Pens for hire: Part 2


  • Geoffrey E. Buerger Kiita Learning Community, Barrow, Alaska



academic fraud, contract cheating, ghost writing, history, term paper mills


This is part two of a three part invited article series examining the historical evolution of the contract cheating industry.  As far back as the aftermath of the First World War there were small commercial operators serving the wants of students who preferred to purchase essays rather than write them. Occasionally, as described in part one of this series, these were exposed by journalists and once even taken to court by local authorities. By the end of the turbulent 1960s, however, those businesses had emerged from the shadows and were aggressively advertising their wares. In response, universities and government entities made more determined attempts to suppress the trade. This article focuses on the attempts of three jurisdictions to shut down the term paper mills: New York, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. Part two concludes with a series of questions to encourage reflection and discussion with students or educators and practitioners.


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