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Web sites ID papers bought online

Nov. 17, 1999

By CHRISTINA HINES

Reporter

With a click of the mouse and a credit card payment, your research paper can be finished, but beware -- your professors might be one step ahead of you.

The technological advancements in computers and the Internet have made plagiarism and cheating easier for college students. Web sites such as Cheaters.com, Research-assistance.com and Ezwrite.com offer deals on research papers, theses and dissertations covering just about any subject. Prices at Ezwrite.com are $4.95 per page, and Research-assistance.com charges $7.50 per page with a maximum price of $127.50.

'I think that's a waste of money, especially when you can go to other sites on the Web and find just as much information on your own,' said RJ Flowers, a Grapevine junior.

Research-assistance.com will even write papers to fit the exact requirements of its client's papers. Prices for a custom-researched paper range from $22 to $35 per page, depending on specific research questions and time limitations.

All these sites claim that the papers they sell are not intended to be used as one's own work, and are 'research materials' only. Research-assistance.com said its papers are a 'template for producing a well-constructed term paper.'

'I wouldn't use it as research material,' said Julie Silsby, a Katy junior. 'I think people who buy research papers are lazy and shouldn't be in college.'

Now there is a way for professors to fight back against students who might use these sites. Companies such as Plagiarism.org, Integriguard.com and Plagiarism.com provide services on the Internet for professors to catch cheating students.

According to the Plagiarism.org Web site, the company has a database of 'online paper mills' and is able to match papers containing plagiarized material that professors upload onto the Web site with the papers in its database.

Plagiarism.org charges professors $20 for the first 30 papers uploaded and 50 cents for each additional paper. Integriguard.com charges $4.95 per month for its plagiarism-detecting services.

Dr. Sara Stone, professor of journalism, teaches law and ethics of journalism, and said just mentioning the use of products such as Plagiarism.org on the syllabus might be an effective tool against plagiarism.

'Normally, you can match the quality of writing in the research paper to the quality of writing you've been getting over the course of the semester,' Stone said.

The constitution of the Baylor University Honor System states that 'offering for course credit as one's own work, in whole or in part, the work of another' or 'from another work, unless the student credits the original author and the author's original work' is dishonorable conduct. Any violators of the code are subject to trial by the Honor Council, and punishment varies from reprimanding to expulsion.

'Plagiarism is reprehensible, especially in journalism,' Stone said. 'In journalism, your byline, your name, is your credibility.'