Two laptops on a desk

  • 18 December 2020
  • 3 min read

Students around the world, including those at University of Portsmouth, are being targeted by companies offering to write assessments for payment.  

This is often described as contract cheating or essay mills - and these unscrupulous individuals and companies seem to have upped their efforts to lure students in.

A risk of blackmail

More recently, these companies have adopted new tactics to take advantage of students. After a student has paid for the work and submitted it, the company then contacts the student demanding further money, or they will inform the university that the student has cheated. University of Portsmouth students have been targeted for this activity.

This blackmail can have a devastating impact - financially, for your education, and your wellbeing. It’s so important to avoid making any contact with these essay mills, as they may use it against you.

Don’t risk getting caught cheating 

Our academics are very experienced in marking students' work and can usually quickly spot work that appears to be by someone else, resulting in formal assessment offence investigations and subsequent actions. 

It goes without saying that no student should be tempted to engage with these companies or individuals. Not only is it a breach of the Code of Student Behaviour, which could result in exclusion from the University, but it also damages your long term success and likelihood of securing a good job after University. 

The University has signed the UK Academic Integrity Charter which aims to empower students to take responsibility for the integrity of their own learning, and to understand the possible consequences of academic misconduct.

Help with your study and assessments

If at any point you’re struggling or need more support with any aspect of your course, please talk to someone. Contact your lecturers or Personal Tutor for advice, or get help from teams like the Academic Skills Unit, Maths Cafe, and more, who will be able to help you complete the work to a standard you can take pride in. 

You can also find resources for study skills, including academic writing, essay structures and referencing, on MyPort. 

If any student finds themselves in the situation where they are being blackmailed after having made contact with an essay mill, you can seek confidential support from the Students' Union and the University’s Student Wellbeing Service.

Help us to help you and your fellow students by blocking any direct communications from contract cheating companies. Instead, make use of the excellent support available here at the University for you to succeed - not only on your course, but in your future careers.