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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Literary prostitution

It’s in your schools, your classrooms, your dorm. It is a growing epidemic that is sweeping the academic nation, and it’s showing no sign of stopping. Literary prostitution. It’s 4 a.m.; do you know where your essay is?

There are many fun ways to make enough money to afford rent, adderall and beer in college. You can demean yourself with low-paying jobs, serving up pitas to drunk fraternity robots or filing bafflingly boring papers in the back room of the most obscure department on campus. If you have a car, you’re lucky, and you can demean yourself in classier establishments, launching yourself into the fast-paced food and beverage industry. Another great way, considering you have an ounce of literary prowess to spare and a perceived sense of free time, is to whore your brain and Microsoft Word out for money.

For others, there are many fun ways to avoid writing simple essays that would probably greatly benefit your writing skills for application later in life. One fun way is to be over-privileged and excessively rich.

And thus, from the synergy born from the two previous paragraphs, a well-established essay-producing prostitution ring has popped up on campuses worldwide. Pimps are so ‘90s; these campus-walkers are self-motivated and desperate for cash, usually getting all of their basic food groups from clever and researched dollar menu combinations. Their desperation for an easy buck has jolted them slightly from the painful procrastinated apathy that seizes most students when faced with a paper, and they are able to put their skills to good use.

Luckily, these skills usually don’t have to reach further than 10th grade English, since 90 percent of the commissioned papers are from general education classes, which is the number one place to find rich and lazy customers. Essays ranging from “”Describe the growing trend toward democracy and away from authoritative militarized regimes in politically evolving Africa”” to “”What things make you feel sad? How?”” have all found their ways into the capable hands of these sleazy students for hire. Despite no knowledge of the class at all, they realize that almost all courses can be conquered through applied bullshit, which is just a mild concept and argument surrounded by flowing poetic sentences and lofty lexicons.

In my experience as an undercover sting agent for these nighttime escapades, the price of a night spent with an essay prompt can range from $20 to $150, depending on where in California the buyer is from. Some like to adopt the pay-by-page technique, appraising the worth of the project based on the number of pages filled up with wordy bullshitting. (“”Single-space? That’ll cost extra, honey.””) Hilariously, no one ever seems to award the monetary netting based on a grading scale, nor have I seen a “”half now, half when you don’t quote Meatloaf in my philosophy essay”” payment plan.

I have stood by and seen literary prostitutes confronted with “”B’s””, “”C’s”” and “”D’s,”” and decisively negative teacher comments. (“”I fail to see how my personal happiness is a thing that makes you sad. Or how you could screw up such a painfully easy assignment. I wish that there were 27 letters in the grading system so that I could give you the 27th, as that would be much more indicative of your performance than a mere ‘F.'””)  

The accused, confronted with a blatant breach of usual business and employment ethics, usually shrugs and walks away, knowing full well that their services will be rendered again within a week or so (whenever the next dreaded assignment arises).

Despite the complete lack of usual business dynamics and the disconcerting feeling that someone just as irresponsible as you, only poorer, is controlling your graded destiny, the Microsoft Office prostitution ring is thriving. As long as there are rich, lazy college kids and poor, slightly less lazy college kids, the underground business of paper-slinging shows no sign of stopping  soon.


— Johnny McKay is the multimedia editor of the Daily Wildcat. He can be reached at

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