It’s not often we invoke William Blake in the title of a blog post, but there are some ‘dark Satanic mills’ we want to highlight. And while Blake wrote about the grimy factories of the Industrial Revolution, we’re interested in something that is plaguing academic writing: essay mills.
What Are Essay Mills?
An essay mill is a business that offers to write academic papers for students.
Typically, they ask the student for a topic, a word count and a deadline, then promise to deliver a paper to that specification. Similar to this, essay banks sell pre-written papers to students. This is cheaper, but easier to spot.
These businesses target ESL students and other people who may struggle to express their ideas clearly. Legally, they get around accusations of fraud by saying that the essays are just ‘models’ that students should use to generate ideas. However, they are essentially a form of cheating.
Recently, there have even been calls for universities to block essay mill sites.
Why Should I Avoid Them?
First of all, submitting a paper that you have not written is plagiarism. As such, if you’re caught submitting a paper that came from an essay mill or an essay bank, it will count as academic fraud.
But if this isn’t reason enough to avoid essay mills, keep the following in mind:
- Software such as Turnitin can automatically spot plagiarism
- Essay mills can charge hundreds of pounds for longer documents
- Many mills charge up front, so they may just take your money and run
- Even if they write an essay, you have no guarantee of quality
In other words, if you use essay mills, you stand the chance of losing hundreds of pounds, getting a poorly written essay, and then getting kicked off your course for plagiarism!
What Can I Do Instead?
The most important thing is to write your own work. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you do need to get your ideas down on paper as best as you can. After that, we can help.
Our essay proofreading service focuses on several things, including:
- Correcting spelling, grammar and punctuation errors
- Ensuring vocabulary is suitably academic
- Making sure that terminology is consistent
- Checking that all sources are referenced
- Making small changes to ensure your writing is clear and concise
We never, however, change your work in a way that would risk plagiarism.
And yes, you do have to do most of the work yourself. But think about it this way: at the end of the day, you can rest easy knowing that you have a well-written paper without sacrificing your academic honesty. Which, if you ask us, has to be better than lying awake at night wondering if you’ll get caught!