Sunday, November 02, 2008

The lazy incompetent's guide to educational success

Looking for freelance writing opportunities today, I came across a couple of distinctly dodgy ads on Hong Kong Craigslist.

The first says:
"We are an educational company that specializes in university admissions services. We help students to apply and gain entry to their desired programs (College / MBA / Grad School).

Part of the application process involves the drafting of Admissions Essays, Letters of Recommendation etc. We are looking for talented writers who can produce interesting and effective work, in order to market our students in the best possible light.

Each project / university application comprises of the following:
- 4 to 7 essays (ranging from 100 to 600 words each) AND
- 2 to 3 recommendation letters (each addressing 5 to 8 questions)

We will provide the student's educational and academic profile (including CV and notes) and other related information.

We pay US$50-100 for the successful completion of each project. We have thousands of students each year so you can be guaranteed consistent work if you are good!"
Having worked my arse off to get my own MBA, it pisses me off to see this kind of scam. How does blatant plagiarism present a student "in the best possible light"? It shows them up for what they are - lazy incompetent frauds.

Should you wish to suggest to these conmen that their students might be better suited to working in McDonald's than the world of higher education if they are unable to write their own application essays, their email address is career@toprep.com.sg (the sg indicating Singapore, though they could be anywhere). I wonder if this kind of false application is a legal offence?

The second ad is headed Freelance Wtiring [sic] Talent Wanted (Global). It seeks candidates with good writing ability and research skills, and preferably academic writing experience - presumably competence in spelling is optional. They are looking for graduates in a range of subjects - for what they don't say, but academic plagiarism would probably be a good guess here as well. Far be it from me to suggest that their email address - job-896064625@craigslist.org - should be flooded with bogus responses. No indication of their whereabouts in the address, but they ask respondents to put "Thai-writer" in the subject line, which provides a clue.

The irony of all this is that I would probably be good at doing this stuff, but I want no part of it. It's unfair to those hard-working students who make the effort to do their own work, and it devalues everybody's qualifications.

1 comment:

fumier said...

I have sent an appropriate e-mail to these cnuts.