As an educator, I have to say that plagiarism has become harder to chase down in the age of the internet. Students have access to a vast variety of research materials at the tip of their fingers. While all of this information is a blessing, it puts more temptation in the hands of the students. You have to teach your students why plagiarism is wrong, but you also have to show them how to avoid unintentional plagiarism. Sometimes we read something and think we are merely feeling inspired, only to carry over entire concepts, ideas and opinions into our reports and essays. You have to be careful to keep the ideas your own.
I am not a fan of students purchasing term papers in order to turn them in wholesale, but I find it interesting to examine the motivation of people who purchase term papers written by companies and other people. Do they intend to provide the background research and ideas? Perhaps a student pays someone for what is essentially technical assistance. Is that OK? Is it any more than some tutors will provide? I suppose that would be best addressed on a situation by situation basis. It feels like a potentially gray area, although educators are expected to issue judgment on a black and white basis.
Sites like custom-writing.org write custom term papers and appear to attract a large number of clients. We can assume that their services are widely used. Do students turn these papers in “as is”, or do they use them as launching pads? My guess is that we may be seeing a little of both, and degrees in between. I think it’s a topic worth discussing more in the future after I have talked to a couple of people who have used such services.