I get paid to do homework for students all over the world
India is the world preferred back office. While the most common forms of outsourcing in India are for IT or call centers, there are also people who work on foreign student assignments for a fee. These writers offer their services through social media, online platforms for freelance writers, or even run businesses that take academic assignments. It is sometimes called “contract cheating “ and is be hotly debated, even banned, by some universities and countries. In India, however, there is no law expressly prohibiting companies from running such companies. Below, Suneet Kumar Singh of Lucknow, northern India, 35, talks about his business of doing assignments for students halfway around the world, responding to bizarre requests and ethics of it all.
I was teaching students and helping them with homework when I was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English at Lucknow University in India. My hometown is Lucknow in northern India. Being a small town, it didn’t offer a lot of job opportunities and so, I was always looking for ways to make some money. I have helped people write their resumes and job applications.
I completed my studies in 2009 and continued my studies in business management by taking out a student loan. This master’s degree ended in 2011, but due to the global financial crisis, the job market was very lackluster. I had to find alternative ways to survive and repay my loan. So I started working as a freelance writer.
In 2011, I created a content management company called Contentholic in Delhi. Through my business and freelance writing work, I have worked with leading brands and start-ups and helped them with content marketing and digital marketing. We also offered a range of services such as blog management, SEO content, social media content, ghostwriting, Wikipedia page building, and digital public relations.
Our assignment writing business started in 2016 when Indian students who wanted to study at colleges abroad started contacting us for their Statements of Intent (SOPs) and university application essays. Those who obtained their letters of acceptance and visas through our SOPs continued to approach us to write their homework. So we focused on this service and started promoting it. We are also soon launching a website exclusively dedicated to providing this assignment writing service.
Today I have a team of 18 writers who are experts in about 20 to 25 topics such as business management, literature, and law. We do not broach subjects that we do not know. For example, we don’t do technical stuff like Java and coding. Medicine is quite complex and we don’t have a medical writer so we don’t take assignments on this either.
When we receive a request from a student, we usually ask them for a detailed dissertation. We also ask them to send files and study materials like videos or presentations shared by their teacher. Some are easy while others are difficult, but our editors keep up to date by reading books and articles in their fields. As a student of literature and business management, I find it easier to work on these topics.
We carry out 15 to 20 missions per day. Based on these numbers, we have probably completed between 20,000 and 30,000 assignments in the past five years, of which around 75% were completed from scratch. The others share a draft of the assignment that we are editing. As a trade secret, I cannot elaborate on the pricing, but it varies considerably from 1 to 5 rupees ($ 0.014 to $ 0.069) per word.
The students either give us a mission to work on and then disappear, or work with us for years by sending three to four missions each month until the end of their course. The subjects are very diverse. I have written articles on globalization, gender equality and other common issues. We have also created blogs, applications and websites as part of the assignments of many students.
Most of our clients are students who work part time and are unable to juggle study and work, and the rest just want to succeed and get a degree. We also receive students from Ivy League colleges. We don’t judge students or try to assess their merit; nor do we look at their past scores.
Almost 95% of the assignments we have made so far have been to non-native students studying at colleges and universities based in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. We have also worked with students from Japan, China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Africa and Russia.
We used to receive a lot of queries from local students in western countries – students from the USA, UK, Canada – but these declined around 2014 as many fraudulent companies entered the business and students entered the business. lost their money and their notes. So these students began to hire local assignment writing companies, many of which are run by Indians. These agencies, in turn, gradually began to outsource work to India and other parts of Asia to operate at a lower cost. In 2017, we also started working on the homework for these students.
When you’re working on a mission, the numbers aren’t exchanged – we all interact through Google Meet or official emails. We get a lot of weird requests and we have some weird incidents. A student once asked us to log in and take their exams online. A few others asked us to send responses while they were taking their exam. We refused. It was just something we weren’t comfortable doing.
A few students also tried to outsmart us.
Some who hired us to do their homework began to pass on requests to their classmates but kept some of the profits for themselves. Others asked to change the topic of the assignment, claiming their teacher didn’t approve it, but ended up using both assignments – one for themselves and one for their friend.
We have stopped taking such requests. A few others forwarded emails from their professors requesting some changes to the assignment, prompting us to deliver the edited copy the same day. When we couldn’t do it, they insisted on a refund. A few also categorically refused to pay the amount they owed us.
Some students also tried to negotiate prices with our sales or operations staff by flirting with them – they flattered and complimented them on their voices and asked for their personal, Facebook and Instagram numbers.
Many times, especially in the case of Indian students studying abroad, parents contact us to have their children’s homework and even their exams completed.
With time and experience, we have learned to put ourselves in the shoes of the student. At the graduate and masters level, where assignments mostly come in the form of PowerPoint presentations, reports, and data, I guess professors pay little attention to writing style. Sometimes they can assess the student’s abilities and, therefore, find out who has outsourced their homework. In such cases, customers request a refund, which we accept.
Business has grown during the pandemic – students are either unable to attend their classes online or don’t take them seriously, so they can’t complete their homework.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with getting expert help to complete missions. Additionally, every business is unethical in some sense; advertisements, for example, are unethical because they mainly play on fear and emotions.
Have you never asked your family or friends to help you with your homework? One in two people get help, either for free or for a fee.
Follow VICE on Twitter.