The current issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscribers only), has an interesting article on the phenomenon of “essay mills” that will write papers for college students for a fee.
I found especially amusing a quotation from one of the student customers: “Like most people in college, you don’t have time to do research on some of these things. I was hoping to find a guy to do some good quality writing.”
If students can’t find the time to do their own work in writing papers, maybe it’s because their priorities are aligned toward the beer-and-circus elements of college life rather than academic work.
My sense is that college courses on the whole call for less written work from students than in the past, and if students often find ways to cheat by plagiarizing or buying papers, little wonder that employers now complain that college grads can’t write decently.