jefu writes "This NY Times story talks about the kinds of papers that students might find (and buy) on the web. It also mentions turnitin.com a site that will scan papers and attempt to determine if it was copied. The article uses 'The Great Gatsby' as an example and notes that for the time it takes to read the book and write a paper, buying a paper seems a poor tradeoff. However, many books (or required papers) involve much more work on the part of the student, so the question becomes that much more difficult. If you have to do a report on 'Ulysses' it takes a bit more than a few hours just to read the book - let along understand enough to do a reasonable paper on it."