Advertisement of Company Offering Essay-Writing Services Banned

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. deceptive / dɪˈsɛp tɪv / (adj) – making someone believe that something is true

    The doll’s description on the website is deceptive; it says that the doll is big, but it is actually really small.

  2. plagiarism / ˈpleɪ dʒəˌrɪz əm / (n) – the act of copying the work of another person and claiming it as one’s own

    My classmate got suspended for plagiarism after he submitted an essay he copied from the Internet.

  3. lay the groundwork / leɪ ðə ˈgraʊndˌwɜrk / (idiom) – to provide the basic things needed

    I decided to lay the groundwork for my students’ project to make things easier for them.

  4. go the extra mile / goʊ ði ˈɛk strə maɪl / (idiom) – to work harder in order to achieve something

    It is almost the end of the year and our department is willing to go the extra mile just to finish our projects on time.

  5. combat / kəmˈbæt / (v) – to put an end to something

    The school plans to come up with action plans that will combat academic dishonesty.


Read the text below.

UK Essays’ advertisement has been banned because of its deceptive content.

Founded in 2003, UK Essays is an online company that offers essay-writing services to students.

Recently, the company’s advertisement in its website received attention for its statement that guarantees customers a high grade if they submit an essay purchased from the company. Because of this, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), which monitors the standards of higher education in the United Kingdom, filed a complaint against UK Essays. According to QAA, UK Essays’ advertisement did not state the risks that may come with purchasing essays.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a regulatory body for advertising guidelines, supported QAA’s complaint. It concluded that the advertisement was misleading as it implied that taking credit for the purchased essays is acceptable, when doing so can be considered plagiarism. As a result, ASA ordered UK Essays to revise the advertisement.

In defense, a UK Essays representative cited the company’s Fair Use Policy, which states that the essays produced by the company are only meant to lay the groundwork and help customers create an original work so they can still develop a sense of ownership. Despite the company’s disappointment in ASA’s ruling, it promised to put more emphasis on the policy on its website.

Every year, over 20,000 students purchase essays from companies like UK Essays. This phenomenon resulted in initiatives like the installation of anti-plagiarism software in universities. However, purchased essays are still difficult to track.

Ian Kimber of QAA said that the practice of submitting purchased essays can hurt students’ academic and professional careers. Because of this, QAA is willing to go the extra mile to combat all forms of cheating.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you agree with ASA’s ruling on UK Essays’ advertisement? Explain.
• Do you think that schools/universities should also be accountable for the practice of purchasing essays? Explain.

Discussion B

• Why do you think it is important to have a sense of ownership?
• How can one develop a sense of ownership?