SCAN: Essay mills exposed

This article for SCAN was one of my favourites to write. In the article, I reported on a claim made by two “essay mill” companies that they have had customers from Lancaster University. One company went further and claimed that Lancaster students had submitted those essays without consequences.

To obtain this information, I spoke to the manager of one essay mill company and an employed ghost-writer of another. The former (“Jeff”) told me information believing that I was applying for a job as a promoter for the company during a telephone interview. The latter (“Amelia”) told me information over Facebook Messenger. Jeff admitted that some of his writers were not graduates. Amelia said she could be employed to write an essay on virtually any topic.

The story triggered engagement from many in the education sector and was widely shared by academics from Lancaster University and beyond. The article was widely praised – including by the Online Education Editor of the Telegraph.

Update: On February 17, the results of my investigation were reported by the Lancaster Guardian.

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