July 24, 2002

Thursday September 6, 2001

Term Paper Vendors

“High quality research reports for over 32 years,” says 1st Term Paper on its company website, 1sttermpaper.com. It claims to be the nation’s oldest, largest source of term papers. Prices start at $6 a page. This is the murky side of higher learning.

The site says: “School work and term papers require research. We have an excellent team of writers waiting to assist you with your term paper. All of our materials are for research assistance purposes only. We are experts in the field of assisting writing term papers. We have been in the field of termpaper assistance for over 32 years.”

The Boston Globe reported: “Energetic faculty, if they care to, may scan the Web with strings of phrases, or use a service like Turnitin.com that compares a student’s homework with what’s on the Web and in term-paper databases. But that takes time, and the stomach to press academic charges. And the ease of Web-based research is blurring the line between homework and cheating. Go online, cut and paste, rephrase a bit — it looks mighty similar to honest research. “I could understand why a student would wonder why it matters,” said Professor Deni Elliott, an ethicist at the University of Montana.”
(Her favorite site: ethicspapers.com.)

Selling Term Papers Is Illegal.

At least 17 states ban the sale of term papers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. They are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and

Cheese Prices Go Through the Roof

“After years of mild prices, the cost of cheese is sharper than ever, and it’s particularly grating to restaurant corporations, franchisers and independent operators in Atlanta and across the country. “People are screaming in the pizza industry. They’re paying through the nose,” said Steve Coomes, the editor of Pizza Today, a pizza industry trade magazine based in New Albany, Ind.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports: “Cheese as a commodity is traded in units of 40 pound blocks of cheddar. Only July 31, a 40-pound block cost close to $1.70 per pound, said Dick Groves, editor and publisher of The Cheese Reporter, a weekly dairy industry newspaper based in Madison, Wis.
As recently as November, the same block cost $1 per pound. Historically, $1.10 per pound was considered the stable price.

There are many reasons behind the cheese price hike, but Grove said that fundamentally it is a question of supply and demand. On the demand side, Americans are eating more cheese than ever. “For the past few years it’s been an indulgence thing, with people entertaining more and eating out more,” he said. “And there’s also the home meal replacement phenomenon, where people will order out for a pizza or go through a drive through for a cheeseburger rather than cook dinner.”

American tastes have also become more sophisticated, and our appetites have increased for specialty cheese, which is now in most grocery stores in wide varieties, Grove said.

To help combat squeezed margins, pizza chains are pushing new products to add to their delivery mix: sandwiches, chicken wings and salads. Domino’s, which once experimented with a breakfast pizza, is sponsoring a contest for franchise owners to suggest products that could potentially be delivered with pizza. Pizza makers say they won’t skimp on cheese because customers would notice and might not return, but some concede that high prices have prompted some to look for bargain alternatives.”

The Boston Globe reports: “The cheese still goes on thick but pizza parlor bosses are giving employees a new edict when it comes to managing the mozzarella — don’t waste, it’s not so cheap.

”Yeah, I hear that a lot,” said Sherwin Kannukkaden, wiping his brow as he waits to pull another pie from the pizza oven at a suburban Mellow Mushroom.
While cheese prices fluctuate like any other commodity – because of weather, energy prices, supply, demand, herd conditions, and countless other factors – high costs this summer are eating into the pizza industry’s bottom line. ”Oh man! I can cry for a week on that,” said Jim Fox, founder of Pittsburgh-based Fox’s Pizza Den, with 215 franchises in 17 states. ”It’s just brutal.”

Cheese accounts for nearly half of a pizza’s cost, which makes restaurateurs extremely sensitive to price changes. And few in the industry are willing to buy in advance because the market is so volatile. In their second-quarter earnings reports, Pizza Hut and Domino’s cited higher cheese costs as a factor for lower operating margins. Papa John’s International said it expects to pay more for cheese later this year, which will pressure margins.

Who’s Hiring, Who’s Firing

I think you could do your reading/viewing/listening public a big service if you explored this story fairly regularly these days.

The Christian Science Monitor reported: “It’s not all gloom and doom out there. Scores of industries are hiring: mining firms, mortgage bankers, health services, oil companies, insurance providers, and electric utilities, just to name a few. One indication that jobs are available: The newly unemployed are taking only 2.07 months on average to find another job.

“The unemployment rate would not be at 4.5 percent if that were not happening,” says John Challenger of Chicago outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas, which tracks firing and hiring patterns.

The employment picture reflects a diverse economy in which, even as manufacturing has faltered, industries like coal and oil are boosting output, and other industries like housing see sales stimulated by falling interest rates. This is not to gloss over the rising tide of layoffs. Last week, the government reported that initial and continuing claims for unemployment rose in mid-August. And in two weeks, when the government reports the jobless rate for August, it will probably tick up again. “We expect it to peak at about 5.3 percent next spring,” says economist David Wyss of Standard & Poor’s/DRI in New York.

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Al Tompkins is one of America's most requested broadcast journalism and multimedia teachers and coaches. After nearly 30 years working as a reporter, photojournalist, producer,…
Al Tompkins

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