Try Typer will write articles for you

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If you attended high school in the late ’90s and early’ 90s, chances are you used the home computer in the office to type your essays or do some research. It’s also likely that a lot of your “research” time was spent using AOL with a Microsoft Word window open.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

EssayTyper is a site that lets you hook up to virtually any topic and then takes you to a Word-style web page where you can write your essay. But you don’t have to “write” anything. Not technically. Just type on the keyboard and the words appear.

Go ahead, try it. I used “economy” then I hit this button on the right.

Typing


Typing


Immediately, a paper appears.

The title is pre-written: “Innovative or simply post-modern?”

Typing


Typing


And then, a little computer magic.

Just start typing the keys.

Tap the house keys, tap the number keys. Hit enter! Tap delete! What will be are they thinking about the next one?

Typing


Business intern


And here’s a look at what’s happening on the screen:

EssayTyper2


Business intern


This is very fun, but we wondered if the students were really trying to pass these generated papers off as theirs.

See, the opening sentences of “Truly Jobs” (all EssayTyper papers are pre-titled) reads as follows:

Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs was an American pioneer of the personal computer revolution of the 1970s. He would be known as the entrepreneur, marketer and inventor, and co-founder, president and finally CEO of Apple Inc. who has transformed “industry after industry, from computers and smartphones to music and movies.

EssayTyper Wikipedia


Business Insider / Wikipedia


And a quick research proved it was just a rewrite of Jobs’ Wikipedia page. The same goes for our EssayTyper article on Business Insider and “Mad Men”.

In 2012, The Atlantic released “Write My Essay, Please!” find out the truth behind sites similar to EssayTyper and the people who use them.

“Essay writing has become a cottage industry founded on the systematic display of the most basic goals of higher education,” says Richard Gunderman in the Atlantic article. “The very fact that such services exist reflects a deep and widespread misunderstanding of why colleges and universities require students to write essays in the first place.”

thinking


Marcelo de Pozo / Reuters


While TryTyper is free and useful enough to trick your parents into thinking you’re actually sitting at the computer and doing a legitimate job, Gunderman says the multitude of sites that appoint real people to write essays for students is alarming. And, he points out, paying someone to write an essay for you isn’t technically plagiarism.

“In this case, assuming that essay writing services are in fact providing new essays, no one else’s work is stolen without their consent,” writes Gunderman. “It is bought. Nevertheless, the work is used without attribution, and the students claim credit for a job they never did. In short, the students cheat, they don’t learn.”

A quick Google search for “how to tell if a student is plagiarizing” provides tons of tips and advice for exhausted teachers and parents. A site called PlagTracker lets you type in a phrase or phrase to run against the rest of the internet. I copied and pasted the first sentence of “my” Steve Jobs essay.

The process took about twenty seconds (and PlagTracker offered to speed it up if I paid.) Here are the results.

PlagTracker


PlagTracker


My content was “81% plagerized from 5 sources”, but none of those sources were listed as Wikipedia.

Brooklyn Friends School teacher Kathleen Clinchy agrees that while technology has made cheating easier, it’s now much harder to definitely catch a cheater. She says resorting to old-fashioned questioning is the way to go.

In an email to Business Insider, Clinchy tells us:

It gets a little tricky because you don’t want to accuse a student of cheating, so being able to have a conversation with strategic issues is a good skill to have as a teacher. In younger classes, like middle school, you can involve parents and just have them review work together (AKA make sure your child stops cheating), but high school is a bit murkier.

You should also be careful of students copying or plagiarizing themselves as well – this is where you just give the kids back their papers with similar sentences highlighted and just watch them until they speak.

But Bay Gross, founder of EssayTyper, made sure to caution his service to remove any potential blame from himself and the site. “Please never try to use this legitimately,” he says on the site. “The magic part isn’t real … and that’s plagiarism.”


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