15 years ago, Cheathouse.com pioneered the essay library industry and sent shockwaves through academia. After years of allegations of promoting plagiarism and cheating, the gentlemen behind the site are ready to say adieu to the name that started it all.
In 1995, Jens Schriver and Maximo Migliari, mere teenagers at the time, launched an essay library site with the controversial name Cheathouse.com. It instantly caused a stir within the academic community where the assumption was made that such an a website was unethical by nature and could only encourage dishonesty.
“We should have gone with the name WriteWork instead of Cheathouse from the beginning. But back then we thought it was catchy – we were just kids with no clue of what was in store for us. We’ve grown up since then and so has our business.” Says co-founder Maximo Migliari.
The essay site quickly caught the attention of the international press and soon Schriver and Migliari were featured on CNN, BBC and NPR.
As a response to the negative public labeling, the two founders decided to find out for themselves whether their members were in fact using the essay resource for systematic plagiarism.
Personal interviews were conducted and more than 500 members completed anonymous questionnaires. The results showed that a minor fraction intended to use the essay site for cheating while the vast majority actually saw the site as a valuable academic resource that helped them find primary sources and increase their grades.
Moreover, the study showed that the minority with dishonest intentions were chiefly high school students – an interesting aspect taking into consideration that the target audience was university and college students.
“Maximo and I are perfect examples that getting inspiration from essay examples doesn’t necessarily facilitate plagiarism and cheating. We both have university degrees and during the years we spent studying neither of us ever turned in an assignment that wasn’t original – despite the fact that we were running one of the most comprehensive essay resources in the world.” Says co-founder Jens Schriver
Since then, Schriver and Migliari have concentrated on sending the right message by tuning their site to serious university and college students – changing the name to WriteWork is an important step in that direction.
Among the new services that will soon be featured on WriteWork, is a collection of outlines for writing essays, research papers and book reports as well as a citation and bibliography guide.
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