The CBC News investigation has revealed how fast and convenient it is to buy a customary academic essay that may be unnoticed by university lecturers and plagiarism software.
The term paper was purchased through a self-described essay writing service that is based in Toronto but serves post-secondary students in Canada.
The real-life task was provided by the University of Nursing School in Riverson, who agreed to analyze the essay purchased.
"It was very worrying for me, because I was expecting to see this article," said Corinne Hart, an associate professor of medical care at Rearon, who assigned the essay to a third year. "Now I feel really suspicious of other documents.
Academic integrity experts claim that businesses that sell custom-made documents are distributed throughout the country. There are also fears that companies are becoming more bold and more complex as they grow.
"I see them as predatory companies," says John Paul Fox, director of the University of Rear.
"They will go so far as to say," If you engage with us, do not cheat, do not do anything wrong, they will not catch you. "
This practice is called "contract fraud" in the field of academic integrity.
While universities and colleges do not allow students to present work that is not theirs, companies that sell custom essays are completely legal in Canada.
Essa explains how to pass it on
During a covert interview with a Toronto essay writing store, one representative said the company would not sell paper to a student who intends to present the document as his own work.
The company, one of several in Toronto, insists that it provides work for "research purposes," and buyers have to sign a contract that agrees not to portray the job as its own.
However, the staff member also explained that some minor changes to the purchased essay would make it suitable for filing.
"Just pick it up and paraphrase in your own words, eliminating any problem with plagiarism," says the team member. "Then you can not say you used someone else's own work.
The company ensures that its papers are produced by masters in English who have masters or doctorates in the relevant disciplines and that each article is a new and original piece of work tailored to the specific task.
The company says many of its clients use the essays they bought as a guide to help them produce their own work.
"Many people do not know how to write documents, they do not know the form of the APA, and they do not know how to cite things," says the team member.
According to the company's website, he has produced more than 100,000 user essays in the last 18 years.
"I've seen it around, I know people who use it," says Fatima Zaffar, a student at the University of Toronto who stands near the light standard included in the essay sheets.
"Sometimes friends are joking about it, but I do not know whether they are real or not," said University of York student Pedro Garneca.
$ 226 for B-range paper
The document, received by CBC News, was written on Toronto's Toronto gun. She did not raise any red flags in a brief analysis by nursing educators.
The essay was eight pages long, it took seven days for writing and costing $ 226 before taxes.
Hart said he would most likely be giving him B or B- while Nurse Walton's director of the nursing program said she looked like her.
"If I had read this, without knowing that it was even suspicious to be a scam, I would not have thought," Walton said.
"We would never want to think that a nursing student deals with contract fraud, but I guess I really do not know."
Academic integrity experts say the lack of research and awareness has also hampered the fight against fraud.
While companies write essay essets universities and universities with fliers every semester, the actual number of students who buy papers is practically impossible to determine.
A 2018 study at Swansea University in Wales found that the history of contract fraud was self-reported by 3.5 percent of students. Fox said he believed the problem was more widespread.
"I expect it to be slightly higher than that," he said for the self-assessing figures. "Due to the fact that these companies are expanding at the pace they are expanding, it tells us that these companies have clients."
Foxe said he regularly deals with fraud issues. In some recent cases, he said, essay writers have even tried to blackmail students by threatening to report them unless they pay extra fees.
Canadian laws "are a bit behind the time"
While experts recognize that online access to these services is widespread, they say that removing businesses operating within Canada's borders can be effective.
The Ontario Integrity Academic Council (AICO), an organization of 30 universities and colleges, calls on the Provincial Government to make essay writing services illegal.
"We are a bit behind the time here in Canada," says Amanda Mackenzie, former chairman of AICO, who also works at the University of Waterloo.
Mackenzie said laws aimed at essay writing companies were successfully introduced in New Zealand and Australia, where more than 70 post-secondary students were expelled in a 2015 scam contract scandal.
She said that companies in Canada should no longer be able to work under the guise of providing "research" assistance.
"They know that students will take this material and will probably turn it over and hand it over," says McKenzie. – That is why the disciple came to them in the first place.
Hart agreed and said that all measures should be taken to reduce fraud and dishonesty, especially in areas where graduates have significant responsibilities for health and public safety.
"As students who take care of them, they take care of the people and there is expectation of ethics and a story about the truth and all those things that paper buying basically denies."
In a CBC statement, Toronto, a spokesman for the Department of Education, colleges and universities, said employees are aware of the problem, but should be addressed by institutions and individual students. There are no plans to introduce legislation targeting companies, the spokesman said.