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I was intrigued by Eugene's post yesterday about Professays, an online service that will custom-write essays for students for a steep fee, so I went to their customer service page and submitted the following question using my university e-mail address:
I need to write a paper for school. But is it cheating if I submit a paper you guys wrote but put my name on it? Or is that okay?

(My factual claim was true, I should point out; I do need to write a paper for school this summer.) A few minutes later, I received the following response:
Dear Orin,

Thank you for your question. We'll be happy to work on your paper. No, it's not cheating because it's our job to help you in your studies.

Best regards,
The Professays Team
  Phew, that's a relief. Not only is there no plagiarism when you use Professays, as Eugene noted, but there's no cheating when you submit their paper with your name. After all, it's their job. (Why it being their job keeps you from cheating when you submit a paper you didn't write is left as an exercise for the reader.)

  Incidentally, I followed up that exchange by asking the people at Professays if I had permission to post their response on my blog. They responded:

Yes, you can post our response. Please, also, add that every student is free to choose whether he/she wants to use this service or not. There is no force or manipulation.

Best regards,
The Professays Team
  Duly noted. Not only is there no plagiarism and no cheating, there is also freedom to choose. And how can anyone possibly object to that?

  I have enabled comments. As always, civil and respectful comments only.

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