Pupils bored with their homework are being targeted by a website that allows them to select from thousands of A-grade essays and model answers, writes Michael Leidig. The site has just announced that it is getting 5,000 visits a day.
The idea originated with Bastian Wilhelms, a student from Celle in Germany, who said he was fed up researching an essay on ancient Rome for history class, and decided to surf the Internet for help.
His "website for cheats" was born after using the Net's chat sites - and he decided to set up his own just for students.
Students who have been given high marks are encouraged to send in their work, which is filed alphabetically by topic order and with key words, and then can be logged out by other students free of charge and handed in as their own work. There are already hundreds of essays on certain subjects so the chances of chosing the same one as a classmate are remote.
The site (www.cheatweb.at) claims to have the biggest homework collection in the world, and it is growing by the minute.
Bastian Wilhelms said: "We had no idea how successful it would be. We originally just wanted to do certain topics, but now we have something on everything, and in all languages, not just German and English. School kids in Switzerland, the US and France have also started submitting papers.
"Our service has also been swamped by a long list of e-mails from delighted students who say they have been able to enjoy weekend breaks instead of writing essays."
Additionally, "cheatweb" also offers virtual coaching. Anyone not sure about homework in fields ranging from maths to Latin can have it checked by other students using "cheatweb". They send an e-mail and the corrected work is returned soon afterwards.
"Cheatweb" also gives tips on the best ways to cheat at exams and the excuses most likely to succeed for getting out of classroom work. Apparently this list is being added to all the time too as students e-mail in their most successful lies.