The extended nature of this current Covid pandemic and the havoc it has wreaked on education has meant that various anti-plagiarism and have risen to the forefront of news stories. People are interested more than ever before in making sure that students aren’t cheating.
Yet, still, plagiarism still happens.
Essay mills have become a big business.
Students around the world have found ghostwriters online to do their writing for them. Most of the time, they don’t get the grade that they want, but they can’t ever complain or appeal that grade, because the work isn’t theirs. And if they do get the grade that they want, they’ve still robbed themselves of mastering that skill of being able to write well. Failing to master that skill can affect students in their jobs later, and prevent them from earning as much as they can.
Why does plagiarism happen? Stress, not knowing what to do, and some just, well, are dishonest. We admittedly can’t help everyone. But we can definitely help the earnest student who just gets caught up in cheating as a side effect of stress, pressure of achieving good grades, and simply not knowing how to overcome this.
So, how do we help the earnest student from getting caught up in a situation where buying an essay seems like the only option? While much of the technologies out there are designed to catch students after the fact or in the act of cheating, we believe it’s much better to help students master the skills they need so that cheating is not even an option they consider.
We can help. Our software, EssayJack, focuses on learning rather than “catching”. It’s a long-term solution – i.e. in the perspective of the saying “give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and feed him for a lifetime”. In that way, our aim and mission are to teach good writing structure and imbue critical thinking skills rather than try to detect cheating at the end of the process without fixing the problem or any of the root causes. We want it to be a habit-forming app, one that forms good academic writing habits.
In fact, a study conducted in a nursing faculty at a Canadian university in 2019 concluded that: “The results of this cycle affirmed the initial assumptions that the use of EssayJack would result in improved writing quality, decreased repetition, improved writing mechanics, and less in-class assignment reviews. This is illustrated by students reporting enhanced confidence and comprehension of writing skills and decreased stress.”
Students can use EssayJack and scaffold their writing process, learning the component parts of scholarly writing, and an end-to-end methodology to get them moving forward with their writing goals. Educators can point their students in the direction of EssayJack for trusted and standardised writing instruction.
Institutions can continue to provide anti-plagiarism software, require students to watch videos on the evils of plagiarism during orientation weeks, share guides of what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, but if a student does not know how to write an academic essay and they can’t access support resources to help themselves improve their writing, then plagiarism will continue to thrive.
While EssayJack may not solve all the problems of plagiarism, it sure does solve a number of them!