“That said, 75 per cent of our customers are foreign students who, although talented, can’t express themselves as well in English as in their own language.
British universities are happy to take their money, without checking their English.
There’s a real greediness among British universities; students are left to struggle, and are forced to turn to a private company, rather than getting help that should be supplied by the university. Most UK students who come to us are profoundly unhappy with the tuition they get, [with] no formal instruction in the writing and structuring of essays.” Especially when that essay is 90,000 words.
“I’m fine on research, and I can talk about the subject till the cows come home, but I need guidance in putting material together and expressing it in academic terms,” says Geoff (not his real name), who is doing a Ph D in marketing at University College London, and is paying Oxbridge Essays to help him with his 400-page-plus thesis.
I am aware that some people do just take this kind of work and pass it off as their own – so I don’t want my real name in The Daily Telegraph, in case people think that’s what I’ve done.” The same applies to “Dan”, a second-year student at Bristol University, who, in his first year, sought outside help with an essay on tragedy in Shakespeare. “We don’t write people’s essays, we merely teach them essay-production skills,” maintains Oliver Eccles, one of Bright Young Things’ senior tutors.
“I felt like I wasn’t getting much academic direction,” he says. I was getting no real feedback.” Instead of buying an essay off the internet, he turned to the tutorial agency Bright Young Things, which spent three and a half hours with him (at £60 an hour) planning his essay. That’s not to say that tutors don’t get asked to do a bit of proxy essay-penning, though.It is just so undermining of the whole system.” Maybe so, but it’s pretty simple to do.Just go on the internet, type “essay writing”, and a host of firms will be clamouring to help with your coursework. Despite a website showing Union Flags, the girl at the end of the phone says she’s in Delaware in the US.“Where A Student’s Life Becomes Easier,” purrs the website UKBest Essays.com; less reassuring is its claim: “We provide piece of mind.” Indeed, while these companies promise round-the-clock customer support and teams of 200 to 4,000 highly qualified essay-crafters, producing pieces of work that will pass all plagiarism tests, some appear to be more, well, questionable. And when the rather distant-sounding man at uk is asked if I can visit his office, he says he can’t give me the address because I “might bring the police”.“We all get tarred with the same brush,” complains Jilly Walden, quality manager at UKEssays.com, based at the same address (in Arnold, near Nottingham) as Degree Essays ( and Law Teacher ( “Yet, unlike other companies, we are happy to publish our address, and we are happy for students to visit us; we have got academics in-house. It’s made very clear to clients that we don’t supply essays; we give model answers around which they frame their ideas.I’ve even seen cases where the student has left in the name of the person who actually wrote the essay.” Ideally, prevention is better than detection.By inviting students to discuss essays, university tutors can monitor the sudden arrival of unfamiliar thoughts and ideas.“If it truly is an original work, then it will get through the plagiarism-detection software,” says Will Murray, whose firm supplies Turnitin, the plagiarism checking system used by most UK universities.“But sometimes the writing has been outsourced to India, or America, and the grammar and expressions will reflect that.“So the question,” says Will Murray, “is how confident are you that the essay you are handing in, that has been written by someone you have never met, is 100 per cent original?Writing a high-quality academic assignment takes a lot of effort.