Students looking for help with their essays will often turn to the Internet. A little online searching can result in an endless treasure trove of free essays on just about any subject you can imagine. Although this may seem like the answer to all your problems at first, using freely available essays found online as your own work is a bad idea with serious consequences.
There are many good reasons not to use free essays found online. Here are just a few:
High risk of plagiarism – Perhaps the biggest danger of downloading and using free essays is the risk of plagiarism. Educational institutes are aware of the problem of copied work and employ increasingly sophisticated detection technologies to uncover plagiarized papers. There are serious consequences of handing in a plagiarized paper, especially at the college and university level. Using free sample essays found online is simply not worth the risk to your academic career.
Dated Information – A vast majority of the free essays found online are old. Free essay authors have no incentive to update their work to reflect the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Stock essays available for free do not contain references to current research and will appear obviously outdated to even the most casual reader.
Questionable quality – You can never take the quality of a free essay for granted. You do not know who the authors were and what their qualifications were for writing this particular essay. The amount of hard work and research needed to verify the content of a free essay can be better spent writing the whole essay from scratch on your own.
Essay Style – Not all essays follow the same narrative style. Essay writing is a vast field, with styles ranging from persuasive essays to narrative and descriptive essays. An admissions essay is not the same as a scholarship essay, which in turn is different from an analytical or personal essay. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to essay writing; the narrative style of that free essay you found online may not be what your instructor is looking for.
Lacks the personal touch – Essays are highly personal pieces of prose. They should reflect your personal views on a given topic. Passing off another author’s views as your own is risky – you may be called on to defend or explain those views and opinions in front of class.
Lacks Citation Style – Free essays lack citations and formatting styles (APA, MLA, Harvard, etc.) required for college level essays.
Won’t get you your desired grade – Even if you don’t get caught for plagiarism and your essay gets accepted, you will never get the grade you desire from a free essay. Any teacher or professor will immediately detect the derivative, dated work found in most free essays, and grade it as such
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