College students don’t like to write papers; no flash there. But the behavior that accompanies this anxiety about homework can be very different depending on the student. Some plan ahead, draw outlines, and work on multiple drafts. Some procrastinate, spend sleepless nights and drink shipments of coffee. Some, according to Nick Mamatas for The smart set, pull out their credit cards, give up work, and buy a trial run at a term paper mill.
“The term paper artist” details Mamatas’ passage as a writer on the other side of this transaction. For several years he wrote essays for students willing and able to distribute the money for one of them. A broker put him in touch with the students, whom he identified in three camps: “DUMB CLIENTS”, occasional workers and non-native English speakers. Mamatas bluffed their demands – be it theological reflections, literary reviews, or historical inquiries – and won the funds that helped him buy his first house.
The essay reads salaciously, a bit like a bad one Date line exhibit. It’s full of inexpensive sensations, especially ones that come at the expense of their old clients, like the one who needed a paper on “Plah-toe” or the one who couldn’t identify the body of the paper without. help from Mamatas. For his part, Mamatas transforms into the kind of character who should occupy such a narrative, presenting the term paper artist as a largely unrepentant bad boy. He hints at vague guilt, but such a feeling seems to be drowned out by his obvious contempt for the students he sold papers to.
That is, there is little overall thinking about term paper mills or post-secondary education. This seems to be reflected in the slim response to the test. Same On the mediatreats the story as a shady curiosity. That’s a shame, because Mamatas’ story highlights a series of failures in post-secondary writing education that might merit further exploration: admissions policies that accept students unprepared for class. universities, overcrowded classrooms that allow struggling students to slip under the radar and lack of access to auxiliary writing assistance, to name a few.