What exactly is to be banned, writing essays for money? Credit - public domain

Earlier today we pointed out that trying to make essay mills illegal was a rather difficult thing to do. What, actually, is it that is to be made illegal? Writing for money?

One of our readers, Hallowed Be, has come up with the perfect and viable solution:

I suppose what you do is insist that each of your students joins up to the essay writing service as authors for hire and mark them on their earnings.

Hey, works for us.

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Hector Drummond

There is in fact an easy answer. More exams, less essays. And have more in-class essays (had them when I was an undergrad).

Unis don’t want to do this, though, because the students don’t want it, and they rule the roost now.


When a professor grades a student essay, the grade is necessarily subjective and sometimes notoriously dependent on sharing or pretending to share the professor’s ideology. But the amount for which a student could sell an essay is a comparatively objective method of measurement, and measurement is what coursework and exams are supposed to be about.

To mention an article nearby, it also does a better job of measuring “human capital” than the World Bank ever will.

Hallowed Be
Hallowed Be

Ha.. self funding university courses here we come.


The issue is that this is too easy to game. Rich student plays both ends of the market, buying own essays at the cost of the essay mill’s brokerage fees. Guessing these are a percentage, so the more a student can afford to lose in fees, the more will be “made”.