Deviance is defined as the recognized violation of cultural norms - Deviance Paper introduction. Violating these cultural norms can also be labeled a crime whether or not it is an actual written law in our society. Deviance isn’t something that is set in stone; rather it can vary based on location or on time (present and future) as a victim of cultural lag. When deviance and crime are thought of in the context of the internet, an impersonal location readily accessible to the masses, the numerous types of deviance actually occurring can become daunting to think about.
Some of these are mere deviances against folkways which could be considered a slap on the wrist infraction, while others would be labeled as more formal crimes with moral implications. One such deviance that has been gaining momentum and affecting the morality of a growing segment of society is academic dishonesty, or cheating as it relates to term papers. Through an analysis of the various avenues of plagiarism available for term papers online, we will better be able to understand the factors surrounding this epidemic tempting students’ nationwide.
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Type in “term paper” in the googler (google. com) and you are inundated with millions of results saturated by “paper mills” offering you a variety of plagiarized papers and services for a few greenbacks. A few years back, a lot of these websites were offering a free collection of essays, but it seems the business is booming as there are even a variety of term paper writing services offering a custom tailored paper for individual needs. SuperiorPapers.
com is one such service that offers their expertise in writing everything from a term paper to a thesis to a personal statement for college admissions and almost everything in between. Even more surprising is their pay scale, which ranges from $19. 99 to $52. 99 depending on the type of document, quality level of writing required, to the turn-around time the plagiarizer requires. BestTermPaper. com advertises its veteran status (since 1997) in this relatively new market as a professional writing service for users from secondary school to doctorate studies.
This number site should actually be number two, as it displays all signs of professionalism from a toll free customer service number for the US and UK, 20% discount codes, to a 24/7 live support via a chat feature. Their prices for most of their services from homework to term papers start at $15. 99 and PHd level work demands a higher starting cost at $17. 99, but they also offer less costly services such as editing, proofreading, and formatting already written documents for $2. 99 – $9.
99, attracting a wider market of prospective customers. A few other features separate Best Term Paper from the first site such as a Money Back Guarantee, plagiarism checking each document created, direct contact with the writers, and a humorous 100% confidentiality promise. EssayTown. com, showing up a few results down from Best Term Paper, looks like a less commercial and informative writing service at first glance. The site is easy on the eyes, giving all the necessary information to fulfill the needs of a typical customer on the homepage.
A flat-rate service for $49. 99 promises any type and any length of paper, but unlike the competitors this paper seems to be selected from their collection 43,000 papers and probably modified for the client’s exact requirements. The second service allows you to use their collection of papers to look find what you are looking for, paying anywhere from $25 – $130 for prewritten work, sometimes more. Talk about highway robbery for work that is not custom.
A custom research paper, offered as a third option, offers “one-of-a-kind” 300 word a page paper written to your specifications, priced at $18 per page delivered in at least 7 days with no page maximum to $38 per page delivered in 8-23 hours with a 10 page maximum. Quite a cost, with the common confidentiality guarantee, Essay Town does use scare tactics by putting sites that charge less in a negative light as either being scammers who are selling old and error “infested” papers written by ESL writers. A hard sell if I have ever heard one.
Although there are probably more pressures to succeed now more than ever due to the recession and economic uncertainty surrounding this country, I believe certain variables are better represented in academic dishonesty as it pertains to term papers. Upper-class white males cheat more because of their socioeconomic status which gives them the greatest opportunity to cheat. Opportunity alone is no indication of a deviance; however this “gateway” likely plays on their lack of inner motivation towards higher education.
This group comes from a privileged socioeconomic background which provides them with the “good life” early on, and when they have to accomplish real tasks in order to maintain such a status, such as writing term papers, it is easier for them to have it written than do it themselves. Their resources also allow for them to be able to afford using such services on a regular basis, which can become as costly as a bad drug habit. On the inverse, lower-class minority males end up getting caught more, due to being relatively new to such an arena of dishonesty and their membership to a subservient social class.
As per the social conflict theory, the elite are not subject to the same labels that the lower two classes are, allowing their violations of norms to often go unanswered by society in contrast to the violations committed by the lower classes. This would be a great tool for understanding why the upper-class would be more likely from escaping the possible consequences of cheating. Not only do their resources allow them to be able to cheat using services such as “paper mills,” but they would also give them the opportunity of being able to become skilled at such deviance.
Through this skilled deception and their power, due to money, they are able to elude detection. After all, even cops pull over more normal or inexpensive vehicles in comparison with luxury vehicles, as the wealthy have the resources at their disposal to possibly make the life of the officer hell, or at the very least, wiggle out of a ticket. Cheating, as defined by me, would be any action with the intention of deception or the goal of gaining something unearned from another party or system.
For example, if somebody were filing for unemployment benefits without being eligible, and they got them, there would be a decision for them to make. If they chose to keep the deception and cash the checks, that would be an act of cheating. If a test is going on, and a student is looking at the scantron of their neighbor, they would be breaking an important norm, and labeled a cheater in my eyes. In these examples, there is a unethical intent underlying the actions of people, which is why it is an act of dishonesty.
Like many things in life, I believe “cheating” has a grey area that has to be addressed as well. For example, if somebody is not in support of war and the death of innocent civilians, they cannot simply stop paying taxes like in the old days… the IRS would ruin their life. And since protesting would really be a just a little better than doing nothing, they decide to pay as little taxes as they can through creative accounting in an attempt to protest the war and not finance the death of innocents.
I would not necessarily see this as a crime, as it has a moral high ground that is being taken, and a concept that isn’t foreign to brilliant thinkers of western philosophy, such as Henry David Thoreau. In the same exact situation if somebody were cheating their taxes for the sole purpose of deceiving and illegitimately gaining something from government for personal gain, would be wrong. I do not see speeding as cheating as long as you are not jeopardizing the safety of other drivers, because frankly, a) who are you hurting, and b) who hasn’t seen a cop speed without his lights on.
For me, grey areas exist, where norms that have overstepped their bounds intersect with questions of morality or personal freedoms, and it only makes sense to act for a higher purpose, not a self-serving one. One faculty that has greatly affected deviance and cheating has been technology. Not only does technology increase the scope of deviance that can be committed by introducing new mediums, it can actually make various kinds of cheating more sophisticated. The invention of text messaging has made it easier for college students looking to cheat, as has the Bluetooth headset.
Just through my little research of “paper mills” I came across three websites that offer three interesting and new ways of cheating for almost any application, whether it be for writing a resume, my college transfer application or persona statement, doing homework, completing a science lab, or even writing a dissertation if I were in graduate school. At the same time, sites like TurnItIn. com have used technology to allow the academia crowd to be able to apprehend plagiarizers with ease and sophistication. So I guess technology is like a double edged sword, which enables and apprehends cheaters alike.
Through this research project, I learned several different things. The last time I visited a “paper mill” was when I was in high school, and the only reason was that they just started popping up around that time (2001). Since then, likely through the advancement of technology and a larger market of internet users, the once free and simple cheating operations have become sophisticated and multidimensional wet dreams for the slackers and economically abundant audience they cater to. Resources have a large part in our perception the breaking of norms, such as cheating.
If the person doing the breaking is of society’s elite, they are likely to get favorable treatment (Paris Hilton), whereas if you are from the lower rungs or a minority, the treatment for cheating in the same situation would likely be different. I also had to put some thought into my own definition of cheating, which isn’t perfected yet, but allowed me to understand the moral grey area I believe in. All in all, I was able to grasp the various variables that surrounded cheating and became more informed on the topic itself.