I was also training for triathlons (I’d been a competitive swimmer in college) and freelancing for some sports and fitness websites.I was able to cobble together enough money this way to survive, with my partner’s help, in a fairly expensive metropolitan area.
I told them I’d do it for $20 a page and they agreed, which is how I started my new career.
They started me off in an online-only, eight-week, intro-level management class.
” I immediately concluded that this was code for “Can you write papers for people?
” And in a phone call that night, I learned that it was.
The explosion of these virtual courses has, of course, made this kind of cheating very easy for anyone willing to fork over the dough and assume a modicum of risk. As much as a I wanted, and sometimes more than I could handle given my other responsibilities.
I wrote a number of short papers, took weekly quizzes (for which I easily Googled the answers in what I regard as meta-cheating) and participated in message-board discussions, being careful to avoid anachronisms and writing as best as I could from the standpoint of the opposite sex. Over the next two-plus years, I turned out over 3,000 pages’ worth of work and made over ,000, reporting this to the IRS as tutoring income.
The paper was an opinion essay for a women’s studies course about whether booty-driven Instagram accounts are good for feminism.
I did some background on the prof, determined she was an old-school lesbian feminist, and decided I had better go with a resounding ‘no.’ I dumbed down the language enough to be convincing and, although I felt like a racist as I tried to employ Chinese takeout-menu-style English, the paper did well.
His side of the conversation was notable for how painfully little English he knew despite having ostensibly completed a three-page assignment in that language.
From 1,500 miles away, I set to work on a second draft using this new information. Within an hour or two, I had e-mailed the new draft—stripped of Microsoft Word metadata to conceal the identity of the document’s real creator—to my supervisor, who reviewed and approved it before dispatching it back to the student in New York. But over the past two-plus years, I grew used to submitting writing assignments using a name other than my own.