, they don't get a doctorate. If they pretend to, but purchasing someone else's work, they have committed fraud. It another person is a party to that act, then they are an accessory to the crime. Not sure where you are going with this, but it's really quite straight forward in Canada. All professors and grad students at the universities that I have attended are required to know this and sign that they have read the policy statement regarding such acts.
Thanks for your response. I didn't mean to provoke you.

My line of thought, for what it is worth, is that the writing of theses, essays, notes, proposals, etc., is not in itself illegal. It is the being party to fraud, the misrepresentation of authorship, that is illegal. So Coles Notes are not illegal, but it is wrong for a student to copy from them and present it as their work.

Now the guys who offer to write your thesis for you in return for payment will, I suspect, pretend (if they are caught) that what they are doing is really just writing a superior form of Coles Notes. The actual misrepresentation will be done by the student - the authors of the paid for thesis will say they didn't hand it in as the student's work, they just offered him a superior form of assistance and he decided to misrepresent that assistance as his own work. So they will get off scot free.

Ah well, You and I really agree - I am not disputing your insight at all.

Lance

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