Struggling with an assignment? Contract cheating is NOT the answer
Are your assignments starting to pile up? If personal circumstances are making it hard for you to study, you’re finding the unit concepts difficult to grasp or you face language barriers, the stress can build pretty quickly too.
Ensure you use the legitimate study help that’s available and never turn to illegal cheating services. Making the wrong decision could have lifelong consequences for your degree and career.
‘Contract cheating’ is where you get someone to do part or all of your assignment or exam, and then claim it as your own. This includes asking friends or family to do the work for you or paying a company that promotes ‘study or assignment help’.
How to recognise a contract cheating service
Commercial contract cheating services offer to:
- sell you essays, assignments, study notes, exams or other assessment materials
- help you study if you upload previous work from your course
- sit exams on your behalf.
It’s not always easy to identify illegal cheating services, but you should avoid any company that offers the above services via social media, email or on-campus advertising. Sometimes you’ll even see these services promoted on otherwise legitimate study help sites.
Some of these services just offer ‘help’ with your work, while others are more explicit and ‘guarantee’ you a high grade. Either way, they’re illegal. It’s a good idea to:
- block any unsolicited ‘study help’ messages you receive on social media or via email
- reconsider the kind of info you share on your social media networks – for example, a post about the tricky essay you’re writing – as companies trawl for this kind of content and may then target you
- use the strongest possible privacy settings.
If you’ve received an advertisement for contract cheating services in your student inbox, please hit the ‘Report phishing’ button or forward the email to [email protected]. If you know of students at Deakin who are promoting or using contract cheating services, you can raise your concerns with the Student Conduct Team (this can be anonymous).
Cheating could ruin your degree – and your career
If you use cheating services, you could:
- Fail your subject or course – you can expect to face formal penalties from the University that may affect your grades and enrolment and, in some cases, hinder your future career.
- Lose your visa – as an international student, any instances of academic misconduct could lead to the cancellation of your Confirmation of Enrolment.
- Be ineligible for, or be stripped of, professional accreditation – if contract cheating is on your record, many professions won’t ever let you register to practise.
- Be blackmailed by cheating service operators – the people who supply your assignment can force you to pay even more money by threatening to report you to the University.
Think you can get away with it? Think again
It’s easier than ever for universities to detect cheating and we take it very seriously. It’s only a matter of time until we catch any student who uses a contract cheating service. You could be identified by:
- cheating services exchanging your details on platforms we monitor
- individual writers sharing their portfolio to find work with other cheating services
- hidden information in your assignments being cross-referenced against other students who have used the same cheating service.
You might only use a contract cheating service once to get through a particularly stressful time, but the consequences of being caught could mean that you lose your entire degree even after you’ve graduated and built a career.
We can help you study honestly
- If you’re struggling with an assignment, ask your Unit Chair or teaching team for help – and the sooner, the better. We also offer heaps of study support, so make the most of these resources. You may also be eligible for assignment extensions or special consideration.
- Check out our academic integrity website for helpful advice and information, and read our Student Code of Conduct and Student Academic Integrity Policy.
- Contact DUSA’s Ask an Advocate service with any questions about academic integrity. DUSA will post your anonymous question and a response on its academic integrity webpage within three business days so that other students can also benefit from this information.
- If it’s alleged that you’ve breached academic integrity, contact DUSA’s Student Advocacy and Support Service for a free confidential appointment with an advocate. They’ll assess your situation and discuss possible courses of action with you.
- If you’re a commencing student in T2, please complete the compulsory Academic Integrity unit, which you’ll find in DeakinSync.