One of those terms whose definition seems, ironically enough, to be plagiarized from time to time. Or is it plagiarized? Why isn't it?
Cheating is Easy
http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&q=free+term+papers, but let us look and see how it can be made both harder to do, and not worth doing, all in the context of helping students use the Internet and WWW better for the writing and learning they need to do.
Try Googling your assignment. Go to Google or another search engine, and put in keywords from your writing assignment. See what comes up. Do you need to revise the assignment to make it less plagiarable?
Turn Papermills to Your Advantage
Since these sites exist, let students know that you know about them. Use them in your teaching. For example, you can go to Schoolsucks.com
How Student Papers Sometimes Get Written
http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail64.htmlThe site's a hoot, and it's funny. And it's also a useful teaching tool, worth showing in class if you can do it, or sending students to look at and write about it for a class discussion on doing one's own
http://slate.msn.com/id/2059540/leads to "Adventures in Cheating," by Seth Stevenson, a piece that samples term paper mills, and finds --no surprise-- that you get what you pay for (and even that ain't much). I wrote a response to this piece, which again, I find useful for teaching, that began, "Essentially, the free papers stink, and they're recycled. That is, free papermill sites often carry copies of the same papers." Rest of the note is here: http://fray.slate.msn.com/?id=3936&m=2538524&.