What to Do if Caught or Suspected of Buying Essays Online

Last Updated: 02 February 2024

Integrity and honesty are valuable principles that schools expect every student to have. So, when there are accusations of paying for essay writing, schools will take the matter seriously. With the rise of contract cheating cases worldwide, it is now more crucial than ever to have a proper defence to ensure you don't suffer the consequences. Challenging accusations of paying for essay writing requires the right strategy and documentation to show the committee hearing your case that you are innocent.

In this article, we will dive into what actions you should take when accused of contract cheating.

Contract Cheating

Paying someone to write your essay for you is considered contract cheating. This offence is a form of academic dishonesty in which students hire a third party to do their assignments. Contract cheating can take the following form:

If suspected of contract cheating, your Instructor or any faculty could ask you to meet up with a committee (usually faculty members) to discuss your case. Check with your school about the relevant procedure where one is suspected of contract cheating. 

How do you defend yourself when accused of paying someone for essay writing?

Accusations of paying for essay writing are serious allegations and, whether justified or not, could be extremely stressful. If you have been accused of academic misconduct, here is what you should do:

Stay Calm

Stay calm. Many students make the mistake of panicking, which can worsen the situation. After receiving such news, it's natural to want to fight for your reputation and defend yourself. However, doing this when angry or upset could seriously hurt your case.

Research shows that responding to allegations when angry could make you seem guilty. 

Staying calm helps you assess the situation from all angles and understand why you have been accused of paying someone to do your assignment.

Take a moment to think about the situation, and wait to respond to the school.

Request a Meeting with Your Instructor

Contact your Instructor by mail or phone and ask to speak to them in person. A face-to-face meeting with the person accusing you will allow a proper dialogue about the accusations. Additionally, you can get a chance to explain and defend yourself.

As you talk with your accuser, stay calm and maintain a professional tone. Do not shout or call the Instructor out of their name.

Be respectful even if you feel you do not have to.

Do not accept that you bought an essay online, even when you did. Instead, ensure that you have read and understood the paper, gone through all the sources, and prove to your professor that you can take them through it.

As you make a case for yourself, be open to hearing their side of the story respectfully.

Most accusations of paying for essay writing usually end at this point, so yours could, especially if you come up with a convincing explanation.

If this happens, the teacher will withdraw the accusations. However, if they still maintain that your essay was written by someone else, the Instructor will file an academic misconduct incident report and submit it to the appropriate decision-makers.

Go through the School’s Code of Conduct

Review the school's code of conduct after failing to convince the Instructor about your innocence about hiring someone to write the essay for you.

Each institution has a policy on academic honesty, which addresses issues of fraud where you pass someone else's work as your own, contract cheating, and using unauthorized material for writing assignments. Each school will have different procedures and punishments for those violating this policy. They will also highlight what they consider to be academic dishonesty.

Therefore, reading and understanding the repercussions of hiring someone to finish your essay for you is important.

Evaluate and Gather Evidence for Your Defense 

Now that you know the depth of accusations of paying for essay writing thrown your way, go through the evidence presented by the accuser.

If you did not do what they said, gather all relevant evidence to defend your case. The evidence is:

Having every shred of evidence with you is essential to prove to the school that you didn't do what they are saying. Even if you feel like you somehow "cheated," credible evidence can help you show that you did not violate the school's policy on academic dishonesty.

The committee hearing your case will review the evidence and judge you based on it. If the evidence is insufficient, they may determine that the accusations have a basis. But if they are sufficient, there won't be any punishment or repercussions.

Request a Meeting with the Department Chair

Request another meeting with the chair of your department. If they accept your request, carry all the evidence you gathered and share it with the chair. Explain why you think the accusations against you aren't true.

If there are investigations, cooperate with those involved and be transparent about everything.

Explain Your Side

If you are guilty of the accusations of paying for essay writing, here are tips to help craft a convincing response.

Be Honest

Own up to your mistake by telling the truth. Yes, it may disappoint your instructors, but telling the truth is the first step in getting back to their good graces, and they will consider that when deciding on the penalty. Denying the accusations before you and being proven guilty will worsen things for you. This should only happen if you faulted in your presentation or someone snitched on you with credible evidence.

Explain the Reasons for Your Mistake

Explain the circumstances surrounding your actions. If, for instance, you hired someone to do your assignment because of special circumstances, then make your case.

Show facts that could support your case. If, for instance, you were sick or had a sick dependent and could not get time to work on your assignment and resorted to hiring someone, then provide a medical report. The following are some common defenses:

While there is no excuse for any academic dishonesty, explaining the circumstances that led you to do it could go a long way to helping your case.

Ensure your explanations are clear. Consider presenting this in chronological order and use bullet points where necessary.

Label each piece clearly when presenting evidence against accusations of paying for essay writing. For instance, you could say, from this evidence, [evidence, name, 01], you can see that I reached out to a particular website for support… However, you choose to show your evidence, make sure it is clear enough for those reviewing to understand and make a connection with your accusations.

Show that You Are Remorseful

The committee before you needs to see that you understand why your actions are wrong. This is where you demonstrate your understanding of the school's code of conduct. Though you didn't understand it before, you do now. Show what steps you will take to ensure that doesn't happen again.

Additionally, clarifying whether the offence was accidental or intentional is essential and then explaining each.

Furthermore, demonstrate that you understand what academic dishonesty is and that you are willing to seek help. This includes attending a session on academic skills.

Show Other Factors that Contributed to the Offence

Did you miss an important session on academic dishonesty? Is there an Individual Learning Plan (LLP) in place? Were you pressured to hire someone? Have you talked about the issue with any other staff member?

Let the Accuser Prove their Case

If you are not guilty of accusations of paying for essay writing, your accuser is responsible for proving their case. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. However, you can still provide some evidence to show your innocence in the matter.

The investigation of your case is based on a "Balance of Probabilities,” which means the committee will decide that the offence is more than likely to have occurred. In other words, there is a probability that you are guilty of what you have been accused of. Therefore, it is essential that you provide credible evidence to show that you are innocent.

The admonition from the Instructor

In some cases, an instructor could resolve the case without forwarding the accusations of paying for essay writing to a committee or filing a formal complaint. In such a case, the Instructor could punish or issue you with a warning. The punishment could be a grade reduction or remedial work. Whatever punishment you get, it’s better than being dismissed from the institution.

When your Instructor chooses to resolve the case through admonition, expect the following to happen:

Reporting the matter to the assistant dean is necessary to ensure there is no repeat of the matter, and if there is, the offence can be tracked. Please note that the assistant dean cannot punish you after the Instructor has admonished you.

Please also note that if your alleged offence occurred closer to the end of the course you are taking or if the matter cannot be resolved before the deadline for grade submission, the Instructor could assign an incomplete grade. The grade will stay like that until the matter is resolved.

Appealing The Committee’s Decision

If the committee determines, you can appeal the decision if you are guilty of intentionally violating the school's policy. Write the letter to the office in charge, usually the Office of the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Academic Affairs, within two weeks from the date you filed the resolution letter.

State clearly what you are appealing the accusations of paying for essay writing and include the academic misconduct clause and the sanctions imposed. The grounds for filling an appeal letter are as follows:

The appeal committee will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to hear your appeal. The committee will gather a panel to hear your case if the evidence is sufficient.

Hire an Attorney if Necessary

Consider taking a legal approach if your case is taking a turn for the worse. Construct cheating is a severe offense, so consulting an attorney who handles academic misconduct cases can help you avoid the serious repercussions.

An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights, navigate the process, and present an effective defence. They can also evaluate your evidence and whether it's strong enough to defend you.   

Learn From the Experience

Accusations of paying for essay writing are serious and distressing. Regardless of the outcome you will face, it is essential to reflect on what you have gone through and learn from it. Understand what led you to that situation and the impact on your education. This will help you and those close to you learn and avoid it in the future.

Is Writing Someone's Essay Illegal?

If you pay someone to write your essay for you and submit it to your Instructor as your own, it is not considered illegal but cheating. A form of academic misconduct, including cheating, is against school policy and grounds for punishment. You should use the essays you pay someone to write online for reference and inspiration. Even when submitting, ensure you have read through, customized, and personalized it to your taste. It is LEGAL to write an essay for pay; it is the same as having a research assistant. How you use such products defines the illegality.

Writing is a process that requires thorough research, time, and effort to come up with a high-quality paper. Teachers assign them to test your understanding of the topic and whether you can engage with a particular knowledge. So, when you fail to do this, and there are accusations of paying for essay writing thrown against you, there has to be a proper defence where you show that you are innocent.

Final Word

Defending yourself against accusations of paying for essay writing is critical to protect your reputation. It's important to handle such accusations professionally and respectfully by staying calm, meeting with your accuser, and showing and understanding the school's code of conduct. You also must explain your side of the story and provide credible evidence of your innocence. These measures will ensure you protect your academic reputation, especially if you are innocent.

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Most such accusations occur when you hire just anyone to handle your essay. You should hire a trustworthy essay-writing website like GradeCrest that takes your confidentiality, dignity, and privacy seriously. We also allow you to talk directly with the writer to ensure that your insights are considered when the professional writer works on your paper. Since we began writing papers for clients in tens of thousands, no one has ever claimed they were caught using our website. We write 100% original, well-researched, cited, and polished papers.